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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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   301. Egregious Hidden Genitals (CoB). Posted: May 06, 2019 at 10:25 PM (#5838991)
flop
   302. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: May 07, 2019 at 09:39 AM (#5839098)
so miniscule


Just for fun, try learning how to spell.
   303. Ithaca2323 Posted: May 07, 2019 at 10:39 AM (#5839135)
Just about two months since Posnanski dropped a new name in his series. That's pretty funny, considering the history. Thomas was literally tied with Bagwell in Posnanski's previous try, so you wouldn't think No. 80 would be a real stumper.


Par for the course for Posnanski.

But it's one of the reasons I didn't pay for his site. I find some of his stuff interesting (like this project) and others not so. So although I'm very interested in the Baseball 100, I was wary of essentially paying for that and then going through one—or many—of his dry spells while he writes about his love of television commercials.

According to his post here, his plan was to do two of those posts a week, which would get us through the list in a year. Well, he started on August 18, so we're 37 weeks into the relaunch...and he's done 22 names. Maybe it's going to pick back up again. But it's Posnanski, so I highly doubt it. I think he's going to go through a spurt like he's doing now, then another dry spell, and hopefully if we're lucky it won't take so long he needs to relaunch it again.

I get it, it's his site, his rules. But like I said, it's one of the reasons I hesitated to pay for his new site.
   304. Howie Menckel Posted: May 07, 2019 at 10:49 AM (#5839141)
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…

segregation then, segregation now, segregation forever!
#sigh
   305. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 07, 2019 at 10:58 AM (#5839155)
segregation then, segregation now, segregation forever!
#sigh


false equivalencies then, false equivalencies now, false equivalencies forever!
#same old same old
   306. Rennie's Tenet Posted: May 07, 2019 at 01:25 PM (#5839258)
Re the Negro Leaguers: in his first 70 or so picks the first time around, Posnanski chose five Negro Leaguers: Bell, Rogan, Leonard, Joe Williams, and Stearnes, and presumably would have added Paige, Gibson, Charleston, and at least one of Lloyd and Dihigo. (Irvin and Campanella counted as major leaguers). As strongly as he seems to be timelining, probably half of these guys would be gone, and I'm guessing that part of the motivation for the Shadowball thing is to discuss more than half-a-dozen Negro League players in the course of the project.
   307. Rennie's Tenet Posted: May 14, 2019 at 01:30 PM (#5841911)
78. Santo
   308. Rennie's Tenet Posted: May 22, 2019 at 09:30 PM (#5844795)
77. Jeter

   309. Rennie's Tenet Posted: May 29, 2019 at 04:45 PM (#5846606)
76. Fergie Jenkins
   310. Rennie's Tenet Posted: June 05, 2019 at 05:58 PM (#5848743)
Posnanski is working on about a three-year pace (the Shadowball thing is even father behind), so I'm going to stop checking in for a while. These are the players he's chosen so far, by position:

SP: Greinke, Santana, Vance, Verlander, Mussina, Niekro, Jenkins
RP: Rivera
c: Fisk, Rodriguez, Carter
1b: Mize, McCovey, Thomas
2b: Gehringer, Whitaker, Sandberg, Frisch
Biggio,
3b: Santo
ss: Utley, Trammell, Ozzie, Jeter
lf: J. Jackson
cf: Beltran
rf: Gwynn

Lots of infielders, lots of recent players.

   311. Rennie's Tenet Posted: July 17, 2019 at 09:04 PM (#5862757)
Posnanski's been cranking them out pretty steadily, down to Juan Marichal at No. 68. This is the full list so far:

100. Greinke, Gehringer, Fisk, Santana, Utley, Vance, Gwynn, 93. (tie) Trammell/Whitaker, Verlander, 91. Joe Jackson
90. Mize, McCovey, Beltran, Mussina, Sandberg, I. Rodriguez, Ozzie, Frisch, Rivera, 81. Thomas
80. Gary Carter, Niekro, Santo, Jeter, Jenkins, L. Walker, B. Robinson, Greenberg, Roberts, 71. Ichiro
70. Ryan, Yount, 68. Marichal

Still just six players who I never saw play live, plus Roberts who was just hanging on in the mid-Sixties.

The first 34 players break down into two plausible teams:

100.-85.:

C: Fisk, I. Rodriguez
1B: McCovey, Mize
IF: Sandberg, Trammell, Whitaker, Utley, Gehringer
OF: Beltran, J. Jackson, Gwynn
SP: Mussina, Verlander, Vance, Santana, Greinke

84.-68.:

C: Carter
1B: Greenberg, Thomas
IF: B. Robinson, Jeter, Santo, Frisch, Ozzie
OF: Ichiro, Yount, L. Walker
SP: Ryan, Roberts, Jenkins, Niekro, Marichal
RP: Rivera

My intuitiion is that the first team is probably a match for the second, if everyone is playing at peak level.
   312. Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 16, 2019 at 09:24 PM (#5872040)
67. Robinson Cano. The first 35 players include 10 infielders who were at their peaks in the expansion era.

Just passed the anniversary of the choice of Greinke at No. 100.
   313. Rennie's Tenet Posted: September 01, 2019 at 09:20 AM (#5876076)
66. Ernie Banks

The overall pace of selections points to a revelation of No. 1 in July, 2021. The pace sustained during 2019 would push that back to December, 2021. The August pace (1) projects to a conclusion in early 2025. Mike Trout might be a reasonable No. 1 by then.
   314. phredbird Posted: September 01, 2019 at 08:01 PM (#5876206)

so miniscule


Just for fun, try learning how to spell.



well, actually 'miniscule' is a variant that has been around since the late 19th century, and generally accepted. if i was copy editing, i'd probably want to go with 'minuscule', but if the writer insisted it's okay, i'd leave it to the head of the desk. IIRC, we generally wanted to stick with the first spelling in whatever dictionary we were relying on. i suspect posnanski gets a light edit.

