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Friday, August 24, 2018

Posnanski: Baseball 100 Rules

In this era of reboots, it was perhaps inevitable that Joe Posnanski would take another crack at the 100 greatest players in major league history. 

The Baseball 100 is more than just a ranking system to me. The difference between my 78th ranked player and my 212th ranked player is so miniscule that it’s mathematically irrelevant. With one slight adjustment, I could have those two players switch places.

Nearly all of the series is to be pay walled, but Zach Greinke is No. 100 on the list.

In the original version of this list, I included a bunch of Negro leaguers — I can tell you that four were in my Top 20. I still believe this. But Negro leaguers will now be a major part of my corresponding Shadowball 100….It’s an eclectic list that includes players who are, in their own ways, larger than life.

No. 100 on this list is Duane Kuiper.

 

 

Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 24, 2018 at 08:01 AM | 1453 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, joe posnanski, joe posnanski top 100, reboots

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   1201. John DiFool2 Posted: April 03, 2020 at 04:37 PM (#5936295)
Pilf
   1202. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: April 03, 2020 at 04:42 PM (#5936296)
Man I'm on a roll.


Kaiser? Onion? Potato?
   1203. alsep73 Posted: April 04, 2020 at 04:43 PM (#5936529)
After Walter Johnson came in at 7th, there was some speculation on the remaining order. With Charleston out of the way, I think it's a safe bet that Aaron will come in 4th, for the numerology bit as much as for him not having as high a peak as the other three guys. So does Pos weigh Ruth's pitching more than Mays playing in an integrated league? Does Bonds get docked at all for PEDs? My guess is we wind up with

4. Aaron
3. Bonds
2. Mays
1. Ruth

but I don't feel hugely confident in that.
   1204. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: April 05, 2020 at 04:25 PM (#5936791)
1203--based on reading of the author's other work plus comments made plus observations from others figure it's Mays as number 1. Then Bonds. Then Ruth.
   1205. Mefisto Posted: April 05, 2020 at 05:41 PM (#5936807)
That's my guess too.
   1206. alsep73 Posted: April 06, 2020 at 10:13 AM (#5936931)
4. Hammerin' Hank.

And then there’s his absurd, almost laughable, breakaway lead in career total bases. If you want to call Henry Aaron the king of something, call him the King of Total Bases. He had 6,856 total bases in his career — 700 more than anyone else.

Musial could have hit 350 more doubles and not had as many total bases as Aaron.

Ruth could have hit 250 more home runs and not has as many total bases as Aaron. (Bonds would have needed 220 more homers just to tie Aaron.)

Pete Rose could have cracked another 1,100 singles and not had as many total bases as Aaron.

And let’s add something else that people miss: Aaron played in a pitcher’s time. He played his prime in a pitcher’s ballpark. If you neutralize Aaron’s numbers — which is to say you try to put Aaron in what Baseball-Reference calls a “neutral setting” — Aaron’s numbers jump from mind-boggling to impossible.

If you neutralize the numbers, Aaron’s total bases jump all the way to 7,502 — and his lead jumps to almost 1,000 bases. All of his numbers go up including, yes, home runs (all the way up to 824 neutralized homers).

See, when you talk about Aaron and home runs, you put Aaron in the wrong box. He wasn’t a slugger and would not stand up to Ruth or Jimmie Foxx or McGwire or a dozen others as a slugger. He never wanted that. Henry Aaron was a ballplayer. He hit for average, hit for power, ran the bases, played good defense and threw with authority. He did everything well for longer than anyone who ever played this game.
   1207. Rally Posted: April 06, 2020 at 10:51 AM (#5936950)
My guess to the order is the same as #1203.

I can't remember where I read it, might have even been in another player's top 100 writeup, but the opinion was that Aaron did not have great speed, but was a smart baserunner and made the most of what he had. In this article it is speculated that he might have been faster than Mays.

I wish we had retroactive Statcast. Sprint speed doesn't lie.
   1208. Mefisto Posted: April 06, 2020 at 11:07 AM (#5936955)
I'm not overwhelmed by the TB argument. Per 162 he's not that far ahead of Musial or Mays (337 v 328 for both), and both of them missed prime seasons in which they were likely to have exceeded their career averages.

Aaron was a complete player, great all-around, a guy who did everything well for a very long time. That's what makes him 4th (or in my case 5th) all-time.
   1209. PreservedFish Posted: April 06, 2020 at 11:35 AM (#5936963)
Sprint speed doesn't lie.

I was about to complain about the lack of access to the acceleration numbers. But then I clicked around and I found that I could watch Andrew Benintendi and Kyle Schwarber - who have the same Statcast top speed - "sprint" against each other. Benintendi wins.
   1210. Mefisto Posted: April 06, 2020 at 11:48 AM (#5936965)
I doubt Aaron was faster than Mays. In the OF speed generally translates to range, and in that case I would expect Aaron to have been a CF (he had the arm, obviously).
   1211. Sweatpants Posted: April 06, 2020 at 12:05 PM (#5936971)
What would the argument for Mays finishing above Bonds be? He's timelining, and Bonds debuted over ten years after Mays retired. Bonds is ahead of Mays by pretty much every statistical measure. As far as I know, he's not penalizing anyone for steroid use or churlishness.
   1212. Mefisto Posted: April 06, 2020 at 12:10 PM (#5936974)
I guess we'll see, but I suspect the answer depends on how much he timelines. By BBREF WAR, Bonds is at 162.8 and Mays at 156.2. Give Mays credit for military service -- probably about 13 WAR -- and voila, he's ahead of Bonds. Mays also has more 10+ WAR seasons, so looks pretty good on peak value too.
   1213. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: April 06, 2020 at 12:14 PM (#5936976)
1211--He does give players bonus points for being well regarded by teammates. And it seemed like Hornsby being an ####### hurt him. Mays was awesome. Everybody thought Mays was awesome. Teammates loved Mays. Bonds has baggage. Seems pretty easy to go with Mays.
   1214. Sweatpants Posted: April 06, 2020 at 12:22 PM (#5936978)
I forgot about Mays' military service. He also had ten or so seasons of only 154 games. Really I'm a little surprised that WAR has them as close as it does.

