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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 | 603 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, joe posnanski, joe posnanski top 100, reboots

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   401. Rally Posted: January 15, 2020 at 10:42 AM (#5915943)
Joe says Roberts was a bad hitter, even for a pitcher, and as evidence shows he had the 7th worst OPS for those with 1500+ PA in the live ball era.

Problem with that is it's an extremely small sample. Roberts is right between Glavine and Steve Carlton, who I thought were good hitters as long as you use the qualifier "for a pitcher". Joe gives us the top 10, and the 10th spot is Jackie Hernandez, a weak hitting utility infielder in the 60s/70s. The 9 pitchers on Joe's list are the only ones who had 1500+ PA. You need to pitch a long time in a non-DH league to get that many PA. Other than Roberts, who pitched to age 39, all the others pitched past 40.

So of these 9 long career pitchers he's a worse hitter than 2, and better than 6 - this is evidence he was a good hitter, at least for his position. He added 2.9 WAR at the plate. His .167 batting average is about what you'd expect. He drew a lot more walks than most pitchers. He had 135, more than the other long career guys, and hit 10 triples.
   402. bbmck Posted: January 15, 2020 at 11:06 AM (#5915960)
150+ games at P, 1000+ PA is 79 players who debuted before 1900 and 123 who debuted since. The median for debut since 1900 is 34 OPS+ and Roberts has 27. Among the 42 Hall of Famers Roberts is part of the median along with Whitey Ford 28 OPS+. Some guy with 206 OPS+ pushes the average up to 34 OPS+. The OPS+ of Hall of Famers with 7 or more years of career overlap with Roberts:

82 - Bob Lemon
54 - Early Wynn
50 - Bob Gibson
45 - Don Drysdale
43 - Warren Spahn
36 - Hal Newhouser

28 - Whitey Ford
27 - Robin Roberts
15 - Bob Feller
11 - Juan Marichal
9 - Jim Bunning

Sandy Koufax with -26 OPS+ and 858 PA.
   403. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: January 15, 2020 at 11:43 AM (#5915976)
Sandy Koufax with -26 OPS+ and 858 PA.


Yikes. I was going to say something about how he even had the platoon advantage, but he didn't, Koufax was a righty batter. I assume that T:L/B:R is something that no one does on purpose. It's got to be that someone taught him how to bat when he was a little kid and didn't know that he was left handed, or something like that, right?
   404. Rally Posted: January 15, 2020 at 01:25 PM (#5916045)
No, he just wanted to be like Rickey!
   405. Baldrick Posted: January 16, 2020 at 01:35 PM (#5916540)
Number 71 is Blyleven:
In the history of baseball rookie cards, I would say that Blyleven in those days was the ultimate bargain. Why? Well, he was almost always in the common cards. He got no respect. And Rob and I and a handful of others had analyzed the stats and we knew something in 1981 that almost nobody seemed to know:

Bert Blyleven was going to the Hall of Fame.

One final thought: I see the Blyleven rookie card on eBay going for as much as $145!

Then, I also see it going for as low as $2.95.

That baseball rookie card retirement plan just didn’t quite work out.
   406. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 17, 2020 at 03:02 PM (#5916989)
71. Blyleven
70. Koufax
   407. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 17, 2020 at 06:24 PM (#5917058)
I spy with my little eye a narrative there.
   408. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 18, 2020 at 06:12 PM (#5917235)
69. Monte Irvin
   409. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 20, 2020 at 10:32 PM (#5917700)
68. Gaylord Perry
67. Hank Greenberg
   410. Rally Posted: January 21, 2020 at 09:06 AM (#5917729)
Thinking about the relative rank of Greenberg vs. Frank Thomas.

Thomas 73.9 WAR, Greenberg 57.6

but, War adjusted WAR! Greenberg missed all but 19 games of 1941 (pulled into the military before Pearl Harbor!), all of 1942-44, and half of 1945. He was a 6.5-7 WAR player in the 4 years before that, 3.1 in half a season in 1945, and 6.5 in 1946. You could be justified in crediting him 6.5 per season missed, but I'll be conservative since you never know when a player will get hurt and miss time, like Hank did in 1936. 5 WAR for the missed seasons and 2.5 for half of 1945, add 22.5 to 57.6 and he's at 80.

Great as he was at hitting, he was not the equal of Thomas. Very consistent, Hank had 7 years of 160 or better OPS+, best at 172. In Frank's first 8 seasons, his lowest OPS+ was 174, his best was 212, and he topped 180 2 other times. Even without considering timelining, and the fact that one league was integrated and the other not, Frank has a clear edge as a hitter.

Greenberg was at times considered too big for the sport, too clumsy, flat footed, etc. But my numbers show he made himself a solid defender at first base, and after establishing himself as a star player there even moved to left field for a few years (I believe to get Rudy York in the lineup) and was a non-disaster there. Thomas, on the other hand, was a disaster at first base and a born DH. I am far too young to have seen Greenberg play, but I saw Thomas and can confirm that the -65 fielding runs is either accurate or possibly kind to Thomas. He was awful out there. He played first base early in his career not because there was any hope for him as a defender, but because he hit a lot better when he played the full game compared to being a DH. Eventually he got used to DHing enough to be a full timer there.

Greenberg gets the nod for being able to competently field a position, but if someone else ranked them and reversed the order, giving more weight to timelining, I wouldn't object.

Hank was as huge compared to the players he played against as Frank was. On the last page I commented on Frank's size compared to his fellow retired talking heads, A-Rod and Papi. Google for images of Greenberg compared to his contemporaries, like Foxx, Gehrig, DiMaggio. He's listed at 6'3. DiMaggio was 6'2, Gehrig and Foxx listed at 6'0.