   315. Howie Menckel Posted: September 01, 2019 at 10:27 PM (#5876244)
at this point, it seems like the vanity project of all vanity projects.

maybe it just wasn't meant to be.
   316. Rennie's Tenet Posted: September 29, 2019 at 07:41 PM (#5884458)
New plan: after the World Series, Posnanski is going to change the project to a daily. The first 35 articles will be the ones he's already done, but updated. So there won't be any new picks until December. The "Shadowball" part of the project has been abandoned, but he's going to count down the top 20 Negro Leaguers next February.
   317. Baldrick Posted: September 29, 2019 at 07:49 PM (#5884460)
There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.
   318. Rennie's Tenet Posted: November 21, 2019 at 09:30 PM (#5903081)
Now set to begin around the first of the year, with all content at the Athletic. Posnanski is going back to the top 100 players from any league, and is changing up the ranking formula a bit, so this seems to be v.3.0.
   319. Howie Menckel Posted: November 21, 2019 at 10:43 PM (#5903087)
315. Howie Menckel Posted: September 01, 2019 at 10:27 PM (#5876244)
at this point, it seems like the vanity project of all vanity projects.

maybe it just wasn't meant to be.
   320. Baldrick Posted: December 17, 2019 at 12:12 PM (#5909285)
This is now being advertised at The Athletic: "Over the next 100 days, I will be counting down the 100 greatest baseball players in history"

Given that TA is a real company with actual editors and things, I have a feeling it might actually happen this time. I wonder if they demanded that he literally finish the whole thing before they would even let him publish the first one.

I perversely kind of hope it fizzles out again, in the same way that I take joy from Lucy and Charlie Brown.
   321. bbmck Posted: December 17, 2019 at 01:03 PM (#5909305)
Advertising ~2000 words per player.
   322. Howie Menckel Posted: December 17, 2019 at 01:25 PM (#5909313)
315. Howie Menckel Posted: September 01, 2019 at 10:27 PM (#5876244)
at this point, it seems like the vanity project of all vanity projects.

maybe it just wasn't meant to be.
   323. Baldrick Posted: December 18, 2019 at 08:47 AM (#5909470)
It has in fact officially started. Ichiro is now #100.

Sure, there are big differences between these players, but the similarities are plain. There are only so many ways to throw a baseball, hit a baseball, field a baseball, run the bases. And, here’s the thing: Even if you are unique, that distinctiveness inspires imitators. Babe Ruth was unique, surely, for the way he swung for the fences. But soon there was Lou Gehrig, and then Foxx and Hank Greenberg and Roger Maris and Barry Bonds. You can only be truly unique for so long.

That is: Unless you’re Ichiro Suzuki.

There has never been one like him. And there probably never will be again.
   324. Rennie's Tenet Posted: December 18, 2019 at 09:50 AM (#5909482)
He wrote a week ago:

I am working nonstop on the Baseball 100, which will start on Dec. 17. One hundred players in 100 days! I am trying, desperately trying, to get ahead but this is going to make the two-homer march look like nothing — I’m truly nuts for trying to pull this one off. But I’m going to do it!


He did about 70 the first time around five years ago, and about 35 (some overlapping) this last time. You'd think that he'd have quite a leg up.

Ichiro was No. 96 the first time around, with Sadaharu Oh the only NPB player ranked above him; and, No. 71 in the recent one, which was confined to major leaguers.
   325. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: December 18, 2019 at 11:16 AM (#5909539)
Ichiro was No. 96 the first time around, with Sadaharu Oh the only NPB player ranked above him


Where Ichiro would have rated in NPB history if he had stayed in Japan is an interesting question. (And surely one that plenty of Japanese baseball fans have spent lots of time on.). It's hard to imagine him passing Oh, Nomura, or Kaneda. Beyond that I don't have very definite feelings. Nagashima had quite a bit more power. Ochiai and Kawakami were better hitters just all around, but they were also first basemen. One crucial question is how he would have aged if he had stayed in Japan.
   326. Baldrick Posted: December 21, 2019 at 07:35 AM (#5910267)
100: Ichiro
99: Mussina
98: Beltran
97: Alomar

My favorite has been the Beltran one for the quotes, which I'm sure I must have encountered before but didn't remember:
“You know what blew me away,” Brian Anderson would say. “There was no way he could catch that ball. No way. And then, he not only catches it, he catches it by his side. He doesn’t have to dive. He doesn’t have to stretch. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“I’ve been to two hog killings and a county fair,” pitcher Curt Leskanic said. “And I haven’t seen anything like what Beltrán did tonight.”
   327. PreservedFish Posted: December 21, 2019 at 07:45 AM (#5910268)
Ichiro played more games than Alomar. That's really something.
   328. Rennie's Tenet Posted: December 23, 2019 at 07:33 PM (#5910741)
96. Larry Walker
95. Tony Gwynn
   329. Howie Menckel Posted: December 23, 2019 at 07:59 PM (#5910747)
Babe Ruth is not unique - but Ichiro is?

I guess Ichiro could have been unique if he wanted to be - and he did, so he is?
   330. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 23, 2019 at 08:19 PM (#5910751)
Ichiro is as unique as one rat fucking in a wool sock.
   331. TomH Posted: December 24, 2019 at 09:13 AM (#5910798)
I signed up for joe p monthly subscription, in order to view his top 100, and interact with he and his other readers. But it seems like now I still need an Athletic subscription.... is that correct? Or am I missing something?
   332. Rennie's Tenet Posted: December 24, 2019 at 09:32 AM (#5910801)
But it seems like now I still need an Athletic subscription.... is that correct?


I think you do. I'm just seeing the names in his Twitter feed.

94. Roy Campanella.
   333. Rennie's Tenet Posted: December 26, 2019 at 02:15 PM (#5911058)
93. Ozzie
92. Bullet Rogan
   334. Blastin Posted: December 27, 2019 at 09:55 AM (#5911179)
91 is Mariano.
   335. Blastin Posted: December 28, 2019 at 12:16 PM (#5911387)
90 is Scherzer
   336. Rennie's Tenet Posted: December 28, 2019 at 02:08 PM (#5911411)
From above, these are the picks he got through last time around (major leaguers only):

100. Greinke, 99. Gehringer, 98. Fisk, 97. Santana, 96. Utley, 95. Vance, 94. Gwynn, 93. (tie) Trammell/Whitaker, 92. Verlander, 91. Joe Jackson, 90. Mize, 89. McCovey, 88. Beltran, 87. Mussina, 86. Sandberg, 85. I. Rodriguez, 84. Ozzie, 83. Frisch, 82. Rivera, 81. Thomas, 80. Gary Carter, 79. Niekro, 78. Santo, 77. Jeter, 76. Jenkins, 75. L. Walker, 74. B. Robinson, 73. Greenberg, 72. Roberts, 71. Ichiro, 70. Ryan, 69. Yount, 68. Marichal, 67. Cano, 66. Banks
   337. Rennie's Tenet Posted: December 28, 2019 at 08:34 PM (#5911485)
These are his picks from the first time around, c. 2013-16. Everyone was eligible:

100. Curt Schilling, 99. Cool Papa Bell, 98. Ron Santo, 97. Lou Whitaker , 96. Ichiro Suzuki, 95. Mariano Rivera, 94. Paul Waner, 93. Craig Biggio, 92. Old Hoss Radbourn, 91. Robin Roberts, 90. Mark McGwire, 89. Bullet Rogan, 88. Tim Raines, 87. Nolan Ryan, 86. Miguel Cabrera, 85. Barry Larkin's, 84. Frankie Frisch, 83. Gaylord Perry, 82. Roberto Alomar, 81. Joe Jackson, 80. Johnny Mize, 79. Smokey Joe Williams, 78. Ryne Sandberg, 77. Ozzie Smith, 76. Buck Leonard, 75. Tony Gwynn, 74. Hank Greenberg, 73. Arky Vaughan, 72. Willie McCovey, 71. Monte Irvin, 70. Duke Snider, 69. Sadaharu Oh, 68. Bert Blyleven, 67. Harmon Killebrew, 66. Roy Campanella, 65. Kid Nichols, 64. Eddie Murray, 63. Charlie Gehringer, 62. Robin Yount, 61. (tie) Frank Thomas and Jeff Bagwell, 60. Brooks Robinson, 59. Reggie Jackson, 58. Turkey Stearnes, 57. (fictional) Roy Hobbs, 57. Derek Jeter, 56. Chipper Jones, 55. Ernie Banks, 54. Rod Carew, 53. Steve Carlton, 52. Wade Boggs, 51. Ken Griffey Jr., 50. Al Kaline, 49. Nap Lajoie, 48. Bob Feller, 47. Albert Pujols, 46. Sandy Koufax, 45. Yogi Berra, 44. Pedro Martinez, 43. Warren Spahn, 42. Jackie Robinson, 41. Pete Rose, 40. Eddie Collins, 39. Bob Gibson, 38. Eddie Mathews, 37. Roberto Clemente, 36. Yaz, 35. Cal Ripken, 34. Mel Ott, 33. George Brett, 32. Grover Cleveland Alexander

He also did an article where he said he just forgot about Trammell, but didn't assign him a place.
   338. Howie Menckel Posted: December 28, 2019 at 09:04 PM (#5911488)
He also did an article where he said he just forgot about Trammell

lol

322. Howie Menckel Posted: December 17, 2019 at 01:25 PM (#5909313)

315. Howie Menckel Posted: September 01, 2019 at 10:27 PM (#5876244)
at this point, it seems like the vanity project of all vanity projects.

maybe it just wasn't meant to be.

   339. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 01, 2020 at 09:26 AM (#5912098)
89. Piazza
88. Schilling
87. Gehringer
86. Carter

I remember working with a young Mets fan when Carter died. He was intrigued when I was telling him what a magnificent thrower Carter was when he was young. No wasted movement, every throw straight as an arrow.
   340. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 01, 2020 at 07:09 PM (#5912205)
These are his picks from the first time around, c. 2013-16. Everyone was eligible:

There are some major discrepancies between the current list and the original one. Gehringer, Gwynn, and Campanella all fell over 20 spots. Larkin appears to have fallen off the list (based on the Alomar writeup, Larkin won't make the cut). Meanwhile Schilling has jumped 12 spots. Piazza and Carter went from unranked to 89 and 86. It's hard to see a trend aside from possibly downgrading the old guys.
   341. bbmck Posted: January 01, 2020 at 10:13 PM (#5912240)
Assuming ~10 non-MLB players:

C: Johnny Bench and Yogi Berra are the only two remaining locks. 86 Gary Carter, 89 Mike Piazza, 94 Roy Campanella. Carlton Fisk and Ivan Rodriguez need to appear soon or are out.

Debut before 1901: Honus Wagner, Nap Lajoie, Cap Anson, Cy Young, Kid Nichols, Christy Mathewson. Really hard to make a case for Top ~75 MLB players for anyone else.

Debut 1901-1946: Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby, Eddie Collins, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott, Jimmie Foxx, Joe DiMaggio, Walter Johnson, Pete Alexander, Eddie Plank, Lefty Grove, Warren Spahn, Bob Feller. When 87 Charlie Gehringer appeared it likely means no Luke Appling, Arky Vaughan, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Red Faber, Carl Hubbell, Hal Newhouser.

Non-C MLB position players debut 1947-1989: Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Rickey Henderson, Mickey Mantle, Frank Robinson, Mike Schmidt, Joe Morgan, Eddie Mathews, Carl Yastrzemski, Cal Ripken Jr, Roberto Clemente, Al Kaline, Wade Boggs, George Brett, Ken Griffey Jr, Rod Carew, Pete Rose, Brooks Robinson, Reggie Jackson, Jackie Robinson, 93 Ozzie Smith, 95 Tony Gwynn, 96 Larry Walker, 97 Roberto Alomar
Excluded or revealed soon: Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Lou Whitaker, Rafael Palmeiro, Bobby Grich, Alan Trammell, Ron Santo, Tim Raines, Eddie Murray

Non-C MLB position players debut 1990-2019: Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, Adrian Beltre, Chipper Jones, Jeff Bagwell, Frank Thomas, Mike Trout, Derek Jeter, 98 Carlos Beltran, 100 Ichiro Suzuki
Excluded or revealed soon: Jim Thome, Scott Rolen, Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Manny Ramirez, Kenny Lofton, Chase Utley, Joey Votto, David Ortiz

MLB pitchers debut 1947-1979: Tom Seaver, Bert Blyleven, Steve Carlton, Nolan Ryan, Robin Roberts, Bob Gibson, Fergie Jenkins, Sandy Koufax, Jim Palmer, Juan Marichal, Whitey Ford
Excluded or revealed soon: Phil Niekro, Gaylord Perry, Don Sutton