I wonder if Bonds will get any blacklist credit. It's possible that he could have fallen off as quickly as Mays did, though.
   1215. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: April 06, 2020 at 12:35 PM (#5936982)
There are like multiple posters who keep ######## about Joe Jackson not only not making the list but not being in the top ten. What is the fascination with Jackson? Dude played literally a 100 years ago and got kicked out of baseball for legit reasons.
   1216. PreservedFish Posted: April 06, 2020 at 12:41 PM (#5936984)
If Bonds vs Mays is too close to call, I might choose Mays because he was a more complete player at his peak. Bonds had the misfortune of being an extraordinary runner and fielder when he was a great hitter, a great runner and fielder when he was an extraordinary hitter, and a poor runner and fielder when he was an unbelievable hitter.
   1217. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: April 06, 2020 at 12:49 PM (#5936992)
1216--FWIW from 2000 to career end Bonds stole 54 bases and was caught 9 times. GIDPs always in single digits until his last season which sure was likely because he hit the ball in the air a lot.
   1218. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 06, 2020 at 12:53 PM (#5936995)
There are like multiple posters who keep ######## about Joe Jackson not only not making the list but not being in the top ten. What is the fascination with Jackson? Dude played literally a 100 years ago and got kicked out of baseball for legit reasons.

Also, he has one top-5 WAR finish in his league in his entire career (or, if you limit it to position players only, one top-3 finish), and no league leads either way. Even if you don't think his decade is already overrepresented (which I assume most of us probably do), he is immediately and obviously outclassed by Cobb and Speaker just among AL outfielders from the 1910s.

If you're not a fan of WAR? Despite having the third-highest batting average of all time, Jackson also never won a batting title. His black ink total, in an 8-team league, is 14 (hits twice, doubles one, triples three times, total bases twice, OBP and SLG once each).

He was a good player, but he'd be a worse top-10 pick than Sandy Koufax even if he hadn't thrown a World Series.
   1219. Jaack Posted: April 06, 2020 at 12:57 PM (#5937001)
There are like multiple posters who keep ######## about Joe Jackson not only not making the list but not being in the top ten. What is the fascination with Jackson? Dude played literally a 100 years ago and got kicked out of baseball for legit reasons.


The Black Sox scandal has given him lasting fame. Most people assume if they've heard of an ancient player he has too be good, and aside from perhaps Ty Cobb, no one from deadball is more famous. Furthermore, the public at large has bought into the idea that he was innocent, so he becomes an all time great unjustly banned from the game, instead of being the third best outfielder of his era.

But of course, if Jackson hadn't been involved, Cicotte would have become the legend of choice. And if he hadn't been invovled either, then people would wax poetic about the lost careers of Happy Felsch or Lefty Williams.
   1220. Ron J Posted: April 06, 2020 at 12:57 PM (#5937002)
#1216 Also, Bonds didn't throw particularly well. It doesn't amount to much (if anything) as he actually controlled the running game well compared to other LF (at least until he really slowed down). Arm strength doesn't matter much for a LF with good speed.

Also, Aaron did play a fair amount of CF when younger. Memory says he settled in RF primarily because of the perception that his arm was wasted in CF.

But he was obviously not an elite defensive CF. Those guys stick in CF no matter how good their arm is.
   1221. Mefisto Posted: April 06, 2020 at 01:09 PM (#5937012)
Aaron played about 300 games in CF, only about 10% of his total games. I don't know enough about the Braves of that time to have any idea why that was, but BBREF has Milwaukee's actual CF (Bill Bruton) as average defensively. So yeah, Aaron was unlikely to have been great there or somebody would have noticed.
   1222. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 06, 2020 at 01:11 PM (#5937013)
Also, Aaron did play a fair amount of CF when younger. Memory says he settled in RF primarily because of the perception that his arm was wasted in CF.

But he was obviously not an elite defensive CF. Those guys stick in CF no matter how good their arm is.


Aaron came up to the Braves a year after Bill Bruton had settled in as the full-time CF; I can't speak to how good a CF Bruton was beyond the fact that he has solid RField totals, but he also led the NL in steals his first three years, so he was presumably pretty fast. Aaron basically played center when Bruton was out (parts of '57 and '58); Bruton went to Detroit in '61 and Aaron split time between RF and CF for the next two years before staying in RF permanently starting in '63.

Not saying Aaron necessarily would have been an elite CF, but if a team has two of them, they can't both play center.
   1223. Ron J Posted: April 06, 2020 at 01:28 PM (#5937026)
#1222 Also, Bruton didn't throw well. Aaron did and a fair amount of the time the guy in LF didn't run well (LF is a better place to hide slow OF)
   1224. Rally Posted: April 06, 2020 at 02:12 PM (#5937035)
#1216 Also, Bonds didn't throw particularly well. It doesn't amount to much (if anything) as he actually controlled the running game well compared to other LF (at least until he really slowed down). Arm strength doesn't matter much for a LF with good speed.


True its not a big deal when it comes to career run impact. But it can hurt at the margins and in Barry’s case actually cost his team a pennant.

I think war credit for Willie might trump timelining in this case. Timelining is a big deal comparing Walter or Honus to today, but Bonds only started 25 years after Mays did. Kind of hard to wrap my mind about that. I saw Barry’s whole career and nothing of Willie’s. But 25 years difference is comparing a player of today to 1995. It’s generally not something that even pops into the conversation if for example I asked a Braves fan to compare Acuna’s start to the beginnings of Chipper and Andruw’s career. We’d just look at the stats and argue from there.
   1225. Booey Posted: April 06, 2020 at 02:20 PM (#5937036)
Rally #1224 - 35 years later, not 25. ;-)

That's almost the same difference between Mays and Ruth (37 years). It's a big difference, IMO.
   1226. Rally Posted: April 06, 2020 at 02:29 PM (#5937039)
Cant do math today
   1227. Rally Posted: April 06, 2020 at 02:32 PM (#5937040)
I dont think its as significant as Mays vs Ruth. In one case you just have time. Plus the league went from 16 teams to 26 from Willie to Barry, so that offsets the timeline a bit. From Babe to Willie you have time + integration.
   1228. Sweatpants Posted: April 06, 2020 at 02:36 PM (#5937042)
Bonds should also get slight credit for time missed from the 1994-95 labor issues.

Mays (obviously) came up after integration, but even the 1950s NL hadn't fully embraced the concept. Bonds's NL was fully integrated and also did a better job of incorporating foreign talent, albeit with twice as many teams diluting the impact. Still, Mays didn't have foreign competition for home run titles and the like until about ten years into his career. The best foreign pitcher in those years was someone he never had to face.
   1229. Mefisto Posted: April 06, 2020 at 03:09 PM (#5937054)
I don't timeline for the NL starting with the 50s and for the AL starting with the 60s (which only really affects Williams and Mantle). Multiple reasons for this:

1. A huge jump in available population relative to the number of teams. 12% just in American-born blacks, plus Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic (and some from Cuba). And Rally's point in 1227 is well-taken.