Greenberg was at least a head taller than Foxx. Somebody was lying about their height. Maybe they all were, in different directions. My guess is Greenberg's true height was 6'5 or 6'6. And that still leaves room to think XX was closer to 5'10.
   411. bbmck Posted: January 21, 2020 at 12:11 PM (#5917806)
Presumably the Hall of Merit will induct everyone on the Poz 100 except Sadaharu Oh so including him as a Negro Leaguer for completeness. Expected rank within the position on the Poz 100, 101 bolded players so best guess is a tie or Cap Anson is out:

Hall of Merit Catcher: #1 Snub - Ivan Rodriguez
Negro League: 1 Josh Gibson, Biz Mackey, Louis Santop, Quincy Trouppe
Debut before 1901: Charlie Bennett, Roger Bresnahan, Buck Ewing, Cal McVey, Deacon White
Debut since 1901: 2 Johnny Bench, 3 Yogi Berra, 4 Carlton Fisk, 5 Gary Carter, 6 Mike Piazza, 7 Roy Campanella, Mickey Cochrane, Bill Dickey, Bill Freehan, Gabby Hartnett, Ivan Rodriguez, Ted Simmons, Joe Torre
Future candidates: Joe Mauer, Buster Posey, Yadier Molina

Hall of Merit First Base: #1 Snub - Jim Thome
Negro League: 4 Buck Leonard, 10 Sadaharu Oh, Mule Suttles
Debut before 1901: ? Cap Anson, Jake Beckley, Dan Brouthers, Roger Connor, Joe Start
Debut since 1901: 1 Lou Gehrig, 3 Jimmie Foxx, 5 Jeff Bagwell, 6 Hank Greenberg, 7 Frank Thomas, 9 Willie McCovey, Will Clark, Todd Helton, Keith Hernandez, Harmon Killebrew, Mark McGwire, Johnny Mize, Eddie Murray, Rafael Palmeiro, George Sisler, Bill Terry, Jim Thome
Future candidates: 2 Albert Pujols, 8 Miguel Cabrera, Joey Votto

Hall of Merit Second Base: #1 Snub - Frankie Frisch
Negro League: Frank Grant
Debut before 1901: 6 Nap Lajoie, Ross Barnes, Cupid Childs, Bid McPhee, Hardy Richardson
Debut since 1901: 1 Rogers Hornsby, 2 Joe Morgan, 3 Eddie Collins, 4 Jackie Robinson, 5 Rod Carew, 7 Charlie Gehringer, 8 Roberto Alomar, Craig Biggio+, Bobby Doerr, Nellie Fox, Frankie Frisch, Joe Gordon, Bobby Grich, Billy Herman, Willie Randolph, Ryne Sandberg, Lou Whitaker
Future candidates: Robinson Cano, Chase Utley, Ian Kinsler, Dustin Pedroia, Jose Altuve

Hall of Merit Third Base: #1 Snub - Ron Santo
Negro League: John Beckwith, Jud Wilson
Debut before 1901: Jimmy Collins, John McGraw, Ezra Sutton
Debut since 1901: 1 Mike Schmidt, 2 George Brett, 3 Eddie Mathews, 4 Wade Boggs, 6 Chipper Jones, 7 Brooks Robinson, Dick Allen, Frank Baker, Ken Boyer, Darrell Evans, Heinie Groh, Stan Hack, Paul Molitor, Graig Nettles, Scott Rolen, Ron Santo
Future candidates: 5 Adrian Beltre, Evan Longoria, David Wright, Josh Donaldson, Nolan Arenado

Hall of Merit Shortstop: #1 Snub - Alan Trammell
Negro League: 2 John Henry Lloyd, Home Run Johnson, Dick Lundy, Dobie Moore, Willie Wells
Debut before 1901: 1 Honus Wagner, Bill Dahlen, George Davis, Jack Glasscock, Hughie Jennings, Dickey Pearce, Bobby Wallace, John Ward, George Wright
Debut since 1901: 4 Cal Ripken Jr, 5 Ernie Banks, 6 Robin Yount, 7 Derek Jeter, 8 Ozzie Smith, Luke Appling, Lou Boudreau, Joe Cronin, Barry Larkin, Pee Wee Reese, Joe Sewell, Alan Trammell, Arky Vaughan
Future candidates: 3 Alex Rodriguez, Troy Tulowitzki, Andrelton Simmons

Hall of Merit Center Fielder: #1 Snub - Duke Snider
Negro League: 2 Oscar Charleston, 9 Cool Papa Bell, Willard Brown, Pete Hill, Alejandro Oms, Turkey Stearnes, Cristobal Torriente
Debut before 1901: Pete Browning, George Gore, Billy Hamilton, Paul Hines, Jim O'Rourke, Lip Pike
Debut since 1901: 1 Willie Mays, 3 Ty Cobb, 4 Mickey Mantle, 5 Tris Speaker, 7 Joe DiMaggio, 8 Ken Griffey Jr, Richie Ashburn, Earl Averill, Max Carey, Andre Dawson, Larry Doby, Jim Edmonds, Andruw Jones, Edd Roush, Duke Snider, Jimmy Wynn
Future candidates: 6 Mike Trout, 10 Carlos Beltran, Torii Hunter