MLB pitchers debut 1980-2019: Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine, Kevin Brown, Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, John Smoltz, Clayton Kershaw, Roy Halladay, 88 Curt Schilling, 90 Max Scherzer, 91 Mariano Rivera, 99 Mike Mussina
Excluded or revealed soon: CC Sabathia, David Cone, Andy Pettitte, Bret Saberhagen

If/once Poz does 40 articles in the latest version of the list the rest of the names should be pretty straight forward. Derek Jeter is probably the only MLB player with a reasonable chance of being both Top 60 and off the list.
   342. TomH Posted: January 02, 2020 at 08:36 AM (#5912277)
bbmck, EXCELLENT analysis!
a few thoughts, altho I need to say up front, if I tried the same as you, there would be many more nit-picks with my assessment:

1) If you have Anson in top 100, contemps Connor and Brouthers are not easy to eliminate. Anson played longer, but others were better by rate, esepcially Brouthers.
2) It's hard to envision a top 100 without Arky Vaughan. Six times in the top 2 or 3 position players in the league, by WAR. Top 100 career by WAR even though he "retired" after age 31 and obviously could have played much longer. Bill James Win Shares shows with a peak only 2nd to Wagner among shortstops. I'd take him over Jeter.
3) Jim Thome is another guy I could see (like Jeter) either out of 100, or in the top 60. His bb-ref "situational wins added" is 15th all-time. Oh, and 612 home runs.
4) Ditto above for Koufax; top 20 by peak/prime, well outside of 100 by career eval.
   343. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 02, 2020 at 09:06 AM (#5912279)
Anson


When I was following this the first around, it was pretty clear that Anson would be eliminated. Since Posnanski was down near No. 30 when he stopped, Anson would have to be 70 spots better than contemporaries to make the top 30. If after anything, it seems Posnanski's timelining is more extreme now than then.
   344. Rally Posted: January 02, 2020 at 09:21 AM (#5912285)
It's hard to envision a top 100 without Arky Vaughan. Six times in the top 2 or 3 position players in the league, by WAR. Top 100 career by WAR even though he "retired" after age 31 and obviously could have played much longer.


Looking at the record, he played in 1943 (a good season), retired, and came back in 1947. I always assumed just from the years that he went into the military at the time, but looking at his SABR bio, that's not the case. He just didn't want to play for Durocher.
   345. Blastin Posted: January 02, 2020 at 09:56 AM (#5912294)
There are few people in the history of the sport I loathe more than Anson, so, hey.
   346. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 02, 2020 at 10:14 AM (#5912300)
He just didn't want to play for Durocher. 


Weird little thing: Vaughan came back for 1947, while Leo was suspended very close to Opening Day (Vaughan pinch hit on Opening Day). Leo was involved in a lot of different controversies, so I wonder if everyone in baseball knew he'd be suspended months before it was official?
   347. Rally Posted: January 02, 2020 at 10:52 AM (#5912308)
SABR bio just says Rickey convinced him to return. To be ready for opening day I'd have to assume he was willing to play for Durocher by this time. He remained with the team in 1948 when Durocher returned, so I guess after 3 years off he had cooled down, or missed the game enough, and was willing to put up with Leo.
   348. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 02, 2020 at 03:15 PM (#5912407)
85. Sadaharu Oh
   349. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 03, 2020 at 10:45 AM (#5912615)
84. Cool Papa Bell
   350. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 03, 2020 at 11:00 AM (#5912618)
I seem to recall from his first essay that Pos was ambivalent about concluding that Arky Vaughan quit because of Durocher. Something about his son telling a reporter that his dad had told him that Durocher was a good manager.

If Vaughan was ranked 73 the first time around, I bet he doesn't get ranked 83 or lower here.
   351. Baldrick Posted: January 03, 2020 at 04:58 PM (#5912711)
I'm enjoying the list very much, but every time I make the mistake of letting my gaze wander into the comments I'm reminded of what a hellscape it is trying to talk about baseball literally anywhere except here.

So basically: thanks, Primates, for two decades (dear god, really?) of insightful comments and conversation.
   352. Baldrick Posted: January 04, 2020 at 11:18 AM (#5912803)
The Niekro one today is really wonderful. Probably my favorite so far.
   353. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 06, 2020 at 09:10 AM (#5913174)
83. Phil Niekro
82. Kid Nichols
81. Ferguson Jenkins
   354. TomH Posted: January 06, 2020 at 03:07 PM (#5913296)
83. Phil Niekro
82. Kid Nichols
81. Ferguson Jenkins
reflects heavy time-lining.

Kid Nichols has the 4th highest WAR ever; larger than Mathewson, Grove, Alexander. Even though he missed seasons simply because he preferred "retiring" and playing in some western league. He isn't all that far from contemporary Cy Young. He was the best pitcher around 4 years in a 9-year stretch.

Meanwhile, Fergie Jenkins is 24th in pitcher WAR, with a fine prime between 1967-72, where he was consistently the 2nd-to-10th best NL arm.
   355. alilisd Posted: January 06, 2020 at 04:09 PM (#5913322)
82. Kid Nichols
81. Ferguson Jenkins
reflects heavy time-lining.

Kid Nichols has the 4th highest WAR ever; larger than Mathewson, Grove, Alexander. Even though he missed seasons simply because he preferred "retiring" and playing in some western league. He isn't all that far from contemporary Cy Young. He was the best pitcher around 4 years in a 9-year stretch.

Meanwhile, Fergie Jenkins is 24th in pitcher WAR, with a fine prime between 1967-72, where he was consistently the 2nd-to-10th best NL arm.