2. No real competition from other sports.

3. A very efficient style of play (lots of walks and HR).

4. Most of the errors have been rinsed out of the game (about 30% in 1900, about 12% in the 50s, about 7% today).
   1230. Booey Posted: April 06, 2020 at 03:29 PM (#5937057)
#1229 - That's pretty much where I'm at too. The '50's for the NL and the 60's for the AL is basically what I consider "modern" baseball.

I didn't mean my "big difference" line in 1225 the way it probably sounded. I agree that things didn't change as much between Mays' and Bonds' times as they did between Ruth and Mays.
   1231. Blastin Posted: April 06, 2020 at 03:36 PM (#5937058)
Reading those letters Aaron got, which I knew about but still, is really gross.
   1232. bbmck Posted: April 06, 2020 at 04:04 PM (#5937068)
Total Bases + BB + HBP and Poz 100 rank among MLB position players:

8640 - Barry Bonds Top 3
8290 - Hank Aaron 4th
7898 - Babe Ruth Top 3
7786 - Stan Musial 7th
7574 - Willie Mays Top 3

7425 - Pete Rose 41st
7424 - Carl Yastrzemski 25th
7327 - Alex Rodriguez 11th
7292 - Albert Pujols 17th
7197 - Ty Cobb 6th

Highest not to make the Poz list:

14th Rafael Palmeiro 6828
16th Eddie Murray 6748
20th Jim Thome 6483
21st Dave Winfield 6462
24th Gary Sheffield 6347

28th Manny Ramirez 6264
34th Craig Biggio 6156
35th David Ortiz 6122
37th Paul Molitor 5995
44th Fred McGriff 5802
46th Harmon Killebrew 5750

On the Poz 100 and not in the Top 200: 19 Mike Trout, 28 Jackie Robinson, 42 Arky Vaughan, 46 Hank Greenberg, 56 Ozzie Smith and 57 Roy Campanella. TB+BB+HBP+SB/Outs leaders among the Top 1000 in TB:

1.39 - Babe Ruth Top 3
1.32 - Ted Williams 5th
1.25 - Barry Bonds Top 3
1.22 - Lou Gehrig 10th
1.18 - Billy Hamilton --

1.14 - Mike Trout 19th
1.14 - Jimmie Foxx 23rd
1.10 - Hank Greenberg 46th
1.09 - Mickey Mantle 8th
1.07 - Rogers Hornsby 12th

1.06 - Dan Brouthers --
1.05 - Mark McGwire --
1.04 - Manny Ramirez --
1.04 - Ty Cobb 6th
1.04 - Frank Thomas (Jr) 48th

1.03 - Larry Walker 59th
1.02 - Ed Delahanty --
1.02 - Jim Thome --
1.02 - Mel Ott 22nd
1.02 - Stan Musial 7th
1.01 - Joe DiMaggio 37th

1.01 - Jeff Bagwell 39th
1.01 - Joey Votto --
1.00 - Charlie Keller --
1.00 - Lance Berkman --
1.00 - Johnny Mize 43rd
1.00 - Ralph Kiner --

Everett Scott and Tim Foli with 0.46 bases per out, Bill Mazeroski 0.55 and Rabbit Maranville 0.58 worst among Hall of Famers. Billy Hamilton benefits from 914 SB and 0 CS, Ed Delahanty 456 and 0, Dan Brouthers 257 and 0 and up to 1940 CS being listed as incomplete information on b-ref. Ty Cobb drops to 0.95 without 897 SB and 212 CS.

Hank Aaron at 0.93 is a longer career at that rate than Joe Kelley, Ken Williams, Chuck Klein, Albert Belle, Miguel Cabrera, Bobby Abreu, Bob Johnson, Jesse Burkett, Dick Allen, Harry Heilmann and Ken Griffey Jr. 1955-1973 Hank Aaron is 12199 PA and 0.97 and has 3.9+ posWAR each season, Frank Robinson's entire career is 11742 PA and 0.96.
   1233. Mefisto Posted: April 06, 2020 at 04:32 PM (#5937074)
Speaking of greats, Al Kaline has died.
   1234. TomH Posted: April 06, 2020 at 04:51 PM (#5937084)
To go with bbmck's cool list above:
8640 - Barry Bonds Top 3
8290 - Hank Aaron 4th
7898 - Babe Ruth Top 3
7786 - Stan Musial 7th
7574 - Willie Mays Top 3
7425 - Pete Rose 41st
7424 - Carl Yastrzemski 25th
7327 - Alex Rodriguez 11th
7292 - Albert Pujols 17th
7197 - Ty Cobb 6th

You could look at BB+TB as things leading to "wins"; or you could use R and RBI. The equivalent for "losses" would be outs. In its simplest form, AB minus hits, your all time outs leaders are
Rose 9797
Aaron 8593
Yaz 8569
Cal 8367
Murray 8081 (teammates!)
   1235. cardsfanboy Posted: April 06, 2020 at 05:00 PM (#5937087)
I'm in the camp that would put Mays ahead of Bonds, but I'm also in the camp that I put Ruth first, and debate the Mays/Cobb comparison. Having said that, I'm fairly certain based upon what Pos has said int he past, is that he'll put it 1. Mays 2. Ruth 3. Bonds. And I can see that. I think Bonds's numbers are helped massively by the fact that teams refused to pitch to him in his heyday. Yes obp is obp, but his obp is inflated because teams didn't even bother to try. It shows the fear factor he brought to the table, but it also makes it feel like if they would have challenged him a bit more, his numbers wouldn't be quite as great (more hits, homeruns to be sure, but also a lower average, obp and probably slugging----and yes I get that goes against some common sense, but the argument is that Bonds knew that they were only going to challenge him in certain situations, so he knew they had no other choice to pitch close to the strike zone.... when that certainty goes away, it allows an expansion of the strike zone, making it harder for him to continue his high average and power)

   1236. kubiwan Posted: April 06, 2020 at 06:55 PM (#5937120)
More than any other player, Aaron is the one that, upon looking at his b-ref page, my heart always thinks "How in the world could anyone be a better baseball player than that?!?".
   1237. Rally Posted: April 06, 2020 at 07:09 PM (#5937123)
Reading those letters Aaron got, which I knew about but still, is really gross.


When I see the event replayed, Aaron homers and those 2 dudes run on the field to congratulate him around the bases, I think how lucky we are. That they weren’t klansmen with a hidden knife or gun to take him out. Obviously they weren’t, but how does one even get that close? Zero chance that could happen today, they’d be tackled in hauled off the field by security before they got anywhere near Hank. Just a different world.