Hall of Merit Corner Outfielder: Top 2 Snubs - Tim Raines, Joe Jackson
Negro League: 15 Monte Irvin
Debut before 1901: Jesse Burkett, Fred Clarke, Sam Crawford, Ed Delahanty, Elmer Flick, Charley Jones, Willie Keeler, Joe Kelley, King Kelly, Jimmy Sheckard, Harry Stovey, Sam Thompson
Debut since 1901: 1 Babe Ruth, 2 Barry Bonds, 3 Ted Williams, 4 Hank Aaron, 5 Stan Musial, 6 Rickey Henderson, 7 Frank Robinson, 8 Roberto Clemente, 9 Carl Yastrzemski, 10 Al Kaline, 11 Reggie Jackson, 12 Pete Rose, 13 Mel Ott, 14 Manny Ramirez, 16 Tony Gwynn, 17 Larry Walker, Dwight Evans, Goose Goslin, Vladimir Guerrero, Harry Heilmann, Joe Jackson, Charlie Keller, Ralph Kiner, Sherry Magee, Joe Medwick, Minnie Minoso, Tim Raines, Gary Sheffield, Al Simmons, Enos Slaughter, Reggie Smith, Willie Stargell, Paul Waner, Zack Wheat, Dave Winfield, Billy Williams
Future candidates: 18 Ichiro Suzuki, Ryan Braun, Mookie Betts

Hall of Merit Designated Hitter: #1 Snub - Edgar Martinez
Debut since 1901: Edgar Martinez
Future Candidates: David Ortiz

Hall of Merit 500+ Games in Relief: #1 Snub - Dennis Eckersley
Debut since 1901: 1 Mariano Rivera, Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Rich Gossage, Hoyt Wilhelm

Hall of Merit Starting Pitchers:
Negro League, #1 Snub - No Clue: 1 Satchel Paige, 2 Smokey Joe Williams, 3 Bullet Rogan, Ray Brown, Martin Dihigo, Rube Foster, Willie Foster, Jose Mendez, Dick Redding
Debut before 1901, #1 Snub - Tim Keefe: 1 Cy Young, 2 Christy Mathewson, 3 Kid Nichols, Bob Caruthers, John Clarkson, Pud Galvin, Clark Griffith, Tim Keefe, Joe McGinnity, Al Spalding, Charley Radbourn, Amos Rusie, Rube Waddell
Debut 1901-1924, #1 Snub - Eddie Plank: 1 Walter Johnson, 2 Pete Alexander, Mordecai Brown, Stan Coveleski, Red Faber, Ted Lyons, Eddie Plank, Eppa Rixey, Red Ruffing, Dazzy Vance, Ed Walsh
Debut 1925-1941, #1 Snub - Carl Hubbell: 1 Lefty Grove, 2 Bob Feller, Wes Ferrell, Carl Hubbell, Hal Newhouser, Early Wynn

Debut 1942-1964, #1 Snub - Juan Marichal: 1 Warren Spahn, 2 Bob Gibson, 3 Gaylord Perry, 4 Sandy Koufax, 5 Robin Roberts, 6 Phil Niekro, Jim Bunning, Don Drysdale, Whitey Ford, Bob Lemon, Juan Marichal, Billy Pierce, Luis Tiant
Debut 1965-1983, #1 Snub - Jim Palmer: 1 Tom Seaver, 2 Nolan Ryan, 3 Steve Carlton, 4 Bert Blyleven, 5 Fergie Jenkins, Jim Palmer, Rick Reuschel, Dave Stieb, Don Sutton
Debut since 1984, #1 Snub - John Smoltz: 1 Roger Clemens, 2 Greg Maddux, 3 Randy Johnson, 4 Pedro Martinez, 5 Roy Halladay, 6 Curt Schilling, 7 Mike Mussina, Kevin Brown, David Cone, Tom Glavine, Bret Saberhagen, John Smoltz
Future candidates, #1 Snub - Zack Greinke: 1 Justin Verlander, 2 Clayton Kershaw, 3 Max Scherzer, Mark Buehrle, Zack Greinke, CC Sabathia, Chris Sale
   412. taxandbeerguy Posted: January 21, 2020 at 12:49 PM (#5917817)
#411
I was trying to figure out the same thing. Of the 66 players left I foresee the following:

Catchers (3): Josh Gibson (top 25), Johnny Bench (top 40), Yogi Berra (top 50)
First Base (6): Lou Gehrig (top 20), Albert Pujols (top 30), Jimmie Foxx (top 40), Buck Leonard (top 60), Jeff Bagwell (top 66), Cap Anson (top 66)
Second Base (6): Rogers Hornsby (top 20), Joe Morgan (top 30), Eddie Collins (top 40), Jackie Robinson (top 50), Nap Lajoie (top 60), Rod Carew (top 66)
Third Base (6): Mike Schmidt (top 20), George Brett (top 40), Eddie Matthews (top 50), Wade Boggs (top 50), Adrian Beltre (top 50), Chipper Jones (top 66)
Shortstop (5): Honus Wagner (top 15), Alex Rodriguez (top 20), John Henry Lloyd (top 30), Cal Ripken Jr. (top 40), Robin Yount (top 66), Ernie Banks (top 66)
Center Field (8): Willie Mays (top 5), Ty Cobb (top 10), Mickey Mantle (top 20), Oscar Charleston (top 25), Tris Speaker (top 40), Mike Trout (top 50), Joe Dimaggio (top 50), Ken Griffey Jr. (top 60),
Corner Outfielder (14):Babe Ruth (top 5), Barry Bonds (top 5), Ted Williams (top 10), Hank Aaron (top 15), Stan Musial (top 20), Rickey Henderson (top 30), Frank Robinson (top 40), Mel Ott (top 40), Carl Yastrzemski (top 50), Roberto Clemente (top 50), Pete Rose (top 50), Al Kaline (top 60), Reggie Jackson (top 60), Manny Ramirez (top 66)