From 1890-1894 Kid Nichols exceeded 400 IP every season, yet finished 5, 6, 5, 2, and 5th in IP in the NL in those seasons. In the first 3 of those seasons he was pitching from only 50 feet away. For contrast, Jenkins from 1967-1972 threw 289, 301, 311, 325, and 289 and finished 3, 2, 5, 2, 1, and 2nd in IP in the NL in those seasons. Jenkins actually rated a bit higher in terms of where he placed relative to his league in IP despite throwing only about 75% of the innings Nichols did. Nichols from 1890-1895 to make it 6 seasons as the prime you listed for Jenkins was 6 seasons, Nichols threw 390 IP in 1895, 267 CG in 279 GS to Jenkins 140 CG in 234 GS. Jenkins has just over half the number of CG while making 88% of the number of GS Nichols did. Jenkins prime is in an era which is very low offense, and which is known for pitchers throwing much higher innings totals than in the decades preceding and the decades following. For example, from 1930-1959 there were only 40 seasons of at least 300 IP, all but 10 of which led the league, from 1990-2019 there were none. While from 1960-1989 there were 66, and 36 of those did not lead the league. Clearly the relative strain, or demand on pitchers arms, and by extension the difficulty of pitching, is much greater by the time Jenkins is pitching in the NL compared to the time when Nichols was pitching in the NL. This only scratches the surface as level of competition has only been hinted at here, while such things as coast to coast travel with games in three different time zones, sometimes on consecutive days, relative to games only in the Eastern and Central time zones, no more than one hour difference instead of up to three hours. I don't think that's particularly heavy timelining at all.
   356. TomH Posted: January 06, 2020 at 04:30 PM (#5913336)
alislisd, there is no doubt Jenkins was a very durable pitcher; more of a "horse" in his day than Nichols.
But the difference between the two arms is QUALITY. Nichols career ERA+ is 140. Jenkins is 115. Jenkins had ONE season in the top in ERA+. One. Nichols led his league regularly.
   357. alilisd Posted: January 06, 2020 at 07:52 PM (#5913387)
And do you think he would have even had a job in 1967? Take a look at the leading hitters in the NL in 1967, 75% of the top 20 by OPS+, and none of the top 5, would not have been eligible/available to play in 1890. Look at Nichols height and weight, I’m not saying they’re necessarily precise, but he’s short and slight. Maybe he’s Pedro Martinez, but it’s far more likely he tops out before ever setting foot on an MLB field. It’s not simply a question of quality but of quality relative to what level of competition
   358. bbmck Posted: January 07, 2020 at 02:58 AM (#5913452)
Assuming the MLB pitchers in the 1st list Top 31 are in order of debut: Cy Young, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, Lefty Grove, Tom Seaver, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson

32 Pete Alexander
39 Bob Gibson
43 Warren Spahn
44 Pedro Martinez
46 Sandy Koufax

48 Bob Feller
53 Steve Carlton
65 Kid Nichols (now 82nd)
68 Bert Blyleven
83 Gaylord Perry

87 Nolan Ryan - goes up to 70th
91 Robin Roberts - goes up to 72nd
92 Old Hoss Radbourn
95 Mariano Rivera - goes up to 82nd (now 91st)
100 Curt Schilling (now 88th)

Presumably not on 1st list but on 2nd list: 68th Juan Marichal, 76th Fergie Jenkins (now 81st), 79th Phil Niekro (now 83rd), 87th Mike Mussina (now 99th), 95th Dazzy Vance and 97th Johan Santana.

Quite possibly on neither list: Jim Palmer, Roy Halladay, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz

Clayton Kershaw has 1180 IP and 32.9 pitching WAR when the first list starts, 92nd Justin Verlander 1772 and 40.7 and 100th Zack Greinke 1669.2 and 35.5. I'll assume Kershaw is on the 2nd list, Halladay doesn't pitch after the first list begins.

By WAR-MVP Shares which Sean Forman made (public) when he made his HoF ballot it's pretty much all early pitchers being excluded: Jim McCormick, Al Spalding, John Clarkson, Ed Walsh, Tim Keefe, Tommy Bond, Eddie Plank, Amos Rusie, Joe McGinnity, Bobby Matthews, Vic Willis, Rube Waddell, Jim Whitney, Bob Caruthers, Nap Rucker, Pud Galvin, Charlie Buffington, Tony Mullane, Candy Cummings, Noodles Hahn and Mickey Welch who debut in 1907 or earlier and are Top 50 and ties for starting pitchers which takes 2.4 WAR-MVP Shares and most likely aren't on any list. Poz: I lean toward players who were great at their peak, even if that peak only lasted a short time, and lean away from those who were consistently but not toweringly good for a long time.

The most recent pitchers with 2.4+ WAR-MVP Shares who might not make any list:

Roy Halladay 3.3 WAR-MVP Shares, 64.3 pitching WAR, -1.2 batting WAR
Carl Hubbell 3.1, 68.3, -0.4
Hal Newhouser 3, 62.5, 2.6
Wes Ferrell 2.7, 60.7, 11.8

Jim Bunning 2.5, 59.4, -0.9
Bucky Walters 2.5, 45.8, 6.9
Dizzy Dean 2.5, 45.8, 2.2
Dave Stieb 2.4, 56.4, -0.1
Wilbur Cooper 2.4, 53.5, 4.7

Making at least one list below 2.4:

Johan Santana 2.3, 51.7, 0.6
Fergie Jenkins 2.2, 84.1, 2
Juan Marichal 2.2, 62.9, 1.1
Max Scherzer 2.2, 60.3, 1.7 (now 90th)
Curt Schilling 1.9, 79.5, -1

Sandy Koufax 1.9, 48.9, -4.2
Zack Greinke 1.8, 71.7, 5
Mike Mussina 1.7, 82.8, 0
Nolan Ryan 1.6, 81.2, -2.3
Mariano Rivera 0, 56.2, 0

Koufax's lack of an MVP peak relatively speaking is surprising. Modern pitchers are probably only being compared to pitchers so would have a peak that rates much higher than WAR-MVP Shares suggests except of course for Rivera who is an exception by multiple standards to make the list. Stieb and earlier pitchers generally have an advantage relative to position players to accumulate WAR in a season and of course really early pitchers have a really big advantage.