While it must have been scary for Hank for a bit there, I can’t say things have changed for the better. Security presence is way up all over. As I type this from home under threat of a year in prison if i leave my house for an unauthorized reason.
   1238. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 06, 2020 at 07:16 PM (#5937126)
When I see the event replayed, Aaron homers and those 2 dudes run on the field to congratulate him around the bases, I think how lucky we are. That they weren’t klansmen with a hidden knife or gun to take him out. Obviously they weren’t, but how does one even get that close? Zero chance that could happen today, they’d be tackled in hauled off the field by security before they got anywhere near Hank. Just a different world.
Yeah, that always makes me shudder too. Fortunately they were well-wishers, but boy...that was far from guaranteed.
   1239. TomH Posted: April 07, 2020 at 05:33 AM (#5937180)
lots of good comparisons between Mays and Bonds. Here is one; their consistently high finishes or placements, by year, in the most basic measurement of offensive goodnesss, RUN SCORED. Can you tell who is who?

XX 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7-10th
Guy1 1 . 3 . 6 . 0 .. 1 .. 3 .. 3
Guy2 2 . 6 . 3 . 0 .. 0 .. 2 .. 1
   1240. Rally Posted: April 07, 2020 at 12:14 PM (#5937276)
Today’s favorite is Fernando Valenzuela.

After his 8-0 start, all complete games, he lost his next game against the Phillies. Not a terrible game, he pitched 7 innings and allowed only 3 hits and 2 walks, but 4 of them ended up scoring. The next game he was on the road in Cincinnati, with Mario Soto going for the Reds. The also just happens to be the first game I ever attended.

Fernando struggled in this one, though he went 8 innings and the Dodgers won. At the time I had no concept of how huge Fernandomania was. The memory from that game that sticks in my mind is when Soto came to the plate with 2 runners on and laid down a bunt. Fernando picked it up and threw wildly, both runners scored, and Soto also scored on the play. Time has erased some of details, like how bad must the RF have screwed up to allow a pitcher to make it all the way around the bases? The RF was Pedro Guerrero.

Fernando’s early decline makes his career seem a bit of a disappointment. And he was clearly overworked at an age where today he’d be routinely pulled before the 5th inning no matter how well he was pitching. But he had one hell of a career. More wins than Koufax. Nearly as many WAR as Jack Morris.
   1241. SoSH U at work Posted: April 07, 2020 at 12:18 PM (#5937280)
When I see the event replayed, Aaron homers and those 2 dudes run on the field to congratulate him around the bases, I think how lucky we are. That they weren’t klansmen with a hidden knife or gun to take him out. Obviously they weren’t, but how does one even get that close? Zero chance that could happen today, they’d be tackled in hauled off the field by security before they got anywhere near Hank. Just a different world.


I tend to think of it the other way, about how lucky they are. Today, a couple of well wishers might have been shot because of what they might have done.

   1242. dlf Posted: April 07, 2020 at 12:29 PM (#5937284)
And he was clearly overworked at an age where today he’d be routinely pulled before the 5th inning


From 1981 to 1987, he averaged over 13 complete games a year. Last season there wasn't a single team that had even half that many.

But would we as fans - or he as the performer - have been better off with a lesser workload and then seeing him pitch longer if not as memorably? Nearly 3,000 IP is a long career as it was; maybe fewer IP in his prime means more in his decline, but it is difficult to assume that the total could have been much greater.

But he had one hell of a career. More wins than Koufax. Nearly as many WAR as Jack Morris.


And one of the most memorable players of his era.
   1243. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 07, 2020 at 12:34 PM (#5937286)
Fernando threw EIGHT shutouts that year. And remember the season was strike-shortened, so he only made 25 starts. He threw a shutout every third time he took the mound.

And in his last start of the year, he lost 1-0 to the Padres on an unearned run.
   1244. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 07, 2020 at 12:42 PM (#5937289)
I tend to think of it the other way, about how lucky they are. Today, a couple of well wishers might have been shot because of what they might have done.
A couple of really dumb and/or really drunk well wishers.
   1245. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: April 07, 2020 at 12:57 PM (#5937294)
Put me down for 3. Bonds 2. Ruth and 1. Mays as well.

I think he'll dock Bonds a bit for steroids. And Ruth at #2 will be controversial enough; it's a cleaner, and I think more interesting and less loaded, comparison about timelining and the effect of the color line if it's between Mays and Ruth for the top.
   1246. dlf Posted: April 07, 2020 at 01:07 PM (#5937300)
And in his last start of the year, he lost 1-0 to the Padres on an unearned run.


In his other last start of the year, he pitched a complete game, allowing 4 runs and picking up the win in Game 3 of the World Series. Nine hits, seven walks, and six Ks. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that he threw ~175 pitches.
   1247. Jaack Posted: April 07, 2020 at 01:40 PM (#5937306)
I'll be a little rebellious and have it as 1. Ruth; 2. Bonds; 3. Mays.

Mays didn't break the game offensively in the same way the other two did. And while Mays was a better fielder than either, Bonds was plenty good defensively himself, and Ruth has the pitching angle.
   1248. Rally Posted: April 07, 2020 at 01:48 PM (#5937312)
But would we as fans - or he as the performer - have been better off with a lesser workload and then seeing him pitch longer if not as memorably? Nearly 3,000 IP is a long career as it was; maybe fewer IP in his prime means more in his decline, but it is difficult to assume that the total could have been much greater.


I strongly doubt it. If he was coming up today the Dodgers would probably use him partly out of the pen, partly as a starter with severe pitch limits. They'd probably use him similar to how they use Julio Urias, who is also a extremely talented lefty from Mexico who debuted as a 19 year old. Urias has been up 4 years and has pitched slightly fewer innings total than Fernando threw in his strike shortened rookie season.

Part of that is that Urias missed most of 2018 due to a shoulder injury, but that is just more evidence for the idea that we're missing something. Pitchers are still getting hurt, there's no clear evidence they are lasting longer, but we don't see the great early heroics.
   1249. Ron J Posted: April 07, 2020 at 01:52 PM (#5937315)
#1247 I'd argue that it's less about pitching per-se than that Ruth was a significant contributor while quite young. Bonds debuted much later and took a few years to become BONDS!

Mays is weird. It's like he was so good at 20 that he was briefly held back because nobody could believe the numbers.
   1250. Jaack Posted: April 07, 2020 at 02:16 PM (#5937323)
The pitching also keeps Ruth from seeming too one-dimensional. He was good in the field but not Bonds or Mays level good. He was an... adventurous baserunner, and nowhere near either of them.

Aesthetically, it's nice for the 'best player ever' to be multi-faceted. It's a reason that Ted Williams is never in the conversation. Mays and Bonds have their brilliant gloves to lean on while Ruth has the pitching.
   1251. Rally Posted: April 07, 2020 at 03:37 PM (#5937355)
Mays is weird. It's like he was so good at 20 that he was briefly held back because nobody could believe the numbers.