Pitchers pre 1941 debut (8): Walter Johnson (top 10), Satchel Paige (top 20), Cy Young (top 20), Lefty Grove (top 30), Pete Alexander (top 50), Smokey Joe Williams (top 50), Bob Feller (top 66), Martin Dihigo (top 66)
Pitchers post 1941 debut (9):Roger Clemens (top 15), Tom Seaver (top 30), Greg Maddux (top 30), Randy Johnson (top 30), Pedro Martinez (top 50), Warren Spahn (top 50), Bob Gibson (top 50), Steve Carlton (top 60), Nolan Ryan (top 60)

The list is identical except I have excluded Halladay in favor of Dihigo. Banks, Anson, Dihigo, Carew and Yount are the most likely to be left off for Stearnes. Manny Ramirez and Chipper Jones are two I'm confident will be on the list but will be coming up real soon.
   413. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 21, 2020 at 12:55 PM (#5917819)
Somebody was lying about their height. Maybe they all were, in different directions. My guess is Greenberg's true height was 6'5 or 6'6.
Has any man in history lied that they were shorter than they actually were?
   414. Rally Posted: January 21, 2020 at 01:27 PM (#5917840)
Has any man in history lied that they were shorter than they actually were?


It's actually not that uncommon for tall men. In his Book of Basketball, Bill Simmons says that Bill Walton (6-11) and Kareem (7-2) were very likely taller than their listed heights. Kevin Durant might be taller than 6-10.

All I'm saying is if Greenberg was 6-3, then Jimmie Foxx was 5-9 or shorter. I have no evidence for either one's true height. But we have pictures of them standing next to each other and the difference is massive. Since Greenberg towers over just about all of his contemporaries, seems more likely he's underselling his height than they are all stretching to an equal degree.
   415. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 21, 2020 at 01:28 PM (#5917842)
Anson wasn't included in #'s 100-30 of the original project. I assume that means he wouldn't be picked at all, because he would have to be 70 or more slots ahead of any of the other purely 19th century position players.

   416. SoSH U at work Posted: January 21, 2020 at 01:36 PM (#5917846)
I assume that T:L/B:R is something that no one does on purpose. It's got to be that someone taught him how to bat when he was a little kid and didn't know that he was left handed, or something like that, right?


Other than switch hitting, very little batting side is done on purpose. Guys who BR/TL or BL/TR just do so because that's what they feel comfortable with when they pick up a bat (based on research I did on the subject a few years ago). There are more BL/TR guys than BR/TL guys because a) more people are righthanded and b) baseball favors throwing righthanded and batting lefthanded.

   417. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 21, 2020 at 01:36 PM (#5917847)
Greenberg was at least a head taller than Foxx.


I assumed this was hyperbole, but I looked at some pictures and it's not, is it? Kiner's listed at 6'2". Some pictures have the the tippy-top of his cap at about Greenberg's eye level.
   418. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 21, 2020 at 01:38 PM (#5917848)
Jolly Greenberg Giant.
   419. Rally Posted: January 21, 2020 at 01:42 PM (#5917849)
Robin Yount is on, #66.

#412, Good list, I tried to put together something similar. I had Ivan Rodriguez but looks safe to say he won't be there, hard to see him in top 65 when Joe has the other top catchers (other than Bench/Berra/Gibson) well down on the list.

My guess is Manny Ramirez doesn't make it, if he was going to be on he would have been written up by now.
   420. base ball chick Posted: January 21, 2020 at 01:42 PM (#5917850)
maybe altuve. He insists that he's 5-5 but the team insists that he's 5-6
   421. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 21, 2020 at 01:45 PM (#5917854)
maybe altuve. He insists that he's 5-5 but the team insists that he's 5-6
Given the credibility of those two sources, he must actually be about 6'4".
   422. Rally Posted: January 21, 2020 at 01:46 PM (#5917855)
I saved one of the pictures and did a rough pixel analysis. There is some error involved based on shoes, top of head vs top of cap, and my own best judgment on where to crop the photo. But I came up with 518 pixels for Hank, 466 for Foxx. If Foxx is 5-10, Greenberg is 6-6. Whatever the true heights, we're looking at roughly an 8 inch difference.
   423. taxandbeerguy Posted: January 21, 2020 at 02:02 PM (#5917864)
419:

Pudge 2.0 - Knew I missing someone. I kind of think he has to be on the list too, although he'd be due to come up very soon if he in fact did make the list. The longevity and defense factors here make him worthy.
Shortstop also had 6 not 5, so it appears I need to learn how to count as well. Given what was said in 415 - It's probably safe to say that Anson isn't on the list.
   424. Rally Posted: January 21, 2020 at 02:13 PM (#5917867)
I don't think Pudge 2.0 is going to be this far ahead of Fisk, Carter, and Campanella, who are all ranked 80+.
   425. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 21, 2020 at 05:59 PM (#5917967)
Greenberg missed all but 19 games of 1941 (pulled into the military before Pearl Harbor!)

If memory serves, he was actually discharged... on December 6, 1941. Didn't stay that way.
   426. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 22, 2020 at 10:59 AM (#5918235)
66. Robin Yount
65. Ernie Banks
   427. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: January 22, 2020 at 11:33 AM (#5918262)
On Hank's wikipedia page, there is a photo of him with Gehrig, Cronin, Dickey, DiMaggio, Gehringer, Foxx and Greenberg. It's a fairly relaxed photo, and Greenberg is the closest to the camera, but, he just towers over all of them.
   428. Flynn Posted: January 22, 2020 at 12:48 PM (#5918315)
It's a shame there isn't a good photo of Ted Williams with Greenberg where they're both standing. There's a famous one of them with a young JFK in the dugout at Fenway Park, but they've both got one leg propped up on the top step of the dugout. Greenberg appears to be a fair bit taller, which lends credence to the idea of 6'5-6" as I think Williams being 6'3" is well-established.
   429. Baldrick Posted: January 22, 2020 at 07:14 PM (#5918469)
Banks:
“Maybe it’s sacrilege but I believe Banks was a con artist,” John Roseboro once said. “No one smiles all the time, naturally, unless they’re putting you on and putting you on. Every day of our lives isn’t a good one.”