1871-1920: 1379 seasons of 1000+ Batters Faced, 380 of 1500+ BF and 110 of 2000+ BF
1921-1989: 1465 seasons of 1000+ BF, 1923 George Uhle, 1946 Bob Feller, 1971 Mickey Lolich and 1973 Wilbur Wood with 1500+
1990-2019: 79 seasons of 1000+ BF, only seasons since 1990 below:

5 - Livan Hernandez, Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux
4 - Curt Schilling, Kevin Brown
3 - John Smoltz, Jaime Navarro, Jack McDowell, Roger Clemens, Jack Morris
2 - Darryl Kile, Pat Hentgen, Tim Belcher, Tom Glavine, Chuck Finley, Alex Fernandez, David Cone, Dave Stewart

Debut since 1925:

17 - Warren Spahn
13 - Steve Carlton
12 - Bert Blyleven, Phil Niekro, Gaylord Perry, Bobo Newsom
11 - Tom Seaver, Robin Roberts, Early Wynn, Lefty Grove
10 - Jack Morris, Fergie Jenkins, Bob Gibson, Jim Bunning
   359. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 07, 2020 at 09:20 AM (#5913470)
Assuming the MLB pitchers in the 1st list Top 31 are in order of debut: Cy Young, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, Lefty Grove, Tom Seaver, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson


I think that's right. He had said there'd be another "tie" like Bagwell/Thomas, so that made for 32 remaining players. I thought those would have been: Babe Ruth, Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, Roger Clemens, Tris Speaker, Honus Wagner, Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby, Ted Williams, Alex Rodriguez, Lou Gehrig, Rickey Henderson, Ton Seaver, Mickey Mantle, Frank Robinson, Greg Maddux, Mike Schmidt, Lefty Grove, Randy Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Joe Morgan, Jimmy Foxx, Johnny Bench, Joe DiMaggio, Josh Gibson, Oscar Charleston, Satchel Paige, and John Henry Lloyd. Or maybe Martin Dihigo instead of Lloyd: it was hard to imagine Posnanski out of the top 100, and I was wondering if, as with Trammell, he just forgot about one of them.
   360. DL from MN Posted: January 07, 2020 at 09:52 AM (#5913474)
I'm pretty sure Cool Papa Bell is NOT one of the 100 best baseball players.
   361. PreservedFish Posted: January 07, 2020 at 10:05 AM (#5913477)
I'd appreciate it if someone with a subscription would share some of Poz's more delightful stories and turns of phrase.
   362. Baldrick Posted: January 07, 2020 at 10:40 AM (#5913481)
From today's on Carlton Fisk:
For the game, Carl Fisk had 40 points and 36 rebounds.

And as Carl came off the court, he saw his father and hero, Cecil, the toughest and best man he would ever know. And for the rest of his life, Carl Fisk remembered word for word what his father said to him at that moment.

“How,” Cecil said, “could you miss four free throws?”

The second father-and-son story is shorter and to the point. One year, after Carlton became a big star for the Boston Red Sox, his father came to see him play. Cecil was walking through the clubhouse when a coach stopped him.

“So, Mr., Fisk,” the coach said, “you’re Carlton’s dad, huh?”

Cecil looked the coach dead in the eye.

“No,” he said. “Carlton is my son.”

Which mostly just makes me glad that my dad wasn't a colossal #####.
   363. Baldrick Posted: January 07, 2020 at 10:41 AM (#5913482)
On Ferguson Jenkins:
He did not throw Bert Blyleven’s curveball, did not intimidate hitters with a death-defying slider like Bob Gibson or Steve Carlton, did not pitch in the World Series year after year after year like Catfish Hunter. In fact, his teams never won at all, which certainly didn’t help his Q rating. Jenkins did not spit on the ball like Gaylord Perry, cut it like Don Sutton, flutter it like Phil Niekro. He did not gyrate on the mound like Luis Tiant or lift his leg high like Juan Marichal.

What Jenkins did was very simple: He threw the ball down and away. That was it. That was the whole thing. He pitched and lived with a singular focus that was in and of itself a superpower. If he struck out a hitter, his next pitch was down and away. Allowed a home run? Down and away. Men on base? Down and away. No-hitter going? Down and away. He never wavered and never backed down and never saw anything but that one portion of the plate. Ferguson Jenkins hit more corners than sunlight.
   364. Baldrick Posted: January 07, 2020 at 10:42 AM (#5913483)
I will say, though, that if you have the disposable cash, this series alone is worth paying the subscription cost for the year. With actual editors and things, I feel pretty confident it's actually going to get finished, and it really has been wonderful to read a new story each day.
   365. PreservedFish Posted: January 07, 2020 at 11:06 AM (#5913497)
Which mostly just makes me glad that my dad wasn't a colossal #####.


But you'd probably be better at whatever activity he forced you to do.

Thanks, Baldrick. I find this much more worth a click than further speculation on who #82 might be.
   366. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 07, 2020 at 11:07 AM (#5913500)
With actual editors and things, I feel pretty confident it's actually going to get finished


I'm going to wait until it actually is finished, and the subscribe. He's already bailed on paying subscribers once on this project (albeit yes, on his own).
   367. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: January 07, 2020 at 11:44 AM (#5913533)
I'm going to wait until it actually is finished, and the subscribe. He's already bailed on paying subscribers once on this project (albeit yes, on his own).


He gave all paying subscribers an annual subscription to The Athletic, which costs more than the subscription to his personal blog did, and comes with a hundred times the content.
   368. TomH Posted: January 07, 2020 at 01:43 PM (#5913578)
Q, 367: I paid one month of JoeP blog. Should I have receievd an Atlantic subscription, or did I need to make an annual payment?

Re: timelining and the list in post 358 from bbmck, I would be disappointed if 5 of the top pitchers pre-1940 (Grove, Alexander, Johnson, Mathewson, Young) are ranked in the top 40, when Nichols is 82. It doesn't add up, unless you decide conditions changed more drastically from 1895 to 1910 than any other time, and even then, that drops Cy Young pretty far. If we timeline legitimately for all of the reasons we know of, I don't even see how Matty gets ranked much above Nichols, if he is above him at all. Maybe Joe's list will have zero players who were in their primes pre-1895 in his top 80? If so, consistency will dictate Cobb and Wagner get bumped from the top 15.
   369. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 07, 2020 at 02:02 PM (#5913586)
If so, consistency will dictate Cobb and Wagner get bumped from the top 15.


This was the interesting question for me the first time around. Collins was picked at No. 40 - how high could his contemporaries be?
   370. Baldrick Posted: January 08, 2020 at 09:19 AM (#5913785)
Number 79 is Jeter:
And this goes on and on, every day, every week, every month, every summer. You can’t ever win a baseball career. There is always another game, another season, another change-up that will fool you into swinging early. You can’t ever claim victory because tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.
...
Of the 2,747 regular-season games he played, he got at least one hit in 2,114 of them. He has had multiple hits in more than 1,000 of them. He was always there, always at the top of the lineup, always unmistakeable at shortstop, always calmly saying the cliches that filled newspaper stories but didn’t rock boats. Was Derek Jeter the best player of his era? No. Was he the most persistent, the most enduring, the easiest to like, the easiest to dislike, the easiest to hype, the easiest to be cynical about? I wouldn’t even know who is second on the list.
   371. PreservedFish Posted: January 08, 2020 at 09:33 AM (#5913792)
Was he the most persistent, the most enduring, the easiest to like, the easiest to dislike, the easiest to hype, the easiest to be cynical about? I wouldn’t even know who is second on the list.