Video game numbers in 35 AAA games that year. I don't think I'd call that being held back though. If at the season's start they think he's talented but at age 20 needs a bit more seasoning, how much time should it take to change minds? I wouldn't change my mind because a player went 4-4 on opening day. If he hit .500 in his first week, that's still just a small sample size. Somewhere in there the sample size is sufficient if a player keeps hitting near .500 with Barroidian SLG and OBP. Maybe they should have brought him up 2-3 weeks earlier.

Doesn't seem like that big a deal. Though if they had likely the Giants win the pennant outright and Bobby Thomson is just another forgotten player who was pretty good for a few years.
   1252. Mefisto Posted: April 07, 2020 at 03:49 PM (#5937361)
Also, Mays played 121 games that season for the Giants and Mantle played only 97 for the Yankees.
   1253. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: April 07, 2020 at 04:21 PM (#5937377)
Aesthetically, it's nice for the 'best player ever' to be multi-faceted. It's a reason that Ted Williams is never in the conversation. Mays and Bonds have their brilliant gloves to lean on while Ruth has the pitching.
In the main, I agree with your point.

But man, if Williams hadn't lost all the time to the wars...if to modern eyes he had another ~40 WAR, and by traditional stats had roughly the same rate stats but 150 more HRs to be near 700, another 500 RBI to be, maybe, still the alltime leader...

I know, I know, if if if, no injuries, etc., and I imagine that Mays and Bonds and maybe Aaron would probably still be judged greater overall because of their 5-tool abilities but still.

(Apologies if I have just rehashed posts from around the time Williams' essay was posted.)
   1254. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: April 07, 2020 at 04:28 PM (#5937381)
1253--But if he was able to play during World War 2 that is against all white competition. And even after he got back the American League was slow to use African American players. Plus during the war the competition especially in 1944 and 1945 was pretty bad. So he puts up huge numbers but worth what, really? And then someone pointed out in the thread that after 1951 he began missing a lot of time before and after the Korean War duty. So maybe his body was breaking down and the war time may have extended his time in the majors because the effort in that conflict wasn't the same pounding he would take playing?

Give him some credit for sure. But I think it should be less than folks talk about.

   1255. Mefisto Posted: April 07, 2020 at 05:19 PM (#5937397)
Fangraphs gives him 50 WAR credit for military service. I give him 40 (though I adjust that down for level of competition). But even my way puts him above Aaron and not that far from the top. I think he belongs in the conversation for best ever, since reasonable people (e.g., Fangraphs) could (a) give him more service credit; and (b) adjust him less than I do.
   1256. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: April 07, 2020 at 05:21 PM (#5937398)
@1254 -- sure, no argument on any of that. I guess I'm just speculating that *that* version of Williams probably would have been harder to eliminate in the "greatest ever" debates, both then and now. (Before dealing with timelining and color line issues.)

Put it this way: I don't think anyone ever puts Ted above Ruth, or even debates the two that seriously. With that alternate universe version of Ted, I think you'd see more of that.
   1257. EddieA Posted: April 07, 2020 at 05:24 PM (#5937400)
Bonds and Mays and Ruth each have 22 years in baseball-reference. Mays and Ruth could not have played any longer. Bonds maybe could have gone 4 or 5 more years if he'd have been allowed. Would have probably quit at 800 home runs or when he was ineffective.
None of the 3 ever had a negative bWAR year. Ruth and Mays negative WAA years were only their final seasons. Bonds had all positive WAA seasons, and has near as I can tell his 22 seasons is the longest career that meets that criterion (Cap Anson's first 26 seasons were all positive, but not 27: Ty Cobb's last 23 seasons were all positive, but not his rookie year).
   1258. Mefisto Posted: April 07, 2020 at 05:37 PM (#5937403)
Put it this way: I don't think anyone ever puts Ted above Ruth, or even debates the two that seriously. With that alternate universe version of Ted, I think you'd see more of that.


Yep. I have them so close that you could argue it either way.
   1259. Rally Posted: April 07, 2020 at 05:52 PM (#5937410)
1253--But if he was able to play during World War 2 that is against all white competition. And even after he got back the American League was slow to use African American players. Plus during the war the competition especially in 1944 and 1945 was pretty bad. So he puts up huge numbers but worth what, really? And then someone pointed out in the thread that after 1951 he began missing a lot of time before and after the Korean War duty.


I don't think the assumption in giving Williams war credit is that he puts up sillyball numbers against guys who should be minor leaguers and then we have to heavily discount those numbers anyway. It's not assuming he was one of the lucky few who didn't go to war while the other stars did. It assumes one of the following:

1. After watching Jesse Owens win at the 1936 Olympics, Hitler suffered a case of constipation so bad that he went into a bathroom stall and spontaneously combusted. Whoever succeeded him was more of a pacifist, and Europe never turned into a battle field. The imperial Japanese were unaffected, but they never allied (axised?) themselves with Germany and confined their ambitions to the rest of Asia. U.S. let them be. As a bonus, the Japanese prevented Asian communism from ever getting off the ground so no U.S. involvement in Korea either.

2. Ted Williams was one of the lucky ones, like Adrian Beltre, or Hank Aaron, or Ty Cobb, who were only limited in how many games they played at the highest level by their own talent, health, and desire to keep playing.

So maybe his body was breaking down and the war time may have extended his time in the majors because the effort in that conflict wasn't the same pounding he would take playing?


To preserve my body, I'd taking my chances playing MLB instead of trying to land a damaged plane without a landing gear.
   1260. Sweatpants Posted: April 07, 2020 at 05:54 PM (#5937411)
Mays and Ruth could not have played any longer. Bonds maybe could have gone 4 or 5 more years if he'd have been allowed. Would have probably quit at 800 home runs or when he was ineffective.
His play certainly merited a look after 2007, but nothing's for certain. Look at Mays. In 1971 he led the NL in OBP. In 1972 he played well as a part-time player, again putting up an OBP of .400. In 1973 he was done. Bonds could have crashed just as quickly.
   1261. EddieA Posted: April 07, 2020 at 06:48 PM (#5937431)
Mays 1971 was his only year of 100 walks and also his only year of 100 k's. The walks were source of his OBP. Maybe decaying batspeed made him change his approach that season, presaging the end of his effectiveness. Certainly he was taking more pitches or able to put the ball in play less frequently. Interesting that neither Hank Aaron nor Frank Robinson had a 100 walk season in their careers.
Ruth never had a 100 k year though he led the majors several times.
Bonds' rookie year he struck out 102 times.

   1262. Howie Menckel Posted: April 07, 2020 at 07:04 PM (#5937441)
Reading those letters Aaron got, which I knew about but still, is really gross.

maybe 20 years later, Aaron said in an interview that not only did he not throw any of those letters away at the time - but that he never would.