But every day was a good one for Ernie Banks. His mother had wanted him to be a minister. His father wanted him to be a baseball player. He became both. The ballpark was his pulpit, the crowds his congregation, the batter’s box his sanctuary.

Banks, like all pioneers, dealt with the pressures and fury that raged all around him. He was called all the names. He received all the threats. He dealt with it his way — not with Jackie Robinson’s fierceness or Satchel Paige’s larger-than-life personality or Roberto Clemente’s determination, but simply by being Ernie Banks. It’s a beautiful day. Let’s play two.
   430. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 24, 2020 at 05:16 PM (#5919154)
64. Johnny Mize
63. Steve Carlton
   431. alilisd Posted: January 24, 2020 at 06:30 PM (#5919165)
416: That depends on who your father is. My high school baseball coach most definitely raised his sons to hit left handed :-)
   432. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 26, 2020 at 01:25 PM (#5919352)
62. Smokey Joe Williams
61. Arky Vaughan
   433. cookiedabookie Posted: January 26, 2020 at 02:57 PM (#5919371)
Mize seems way too low. It looks like he may have only four first basemen above him (Gehrig, Pujols, Foxx, Bagwell), maybe Anson, unless he isn't docking 19th century players and adds Connor and Brouthers. But it also means he's not doing any war credit, where Mize could be reasonably given 20 WAR and put him pretty comfortably in the #4 spot at first base behind Gehrig, Pujols, and Foxx.
   434. Jaack Posted: January 26, 2020 at 04:05 PM (#5919396)
I'm gussing Posnanski will have Buck Leonard on his list as well. Eddie Murray was 64th in a previous version, so it's possible he's going to come up soon, but it's probably just going to be Bagwell, Foxx, Leonard, Pujols, and Gehrig for first basemen.
   435. McCoy Posted: January 26, 2020 at 04:16 PM (#5919398)
https://images.app.goo.gl/iuZzLWDoQXQYt2Cz8
   436. Rally Posted: January 27, 2020 at 08:34 AM (#5919492)
60. Pete Rose

One thing I learned from reading that is how fast Pete was in his youth. Joe mentions a 3.7 time to first (take that with a grain of salt) and the 30 triple minor league season. Article says he was only a tick slower than Vada Pinson, considered at the time the fastest player in baseball.

I knew about the 30 triples, but assumed Pete was at best an average runner though certainly an aggressive one. As a rookie he stole 13 bases while being thrown out 15 times. Next year he was 4 for 14. His career high in steals was 20 in 1979 at the age of 38. That was the year he became a full time 1B, I assume those steals were possible through baseball experience and not pure speed.

Did Pete have an injury early on that reduced his speed? Seems a little strange, for someone who got so much out of modest gifts, to be such a ordinary basestealer if he did in fact have an elite gift in speed.
   437. Rally Posted: January 27, 2020 at 08:57 AM (#5919494)
I tried to guess who might be left about 2 weeks ago, sorting the top players into yes/no/maybe. Checking in with 60 spots left, my maybes are probably not going to make it, since I have 63 yes left. By WAR, my top maybes were guys from more than a century ago like Anson, George Davis, Eddie Plank. For recents, guys like Jim Thome and Tom Glavine. I'm reasonably certain they won't make it.

So who are my yes votes who won't be there? I realized a few posts ago that Ivan Rodriguez won't. Maybe two among Molitor, Bagwell, Jim Palmer. For Negro Leaguers he could leave off Stearns or Torriente, but I think he would have them ahead of Monte Irvin.

Actually, I think I can conclude right now that Molitor is not on the list, because while comparing across positions and eras can be tricky, Molitor and Yount were contemporaries and teammates, and I don't think many would rank Molitor ahead of Yount.

So Rodriguez and Molitor are not there, and I'm guessing Jim Palmer won't make it either. He got into the HOF a bit more easily than Perry, Jenkins, and Mussina, but they all won more games than Palmer with much better WAR totals.
   438. cookiedabookie Posted: January 27, 2020 at 09:01 AM (#5919495)
Ivan Rodríguez not making it would be pretty shocking
   439. Rally Posted: January 27, 2020 at 09:16 AM (#5919498)
I think ranking him far ahead of Fisk, Carter, Piazza, and Campanella would be more shocking. Those guys came in between 80-94, Pudge 2 is closer to them than he is to Bench and Berra.
   440. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 09:44 AM (#5919504)
Maybe two among Molitor, Bagwell, Jim Palmer.

I would be extremely surprised if he had Frank Thomas at #74 and Bagwell out of the top 100.
   441. CFBF's Overflowing Pathos Posted: January 27, 2020 at 10:31 AM (#5919525)
Posnanski's Rose essay is really good, by the way. The early paragraphs about the self-awareness of wannabe athletes are particularly striking.

There's also some interesting stuff at the end of the piece about Rose and Giamatti - I don't know if it's Posnanski's speculation or accepted reporting, but I found it pretty insightful.
   442. Rally Posted: January 27, 2020 at 11:18 AM (#5919556)
I would be extremely surprised if he had Frank Thomas at #74 and Bagwell out of the top 100.


Maybe Joe only had room for one HOF baby born on 5-27-68?