I was going to suggest Ichiro until he got to the negative criteria.
   372. bbmck Posted: January 09, 2020 at 04:40 AM (#5914073)
Pete Rose gets snubbed again, persistent, enduring, likable, unlikable and generates hype and cynicism.

60'6" could be how Poz timelined the pitchers, Cy Young remains the all-time Win Leader, 2nd in pitching WAR, tied for 3rd in Losses with Phil Niekro. Kid Nichols drops to 85 pitching WAR, right close to 82.2 for Jenkins and Niekro's 96.9 is presumably downgraded because his best ERA+ seasons are: 179, 159, 142, 142 and 125. Anson with 36.4 WAR once overhand pitching is allowed and presumably eliminated even with that earlier starting point for "real" baseball.
   373. alilisd Posted: January 09, 2020 at 10:43 AM (#5914113)
Pete Rose is likeable?
   374. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: January 09, 2020 at 11:19 AM (#5914128)
373 raises a good question. I have a lot of relatives in Cincinnati and Rose is a guy who if you meet quickly like hey it's Pete Rose he will shake your hand, do the selfie and all good. But if you actually get to spend time with him it's not great. Like if you are out a bar pretty soon you are paying the bill for Pete and anyone with Pete. And anyone Pete invited to the group. So that kind of sucks. And he complains a lot. Complains how he got ###### by baseball. Complains about his money problems which I guess will never go away? And the baseball stories always feature Pete Rose being awesome and Johnny Bench being a dick. I don't know much about Bench but I guess Rose and Bench are not pals??

All this is second hand but my one aunt has lived in Cincy forever FWIW.
   375. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 09, 2020 at 11:41 AM (#5914136)
For the game, Carl Fisk had 40 points and 36 rebounds.

And as Carl came off the court, he saw his father and hero, Cecil, the toughest and best man he would ever know. And for the rest of his life, Carl Fisk remembered word for word what his father said to him at that moment.

“How,” Cecil said, “could you miss four free throws?”

The second father-and-son story is shorter and to the point. One year, after Carlton became a big star for the Boston Red Sox, his father came to see him play. Cecil was walking through the clubhouse when a coach stopped him.

“So, Mr., Fisk,” the coach said, “you’re Carlton’s dad, huh?”

Cecil looked the coach dead in the eye.

“No,” he said. “Carlton is my son.”
Cheers to Cecil. This is how you ensure that your kid grows up to be an incredibly successful adult who will one day be found passed out in his pickup truck in a cornfield with a bottle of vodka.
   376. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: January 09, 2020 at 12:08 PM (#5914151)
Clayton Kershaw article (#78) has been posted.

   377. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: January 09, 2020 at 12:17 PM (#5914157)
Q, 367: I paid one month of JoeP blog. Should I have receievd an Atlantic subscription, or did I need to make an annual payment?


That's a good question that I'm sorry I don't know the answer to. I think I made the annual payment, so I'm not much help. He had a lot of information about it when he was making the switch.
   378. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 09, 2020 at 01:09 PM (#5914212)
Pete Rose gets snubbed again, persistent, enduring, likable, unlikable and generates hype and cynicism.

I'm sorry, where is this coming from? I expect Pos will rank Rose later since he put him at 41 last time. Did he tweet or say something I missed?
   379. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 09, 2020 at 02:27 PM (#5914253)
He gave all paying subscribers an annual subscription to The Athletic, which costs more than the subscription to his personal blog did, and comes with a hundred times the content.


Yes, but I wasn't a paying subscriber to his blog, because I didn't trust that he'd actually finish the project on it, in any kind of a timely fashion, if at all (because he didn't the first time he tried), so I didn't get that. As I said, when (if?) he finishes this one, I'll likely subscribe and read it all. As others have said, presumably, since The Athletic has editors and such, he'll get it done.

But he wrote this just two days ago on his site: So now is the time in the countdown where I am writing and writing and writing and thinking — “Oh no, how in the world am I going to finish this?” I don’t know. But I will finish it. Just don’t be surprised if by the time I get to the greatest player ever, the entire essay goes like so: “He was good.”

Like, I get it, it's an incredibly ambitious project the way he does it. But to me, there's a better than non-zero chance he's going to get to like the Top 25, and we're going to get some "I had intended to finish this list in time for Opening Day, but then [insert whatever thing] happened, so the new plan is to have it by [some future date]" post from him.

If not, awesome. But seeing a multi-graph post describing the difficulties in finishing a project he's failed to finish twice already doesn't exactly fill me with confidence
   380. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: January 09, 2020 at 03:02 PM (#5914261)
If not, awesome. But seeing a multi-graph post describing the difficulties in finishing a project he's failed to finish twice already doesn't exactly fill me with confidence


Fair enough. I'm certainly not going to defend his ability to finish a project. I actually lost interest in his last iteration because he took so long with the one before and eventually ran out of steam.

These have been wonderful so far, and it's giving me something to read along with my son, who is a huge baseball fan, but who (at age 9) hasn't really taken very much to reading. These are a good length, they're well-written but not too flowery, and he can learn about the history of baseball. Even if he doesn't meet his deadline, it's a great series, and The Athletic subscription is well worth it. It was worth it before Posnanski joined.
   381. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: January 09, 2020 at 09:16 PM (#5914376)
Is he actually doing actual timelining? I mean, the last list wasn't, (IIRC) ranked by, well, anything. It was Joe Poz's list of guys he wanted to tell stories about, not a list of the top-100 players in whatever metric he thinks is a good proxy for "greatness". Which is how you end up with Trammell and Lou just coincidentally being tied. So there's probably no answer to the question of how strongly he's timelining - if this list is anything like the last one (and feel free to correct me if it's not!) there's nothing quantitative about it. If Anson doesn't make the list, the reason is probably just "Poz doesn't want to talk about guys who were playing a game that was only sort of like baseball".
   382. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 10, 2020 at 10:55 AM (#5914483)
Fair enough. I'm certainly not going to defend his ability to finish a project. I actually lost interest in his last iteration because he took so long with the one before and eventually ran out of steam.