Aaron said that he knew that over time, things might improve enough to where history would sort of sanitize the issue to the point of "mean things people wrote."

that's why he had to save them, Aaron said - in 'serious as a heart attack' tone. he doesn't sound completely bitter, not that anyone would blame him if he was. this was just something he had to endure at the time with because there still were so many racists out there.

Aaron finished 1973 one short of The Babe's 714 homer record, which rarely seems to be noted in modern times. he hit 40 that year, and by midsummer there was much speculation over whether he could do it that year.

5 or 6 of us local kids - age 11 to 13 or so - were hanging around our front porch one summer afternoon, talking of course about that very topic. yes he will, no he won't, and so on.

then one kid says, "He'll never break Babe Ruth's record. Never."

we all said that was ridiculous, and how could he make such a dopey prediction.

he said it was because if Aaron got too close, he'd be happy to climb onto a stadium roof as a sniper and..... well, .....

"and if it's not me, somebody else will do it, that's for sure," he calmly added.

the rest of us just froze - shock, fear, you name it. what the hell.

I'm telling that story for the same reason Aaron has kept the letters.

in 1973, another white kid you had grown up with not only could harbor such hatred - but feel comfortable enough around his little suburban white group of friends to share it proudly. I guess he figured we felt the same way but were too scared to say it, or something.

we went to different high schools in the next year or two, and drifted apart. yeah, it wasn't just the different high schools that did it.

I so hate that Aaron got those thousands of hateful letters - but am so grateful that he kept them.

as a nation, we own that disgrace.
   1263. Baldrick Posted: April 07, 2020 at 09:55 PM (#5937471)
So maybe his body was breaking down and the war time may have extended his time in the majors because the effort in that conflict wasn't the same pounding he would take playing?

You know what they say: if you want to stay healthy and safe, don't risk playing a game that involves standing around for two hours and occasionally sprinting. Instead, you should go fly fighter planes in a war zone.
   1264. alsep73 Posted: April 08, 2020 at 08:27 AM (#5937517)
3. Barry Bonds. Joe splits it up into two sections: For Bonds Fans, and For Bonds Critics.

So that leaves Ruth, who was a great pitcher in addition to a world-altering slugger, but who played in a whites-only league; or Mays, who played in an integrated league and has long been considered (including by Joe) the greatest all-around ballplayer of them all, but who obviously was not a pitcher.

Call it, friendos.
   1265. Ron J Posted: April 08, 2020 at 08:49 AM (#5937522)
#1251 What bugs me about this is why he was even in Minneapolis in the first place. Anybody could see the huge defensive value and professional baseball people should have been able to see he was simply to good for AAA already.

I love the scouting report from early May.



[...] outstanding player on the Minneapolis club and probably in all minor leagues for that matter. He is now in one of the best hitting streaks imaginable. hits to all fields, and hits all pitches, hits the ball where it is pitched as good as any player seen in many days. Every thing that he does is sensational. Has made the most spectacular catches. Runs and throws with the best of them. [...]

This player is the best prospect in America, it was a banner day for the Giants when this boy signed.

(He was hitting .477 with power at the time. And as noted was in a white hot streak over the previous 2 weeks, hitting .609 -- with power)
   1266. Mefisto Posted: April 08, 2020 at 09:33 AM (#5937527)
His OPS at Minneapolis was 1.323. Of course, when they called Mays up he promptly went 0-26.
   1267. Ron J Posted: April 08, 2020 at 10:14 AM (#5937532)
#1266 Sure. But if they call him up sooner maybe he runs into Warren Spahn sooner.

Or has that insane stretch in the majors. I think sending him out was an epic fail in talent judgement.
   1268. Baldrick Posted: April 08, 2020 at 10:56 AM (#5937545)
It's Joe's list and he can do it how he wants. And I don't think anyone here is surprised at Bonds #3. But...he was the best player in baseball history. It's not nearly as pleasing a result as it would be if Ruth or Mays or Williams or Trout or whatever was the best. But it's the reality.

I did very much enjoy the article itself, which does a wonderful job of capturing the complexity, and telling a very human story.
   1269. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 08, 2020 at 11:14 AM (#5937550)
It's Joe's list and he can do it how he wants. And I don't think anyone here is surprised at Bonds #3. But...he was the best player in baseball history. It's not nearly as pleasing a result as it would be if Ruth or Mays or Williams or Trout or whatever was the best. But it's the reality.

You say that like it 's a fact, but it's just an opinion. None of us have any real idea how Bonds, Ruth, Mays, Williams, Trout etc. would have sorted out if they played on a level field.

Bonds was also an immense cheater, and horrible human being, so f*** him.
   1270. Mefisto Posted: April 08, 2020 at 11:20 AM (#5937551)
I can see the arguments against Bonds (STEROIDS!). But as I said above re Williams, I think the arguments among the top 4 (Aaron is 5th; Joe's just wrong there unless he refuses to give credit for military service) come down to assumptions that in all cases are reasonable but arguable: how much service credit; how much timelining; how should we use Ruth's pitching in the comparison; etc. As long as someone makes reasonable arguments, I won't protest. Personally, I have Mays at #1 and Bonds #2.
   1271. Mefisto Posted: April 08, 2020 at 11:21 AM (#5937553)
1269 would be the paradigm case of a bad argument.
   1272. Booey Posted: April 08, 2020 at 11:29 AM (#5937555)
It's silly IMO to dock Bonds (or anyone) out of spite. Personal feelings shouldn't enter the equation. It's about what they did on the field and how much they contributed to their teams success.
   1273. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 08, 2020 at 11:41 AM (#5937558)
But...he was the best player in baseball history. It's not nearly as pleasing a result as it would be if Ruth or Mays or Williams or Trout or whatever was the best. But it's the reality.
Bonds career OPS+: 182
Bonds career OPS+ before PEDs (1986-98): 164
Mays career OPS+: 156
Ruth career OPS+: 206

Granted, OPS+ is just one stat and of course there are other facets of the game, but you can't just declare Bonds the best and then say that it's "reality." Especially if you subtract Bonds' artificial enhancement from the equation.
   1274. Booey Posted: April 08, 2020 at 11:46 AM (#5937559)
#1273 - The problem with thinking we know Bonds true, PED-free ability based on his pre-1999 stats is that it assumes no one else was using PED's, which is obviously false. How much higher would his 1986-1998 OPS+ be if he wasn't facing pitchers on PED's, or competing against other batters on PED's, who were raising the league OPS and thus lowering Barry's? All of that is unknowable. All we DO know is the degree to which Bonds was dominating his competition, who were playing under the same rules (or lack thereof) and under the same conditions Barry was.
   1275. Rally Posted: April 08, 2020 at 11:50 AM (#5937560)
My guess is Ruth 1, Willie 2.