But I think you're right. Seems more likely Palmer and Molitor won't make it.

Posnanski's Rose essay is really good, by the way. The early paragraphs about the self-awareness of wannabe athletes are particularly striking.


The whole series is good. I like the fact they are generally posted early in the morning, so it's usually the first thing I read either on the train to work or getting out of bed.
   443. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 27, 2020 at 11:19 AM (#5919558)
Did Pete have an injury early on that reduced his speed? Seems a little strange, for someone who got so much out of modest gifts, to be such a ordinary basestealer if he did in fact have an elite gift in speed.


It looks like he was just a really bad basestealer. His first two years in the majors, when he should have been at maximum speed, he stole 17 bases but was caught 25 times.

It's also odd that for a couple of years, he just stopped trying to steal - in 1974-75, he only attempted seven steals over the course of two entire seasons. Then he went back to his customary 20 attempts a year.
   444. Rally Posted: January 27, 2020 at 11:27 AM (#5919560)
The early paragraphs about the self-awareness of wannabe athletes are particularly striking.


I think with Rose, for all the talk of being a self-made ballplayer, I think he had a natural skill that can't just be summoned up by sheer will. That is elite hand/eye coordination specific to the skill of putting the bat on the ball. Looking at his minor league numbers, he had it from the start, and he had it to the end. When he was 44 years old he couldn't do anything else, but he hit .264 with an 86-35 BB-SO ratio.

It's a skill that someone like Bo Jackson could never have, despite his obvious skills in other areas. Probably the toughest skill to develop. And toughest for scouts to project, since it looks like every good prospect has it as an amateur and through the minors. Very, very few though have enough of the skill to excel against big league pitching. And it's the single most valuable skill in the game.
   445. Rally Posted: January 27, 2020 at 11:38 AM (#5919564)
Too bad we can't get Statcast to work retroactively.

By the statistical record it looks like Rose probably kept at least decent speed to his mid 30s, despite the base stealing.

1. He does well in runs scored, doubles, triples, and is a positive in baserunning runs until he got to Philly and was old.
2. His best defensive position is clearly the outfield, he's +52 runs in about 4 seasons worth of time in left field. Judging by his defensive ratings in the infield, he wasn't very good at 2B or 3B, likely due to subpar hands and arm. The main job in the outfield is to run fast enough to catch the ball, and Pete was up for that from ages 27-33.
   446. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: January 27, 2020 at 11:42 AM (#5919567)
Checked out this list based on all the chatter. Some really good articles. Like how he is working to blend in players from non mlb leagues (Japan, black baseball). But don't take his stuff as being super fact-checked. Dude got some obvious stuff on Yount wrong so have to think same applies to other articles. Doesn't mean his work is bad or anything. Just that he makes errors and nobody catches it before it gets online.
   447. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 27, 2020 at 11:55 AM (#5919575)
I knew about the 30 triples, but assumed Pete was at best an average runner though certainly an aggressive one.


Watching this clip of guys who hit a triple to complete the cycle, I was struck by the thought that a few of them (particularly Rios' at 1:53) seem like they're hit in a way that scream double in typical circumstances, but of course, since they're gunning for three, they sprint right out of the box, and wind up at third. And since they're almost all blowout situations late, the OF aren't exactly chasing them down at full speed.

I've often wondered if batters and fielders essentially enter into a sort of passive acceptance of doubles in many circumstances. Once a hitter decides he wants to turn one into a triple for some quirky accolade, and the fielder doesn't really care about preventing it, you have guys hustling into three.

So Rose, who of course hustled, simply took that to an extreme over the course of a few seasons in the minors—probably helped that not all of the OFs had great arms at that level.
   448. Rally Posted: January 27, 2020 at 12:25 PM (#5919588)
I've often wondered if batters and fielders essentially enter into a sort of passive acceptance of doubles in many circumstances. Once a hitter decides he wants to turn one into a triple for some quirky accolade, and the fielder doesn't really care about preventing it, you have guys hustling into three.

So Rose, who of course hustled, simply took that to an extreme over the course of a few seasons in the minors—probably helped that not all of the OFs had great arms at that level.


Good points. This was the early 60s and at the time he hit those balls in the gaps the outfielders probably had no idea who this guy was. Scouting reports probably took a bit longer to get around, and plus it's the minors. The scouts for other teams are more interested in whether their outfielders are learning proper routes, learning to hit a curveball, and other development items than if they were properly anticipating the baserunning exploits of an opposing player.
   449. taxandbeerguy Posted: January 27, 2020 at 12:32 PM (#5919593)
I made a list up of who I thought was left with 65 to go. The first 6 names revealed only 4 that I even had as Johnny Mize and Arky Vaughan were omitted on my list. I think it's likely that Stearnes, I-Rod, Anson, DiHigo, are off the list, Steanes and DiHigo especially given Smokey's Joe placement at 62. The only (primary) Negro Leaguers that are likely to be higher are Charleston, Gibson, Paige, Leonard and Lloyd. Manny and Bagwell would seem to fit into the list, but Manny being this much higher than Frank Thomas (similar level of hitters) would be surprising, so he's probably off too.