Ultimately, if I subscribe to The Athletic, it'll probably be for everything else. I don't really like a lot of the other stuff Posnanski writes, so I'm really only interested in the 100. I'm surprised he hasn't decided to make it into a book. I would certainly buy that.
   383. reech Posted: January 10, 2020 at 12:18 PM (#5914529)
With Law, Pos and Stark all on The Athletic- I finally signed up-
$36 is a decent investment- most of us spend more than that on a nite out
   384. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 10, 2020 at 12:35 PM (#5914540)
#381. I think somewhere at the start of this there was a generated list:

So Tom and I (mostly Tom) came up with the Baseball 100 system, and it spit out a fascinating list of 100 players (well, the list actually goes to 500, but you get the point).


And then there was subjective shuffling within that.
   385. Rally Posted: January 10, 2020 at 12:55 PM (#5914552)
Miguel Cabrera #77

Joe argues his 2012 season was the most impressive triple crown ever. Basing this on competition, being in a 14 team league, etc.

I think having more competitors makes a triple crown more improbable, but the key to Miguel's winning it wasn't him doing anything more impressive than others. He was just lucky that nobody else bettered any of his .330-44-139 numbers. Miggy had a better triple crown season one year later, with the same homers, 2 fewer RBI but raising his batting average by 18 points. But no triple crown that year.

Even without looking at WAR or OPS+ and focusing on the triple crown stats, the performance of Yaz in 1967 seems much more impressive. He hit 44 homers just like Miggy, but did it in a league where teams averaged only 120, 2/3 of the average in 2012. Yaz beat the league BA by 90 points, Miggy by 75. Even RBI, where Miggy beat Yaz 139-121, swing to Yaz's favor once adjusted by the league average runs per game.

Most improbable triple crown, sure, but not the most impressive.
   386. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 12, 2020 at 09:55 PM (#5915035)
80. Fisk
79. Jeter
78. Kershaw
77. Cabrera
76. McCovey
75. Verlander
   387. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 12, 2020 at 10:08 PM (#5915039)
26 picks so far. I saw (back to mid-sixties) 21 live or live on TV (Oh). The other 5 are Campanella, Rogan, Gehringer, Bell, and Nichols.
   388. Mefisto Posted: January 12, 2020 at 10:21 PM (#5915041)
I'm as big a Giants fan as there is, but I'd take Kershaw over McCovey any day.
   389. Baldrick Posted: January 13, 2020 at 12:05 AM (#5915053)
I'm as big a Giants fan as there is, but I'd take Kershaw over McCovey any day.

Had the same reaction. In general, the rankings have felt fine. He's not really going into why and how they ended up exactly where they did, but I can usually buy it. But McCovey felt too high and Kershaw too low. Putting them right next to each other made it even more noticeable.
   390. SoSH U at work Posted: January 13, 2020 at 12:21 AM (#5915054)
Pete Rose gets snubbed again, persistent, enduring, likable, unlikable and generates hype and cynicism.


I'm sorry, where is this coming from? I expect Pos will rank Rose later since he put him at 41 last time. Did he tweet or say something I missed?

He's saying that Rose is getting snubbed from leading all of those categories Poz listed for Jetes. However, the flaw in that was that there's no way that Rose and Jeter are from the same era.

   391. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 13, 2020 at 10:33 AM (#5915079)
He's saying that Rose is getting snubbed from leading all of those categories Poz listed for Jetes. However, the flaw in that was that there's no way that Rose and Jeter are from the same era.

Ah, yes. I see. Hopefully the comparison stops there and none of Jeter's gift baskets found their way to the underage crowd.

No. 74 is Frank Thomas.
   392. Rally Posted: January 13, 2020 at 03:04 PM (#5915217)
Calls Thomas a right handed Ted Williams. At least for the first part of his career, this is mostly true. Ted's rate stats don't change that much if you look at his stats before age 30 or after. With Frank there's a huge dropoff. The power is still there, as are the walks, but he mostly stopped hitting for high averages.

Ted Williams hit with the platoon advantage about 78 percent of the time, Thomas only 24 percent. Thomas hit 330/452/600 before age 30. If I take Ted's splits and make him a righty, facing LHP 24% like Thomas did and his R/L splits substituted for each other, I get 322/448/537.
   393. Baldrick Posted: January 13, 2020 at 03:44 PM (#5915265)
I enjoyed the discussion in the Thomas essay about how everyone always misunderstood him because he was just so huge. Posnanski doesn't say it, but the subtext is also obviously that he was a big black guy, so people just assumed he was destined to be a football player, or that he was a hulking slugger. When, in fact, he was really just a hitting genius who happened to have some nice power, too.
   394. Rally Posted: January 13, 2020 at 04:31 PM (#5915298)
I think they’d make similar assumptions about a 6’5, 275 pound white guy.

Lot of truth in it though. If Frank wasn’t big enough to be a slugger he would have been Boggs or Gwynn. Well, if being smaller led to him being more agile on defense.

   395. Rally Posted: January 13, 2020 at 04:35 PM (#5915302)
Frank Thomas’s hugeness cannot be understated. Seeing him in the booth next to Papi and ARod. They are big guys, hit more than 1200 homers between them. Next to Thomas they look like utility infielders.
   396. Rally Posted: January 14, 2020 at 08:09 AM (#5915507)
#74, Brooks Robinson
   397. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 15, 2020 at 09:47 AM (#5915904)
74. Thomas
73. B. Robinson
72. Roberts
   398. Blastin Posted: January 15, 2020 at 10:21 AM (#5915927)
Frank Thomas’s hugeness cannot be understated.


Don't you mean overstated? Because it's really understated often.

   399. Rally Posted: January 15, 2020 at 10:27 AM (#5915933)
Don't you mean overstated?


Yeah, that fits better. He's like Boban on the basketball court. You expect most of these guys to be huge but some are just on another level.
   400. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 15, 2020 at 10:32 AM (#5915937)
I think they’d make similar assumptions about a 6’5, 275 pound white guy.
See Frank Howard.
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