We’ll find out Friday. Not surprised ar all to find Barry #3.
   1276. PreservedFish Posted: April 08, 2020 at 11:50 AM (#5937561)
I think if you sent 2001-2004 Bonds back to 1920 he probably would have been intentionally walked 600 times per year and they would have rewritten the rules to deal with it.
   1277. Mefisto Posted: April 08, 2020 at 11:59 AM (#5937563)
@1273: I don't think anyone would argue that Mays or Bonds hit as well as Ruth (unless they want to make an argument about integration and timelining). But you can't just point to offense and leave out the defense and baserunning where both were indisputably far superior to Ruth.
   1278. Sweatpants Posted: April 08, 2020 at 12:06 PM (#5937568)
I'm surprised. I thought that Bonds was the only possible #1 other than Ruth.
   1279. Rally Posted: April 08, 2020 at 12:07 PM (#5937570)
I think if you sent 2001-2004 Bonds back to 1920 he probably would have been intentionally walked 600 times per year and they would have rewritten the rules to deal with it.


They already had rules in place to deal with Bonds. He would have gotten as many MLB appearances as Charleston and Gibson.

In the Negro Leagues, I don’t think Satchel would have backed down from a challenge and walked him.
   1280. Rally Posted: April 08, 2020 at 12:13 PM (#5937572)
Mays played about a full season worth of time in 1951-52, for a total of 5 WAR. He missed all of 53 due to Korea, and was a 10 WAR player when he came back. If we give him 4 for the time missed in 52, and 10 for 53, then he’s the only player to reach 170 besides Ruth.
   1281. Mefisto Posted: April 08, 2020 at 12:18 PM (#5937575)
For the sake of comparison, Mantle had 12.2 WAR in those years and Aaron had 13.4 in his age 21-22 seasons. 14 seems right but anywhere in that ballpark would be fair.
   1282. Booey Posted: April 08, 2020 at 12:24 PM (#5937577)
#1280 - Sure, but again we could also give Bonds some strike credit for 1994-1995 and some "blackball" credit for what he might've done post 2007.
   1283. Jaack Posted: April 08, 2020 at 12:30 PM (#5937580)
The most essential Barry Bonds fact
Barry Bonds Career IBB - 688
Tampa Bay Rays Franchise IBB - 614
   1284. Baldrick Posted: April 08, 2020 at 01:43 PM (#5937611)
Granted, OPS+ is just one stat and of course there are other facets of the game, but you can't just declare Bonds the best and then say that it's "reality." Especially if you subtract Bonds' artificial enhancement from the equation.

Of course we can't know for sure. I'm just stating my view of reality, which is that Bonds is the best. They're obviously all great, but Bonds is better, and by a big enough margin that I feel pretty confident about it.
   1285. Booey Posted: April 08, 2020 at 02:02 PM (#5937615)
I have a hard time seeing the argument for Mays at #1. He was an AMAZING player and putting him any lower than 3rd would be ridiculous, but as others have pointed out, he never broke the game and put up numbers that look like typos the way that Ruth and Bonds did. Yes, he makes up much of the hitting deficit with his advantages in defense and speed (especially over Ruth), but still...I don't see it. I can see him 2nd if you want to timeline Ruth, or 3rd if you don't, but I don't see much argument for Willie over Barry that doesn't revolve around emotions rather than stats/facts (like the last line of snappers 1269).
   1286. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 08, 2020 at 02:26 PM (#5937626)
The most essential Barry Bonds fact
Barry Bonds Career IBB - 688
Tampa Bay Rays Franchise IBB - 614

Bonds, the MLB leader in intentional walks, has more career IBBs than the #2 and #3 player combined. In 2004, he had more intentional walks than the American League's leader had in total walks. If you separated Bonds' 2004 walk total into intentional walks and unintentional, he would have finished 4th and 6th in the NL in walks. He was intentionally walked twice when leading off the top of the 10th inning. His 120 intentional walks broke the ML record by 75.
   1287. Howie Menckel Posted: April 08, 2020 at 02:31 PM (#5937629)
does OPS+ - or any stat - capably handle the extremes of Bonds' walk totals (Ruth is somewhat similar?)

a walk is not, in fact, - in spite of the claims of every baseball coach I ever had as a kid - "as good as a hit."
   1288. Sweatpants Posted: April 08, 2020 at 02:46 PM (#5937639)
His 120 intentional walks broke the ML record by 75.
It's 75 more times than anyone else has been walked intentionally (at least in the era for which he have records of it), but it broke his own record, set two years before, by merely 52.

My favorite Bonds IBB stat is that when he first went superhuman in 2001 and set the single-season home run record, he did not lead the league in intentional walks.
   1289. Rally Posted: April 08, 2020 at 02:56 PM (#5937645)
Bonds lost 65 potential games to the 94-95 strike. But Mays played a decade of 154 game seasons before they went to 162, so he'd gain more than Bonds if both were adjusted.

Bonds had 4 WAR at 41 and 3.4 at 42. It's a shame baseball missed out on those seasons but you have to expect he was going to get worse. Maybe 2.5 WAR for 2008, 1.5 in 2009, then retires of his own will after passing 800 homers. Doubt he was going to come anywhere near Oh's 868.

That would put him right around 167, and since that and the 14 I credited Willie with in #1280 is extremely speculative, I'm most comfortable calling Willie and his godson as tied on the statistical merits. Ranking comes down to how much you want to dock Barry for roids or Willie for timelining.

As I pointed out earlier, while baseball has improved over time Willie played the first half of his career in an MLB of 16 teams, expanding to 24 before he retired. Bonds came into a league of 26 teams and left one with 30. It is quite possible that that much expansion could offset the general player improvement from 1960 to 1996 (taking approximate mid-points of their careers).

I really don't know which force is stronger, expansion or league improvement. I don't discount Barry's record for steroids and always vote for him on our mock HOF ballots, but if forced to choose I'd give him just a slight downgrade for the steroids and rank Willie ahead of him.

   1290. JJ1986 Posted: April 08, 2020 at 03:00 PM (#5937647)
does OPS+ - or any stat - capably handle the extremes of Bonds' walk totals (Ruth is somewhat similar?)
OPS+ probably doesn't because it's not super precise, but a linear weights based number like wOBA should. I don't think you'd have to worry about something like sequencing with a batter's extreme walk total because he doesn't ever bat after himself. A pitcher with really low or high walk numbers probably isn't assessed exactly by something linear.
   1291. Jaack Posted: April 08, 2020 at 03:05 PM (#5937649)
does OPS+ - or any stat - capably handle the extremes of Bonds' walk totals (Ruth is somewhat similar?)

a walk is not, in fact, - in spite of the claims of every baseball coach I ever had as a kid - "as good as a hit."


wOBA and other linear weights models rate uBBs at about 75-80% the value of a single, so for the vast majority of players, wOBA/wRC+ will work fine for players with extreme unintentional walk rates. For IBB, wOBA basically throws them out - since a good chunk of IBB are for a player batting before a pitcher, they aren't a reflection at all of value. For basically all non-Bonds players, the impact is minimal, because he's the only player to make them a 'skill'.