Guesses for the next 9 (51-59) in some order are Rod Carew, Jeff Bagwell, Reggie Jackson, Nolan Ryan, Chipper Jones, Al Kaline, Bob Feller, Buck Leonard and Yogi Berra
The next 10 in some order (41-50) - Bob Gibson, Ken Griffey Jr, Wade Boggs, Warren Spahn, Nap Lajoie, Eddie Mathews, Mike Trout, Roberto Clemente, Adrian Beltre, Jackie Robinson
The following 10 (31-40) - Pop Lloyd, Joe Dimaggio, Eddie Collins, Jimmie Foxx, Pedro Martinez, Mel Ott, Carl Yastrzemski, George Brett, Tris Speaker, Christy Mathewson
The next 10 (21-30) - Pete Alexander, Johnny Bench, Cal Ripken, Frank Robinson, Randy Johnson, Oscar Charleston, Joe Morgan, Greg Maddux, Albert Pujols, Rickey Henderson
The next 10 (11-20) - Lefty Grove, Mike Schmidt, Tom Seaver, Cy Young, Alex Rodriguez, Rogers Hornsby, Satchel Paige, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial
The top 10 - Josh Gibson, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Roger Clemens, Ty Cobb, Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth

For the top 20 - I could see Lefty Grove being timelined out of the top 20 in favor of Rickey!, Pujols or Maddux. Charleston could also be much higher and swapped with Josh Gibson, but I do think Gibson stays in the top 20 no matter what. Satchel Paige could be flipped with Gibson too, I am convinced that Gibson, Charleston and Paige are the top 3 Negro Leaguers.

Within the top 10 - Other than Paige, maybe A-Rod moves up due to timelining, but in the top 10 would be a stretch. Wagner and Walter Johnson might get bumped down in favor of Musial or Mantle (or Gehrig), but also think there's at least 2 full time pitchers in the top 10, so if Johnson is out, Paige is in. The balance of the top 10, could be flipped around, swap Cobb and Williams or Aaron or Clemens. The top 3 I'm pretty sure will be Ruth, Bonds and Mays in some order, everyone else has timelining or a near-ish contemporary who was better (except Clemens). But I don't think Clemens can crack the top 3.
   450. taxandbeerguy Posted: January 27, 2020 at 12:35 PM (#5919597)
437 - Molitor and Palmer won't make the list, Stearnes and DiHigo and Torriente either, because I can't see them above Smokey Joe.
   451. Rally Posted: January 27, 2020 at 01:17 PM (#5919621)
My list at this point is extremely close to yours. I didn't have Leonard. Seamheads has him at a 179 OPS+, Stearnes 177, Torriente 174. So I was thinking they jump ahead playing CF instead of 1B. But the stats are incomplete and I'm sure Joe has spent more time than I have on considering their relative merits.
   452. TomH Posted: January 27, 2020 at 01:55 PM (#5919633)
I agree, good list. I would expect Mathewson and Pete Alexander and maybe Cy Young to be a bit lower, or else you have almost half of the best MLB players pre-1935 as pitchers.
   453. bbmck Posted: January 27, 2020 at 02:37 PM (#5919660)
I figured Yount and Halladay were the two most likely drops but since it's not Yount and Arky and Mize are in, I'm going with a tie for 1st with Josh Gibson and Babe Ruth. Dropping Manny and the same remaining players as [449] also works. oWAR/dWAR:

60. Pete Rose 83.1/-13.2
--. Manny Ramirez 81.8/-21.7
--. Gary Sheffield 80.8/-27.7
74. Frank Thomas 80.5/-22.5
77. Miguel Cabrera 79/-17.1

--. Jim Thome 77.6/-16.4
--. Reggie Jackson 77.2/-16.4
--. Dave Winfield 74.1/-22.7
76. Willie McCovey 72/-21.6
--. Harmon Killebrew 71.5/-18.7

Sam Crawford 80.4/-18.1 and Harry Heilmann 76.9/-14 being excluded not at all surprising. Reggie not being in the Top 59 would be really surprising. Winfield who won 7 Gold Gloves probably doesn't think he belongs in this group.
   454. Rally Posted: January 28, 2020 at 09:52 AM (#5919848)
Reggie is not in the top 58, but makes the list at #59.

Good stories about his problems with Charlie Finley. It must have seemed weird to (almost) end his career playing with Chuck Finley. Though besides name the pitcher and the owner seem to have absolutely nothing in common.
   455. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: January 28, 2020 at 10:00 AM (#5919850)
Tawny Kitaen probably would've beaten Charlie up, too.
   456. Howie Menckel Posted: January 28, 2020 at 10:39 AM (#5919857)
too soon
   457. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 28, 2020 at 11:19 AM (#5919871)
Did Pete have an injury early on that reduced his speed? Seems a little strange, for someone who got so much out of modest gifts, to be such a ordinary basestealer if he did in fact have an elite gift in speed.

That does seem odd. Maybe Young Rose and the team recognized that it didn't make sense to try to steal if Pinson and Robinson were hitting behind you? But even with modest steals at a non-impressive rate, he rates as a good baserunner during his first decade and a half in Cincinnati (1963-78), with 22 Rbaser.
   458. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 28, 2020 at 11:37 AM (#5919879)
Pete may have intentionally bulked up when he transitioned to the outfield. I barely remember him as a second baseman, just remember him as a sturdy guy. By the mid-70s, his legs and backside were huge.
   459. base ball chick Posted: January 28, 2020 at 11:57 AM (#5919891)
Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 28, 2020 at 11:37 AM (#5919879)

Pete may have intentionally bulked up when he transitioned to the outfield. I barely remember him as a second baseman, just remember him as a sturdy guy. By the mid-70s, his legs and backside were huge.


ROIDZZZZZZ!!!!!

   460. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 28, 2020 at 03:22 PM (#5919973)
Checked out this list based on all the chatter. Some really good articles. Like how he is working to blend in players from non mlb leagues (Japan, black baseball). But don't take his stuff as being super fact-checked. Dude got some obvious stuff on Yount wrong so have to think same applies to other articles. Doesn't mean his work is bad or anything. Just that he makes errors and nobody catches it before it gets online.