My quick estimate is that Bonds' wOBA in 2004 if we counted IBB as normaly walks would have been .570. Without incorporating IBB it was .537.
   1292. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 08, 2020 at 03:18 PM (#5937653)
#1273 - The problem with thinking we know Bonds true, PED-free ability based on his pre-1999 stats is that it assumes no one else was using PED's, which is obviously false. How much higher would his 1986-1998 OPS+ be if he wasn't facing pitchers on PED's, or competing against other batters on PED's, who were raising the league OPS and thus lowering Barry's? All of that is unknowable.
OK, but whatever influence other players' PED use had on Bonds' numbers, it was indirect, diluted and (I would argue) minuscule compared to the effect of his own PED use on his numbers.

Do I think that we can definitely say there was, say, a 23-point OPS+ difference between his "true ability" and his "steroid ability"? Of course not. But I think it's ridiculous not to acknowledge that his "true ability" was lower, and not insignificantly so, than this PED-inflated career totals.
   1293. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: April 08, 2020 at 03:23 PM (#5937655)
Think the Mays as number one entry short version is pretty straightfoward: Equivalent to pre-PEDS Barry on offense, played against de-segregated and concentrated talent meaning every team seemed to have at least one guy at any time who would end up in HOF (not a great metric but sounds good), arguably best defensive centerfielder ever and that is a key defensive position, regarded and the stats support a fantastic baserunner, teammates loved him, fans adored him. Played well until almost age 40. Part of a lot of winning teams. Everyone else in baseball history has baggage. Dude has none. He wasn't perfect but he was as close as it gets.

   1294. Booey Posted: April 08, 2020 at 03:26 PM (#5937657)
#1292 - We have no idea how many other players were using, so we have no idea how minuscule the overall effect on league numbers - and thus Bonds numbers - was. Nor do we know exactly how much the PED's improved Barry's performance versus a change in swing or other factors.

Lots of players used PED's. Only Bonds put up the numbers he did.
   1295. Mefisto Posted: April 08, 2020 at 03:30 PM (#5937659)
I have a hard time seeing the argument for Mays at #1. He was an AMAZING player and putting him any lower than 3rd would be ridiculous, but as others have pointed out, he never broke the game and put up numbers that look like typos the way that Ruth and Bonds did. Yes, he makes up much of the hitting deficit with his advantages in defense and speed (especially over Ruth), but still...I don't see it. I can see him 2nd if you want to timeline Ruth, or 3rd if you don't, but I don't see much argument for Willie over Barry that doesn't revolve around emotions rather than stats/facts


I'm a Giants fan so I'm pretty sure emotion has little to do with my view. If you just go by BBREF WAR and give Mays the 14 WAR for military service time, he's at 170.2 career. Bonds is at 162.8. You'd have to timeline to get them just even, and as I said above and as Rally said in 1289, it's not all that clear that any timelining is needed.

As for "breaking the game", not as a batter, no. But Mays' impact on defense and baserunning was huge in the 50s. People who watched him were stunned by his all-around play and they all said so. When I saw him play in the 60s, he would do something and I'd just shake my head, recognize that what I just saw was impossible, and then deny that it happened. Bonds had that impact at the plate, but not on the field or even on the bases (where he was obviously extraordinary).
   1296. SoSH U at work Posted: April 08, 2020 at 03:35 PM (#5937661)
How would Bonds' OPS+ differ from 2001-07 if you removed the IBBs?



   1297. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: April 08, 2020 at 03:43 PM (#5937664)
Speaking of Bonds breaking #### the Athletic article now has over 1000 comments. I think the previous high was just under 800. (some poster is tracking all the articles comment activity)

About a third of the comments are "Bonds is a cheater! I will not read this article! OR if I read it I will hate it! Bonds was a jerky jerkface!!! OMG THIS IS TERRIBLE HOW COULD ANYONE RANK HIM AHEAD OF ()!! Joe Jackson was screwed!!!"
   1298. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: April 08, 2020 at 03:45 PM (#5937666)
1296: Not trying to be a smartass but remove as in they never happened? Replace them with something? If so what? Because those plate appearances happened. If I am being stupid apologies.
   1299. Booey Posted: April 08, 2020 at 03:51 PM (#5937671)
Also, as I mentioned WRT other players earlier in the list, career WAR totals for the best of the best seem to be going down in the recent decades. As great as Mays 156 WAR is, Aaron was just 13 behind at 143. Musial has 128 despite also missing a prime season to war. Williams is at 122 despite missing lots of time to war. Meanwhile, no position player who debuted within 30 years of Bonds is within 40 WAR of him. The closest are ARod at 118 and Rickey at 111.

Like I said about (I think) Eddie Collins a few weeks ago, we need to not just compare superstars to the average or replacement players of their eras, but to the BEST players as well, and Barry stood out from the guys battling for #2 in his era a little more, IMO.
   1300. bbmck Posted: April 08, 2020 at 03:55 PM (#5937672)
The credible version of baseball history

Congress first investigated drugs and professional sports, including steroids over 30 years ago. I think perhaps the only two people in the room who will remember this are me and Commissioner Selig, because I believe he became an owner in 1970.

In 1973, the year I first ran for Congress, the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce concluded a year-long investigation that found — and I quote — “drug use exists ¦ in all sports and levels of competition ¦ In some instances, the degree of improper drug use — primarily amphetamines and anabolic steroids — can only be described as alarming.”

The Committee’s chairman — Harley Staggers — was concerned that making those findings public in a hearing would garner excessive attention and might actually encourage teenagers to use steroids. Instead, he quietly met with the commissioners of the major sports, and they assured him the problem would be taken care of.

Chairman Staggers urged Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn to consider instituting tough penalties and testing. And he trusted Commissioner Kuhn to do that. In fact, in a press release in May 1973, Chairman Staggers said — and again I quote — “Based on the constructive responses and assurances I have received from these gentlemen, I think self-regulation will be intensified, and will be effective.”

But as we now know from 30 years of history, baseball failed to regulate itself.

The uncredible version of events that only Barry used among the Poz Top 10 and the key to ordering the players is to diminish Barry's career relative to the other 9.
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