I've really enjoyed the articles, but yeah, this. In today's article, Pos writes that Reggie grew up in Wyncote, a neighborhood in southeast Philly. It's actually a suburb just north of Philly. He went to Cheltenham HS, which was then a somewhat affluent school district. Benjamin Netanyahu was a freshman there when Reggie was a senior.
   461. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: January 28, 2020 at 03:49 PM (#5919981)
460--The Yount stuff to me was more significant because it was totally misleading. He wrote that Yount changed positions because the Brewers wanted to protect him from injury but like 2 seconds of research online shows that Yount was moved because he hurt his shoulder and his arm never came back so he was not a viable ss any longer.
   462. Rally Posted: January 28, 2020 at 03:55 PM (#5919985)
#460, makes you wonder. Who was really behind Reggie's plot to kill the queen?
   463. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 28, 2020 at 03:57 PM (#5919986)
Benjamin Netanyahu was a freshman there when Reggie was a senior.


There was a People's Almanac/Book of Lists subject that was about "Famous People You Didn't Know Had Met Each Other" (usually because of age difference, or geographic/cultural/professional separation), like Charlie Chaplin and Gandhi.

Bejamin Netanyahu and Reggie Jackson would definitely be on that list.
   464. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: January 28, 2020 at 04:04 PM (#5919989)
462--that joke was made multiple times in the comments section so I finally researched and was like wow, that movie stuck with people even with being a who's who of nobody anyone knows today except for OJ Simpson
   465. Sweatpants Posted: January 28, 2020 at 09:58 PM (#5920091)
There was a People's Almanac/Book of Lists subject that was about "Famous People You Didn't Know Had Met Each Other" (usually because of age difference, or geographic/cultural/professional separation), like Charlie Chaplin and Gandhi.

Bejamin Netanyahu and Reggie Jackson would definitely be on that list.
My favorite of these is Andre the Giant and Samuel Beckett.
   466. Rally Posted: January 29, 2020 at 01:37 PM (#5920210)
59. Jeff Bagwell

Pass.
   467. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: January 29, 2020 at 02:41 PM (#5920237)
Charlie Chaplin and Gandhi


Actually viewable on YouTube.
   468. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: January 29, 2020 at 02:47 PM (#5920238)
My favorite of these is Andre the Giant and Samuel Beckett.


Can't forget Steve Garvey & Satan, Caligula, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy & Jeffrey Dahmer.

And Mike Crudale.
   469. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 29, 2020 at 03:11 PM (#5920243)
59. Reggie
58. Bagwell
   470. The Mighty Quintana Posted: January 29, 2020 at 03:27 PM (#5920250)
Reggie. Halfway down in the article is a surreal scene at a Florida bar with Reggie, Mantle, Billy Martin, and Whitey Ford present. And Reggie somehow finds the time to obsess about Thurman Munson...

https://thestacks.deadspin.com/the-day-a-####-talking-reggie-jackson-tore-apart-the-ya-1693602629
   471. oscar madisox Posted: January 29, 2020 at 03:40 PM (#5920258)
I started to read today's article and my first thought was "No. 58 is way too high for Frank White!"

Then again, I only got about 400 words into the article before I gave up, so if Joe was writing about someone else I totally missed it.

   472. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: January 29, 2020 at 04:24 PM (#5920286)
471--Lot of ######## in comments on why Bagwell's article is about everyone but Bagwell. That and that Bagwell wasn't good enough to be on this list. Or something. You can tell the readers are boomer dominant because Pete Rose comments were mostly 'oh Pete you were a terrible human being but I loved how you played the game' and more recent players are mostly "WTF? That guy wasn't that good because (insert incomprehensible string of words)"
   473. Baldrick Posted: January 30, 2020 at 01:11 AM (#5920388)
The commenters at the Athletic very much remind me of how glad I am that this place exists.
   474. Rally Posted: January 30, 2020 at 07:54 AM (#5920403)
59. Reggie
58. Bagwell


Thanks for the correction.

57. Rod Carew
   475. Rally Posted: January 31, 2020 at 08:34 AM (#5920712)
56. Joe DiMaggio

He can thank Ken Keltner for that ranking.

Article mostly focuses on the streak, not mentioned is that it was only the second longest hitting streak of DiMaggio's professional career.
   476. Hot Wheeling American Posted: January 31, 2020 at 03:46 PM (#5920863)
The commenters at the Athletic very much remind me of how glad I am that this place exists.

And yet...grading on a regular internet curve, they're not really that bad! (dumb at times, certainly, but not offensive or too hostile)
   477. Baldrick Posted: February 01, 2020 at 12:58 PM (#5920986)
55. Bob Feller

Love these old quotes
“Best prospect since Dizzy Dean,” Cardinals manager Frankie Frisch said, and Dean himself agreed.

“He can’t miss,” Dean said — he even took Feller aside to talk to him and give him some advice. This happened the day before Dean was starting the All-Star Game.

The most effusive praise was from home plate umpire Red Ormsby, who had been calling games for more than a decade. “I don’t care if he’s only 17,” Ormsby said. “He showed me more speed than I have ever seen uncorked by an American League slabster. And I don’t except Walter Johnson either.”
   478. The Mighty Quintana Posted: February 01, 2020 at 01:06 PM (#5920987)
Red Ormsby should have been on Deadwood.
   479. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 01, 2020 at 01:27 PM (#5920991)
“I don’t care if he’s only 17,” Ormsby said. “He showed me more speed than I have ever seen uncorked by an American League slabster. And I don’t except Walter Johnson either.”
Yeah, he didn’t really say that.
   480. Baldrick Posted: February 02, 2020 at 10:36 AM (#5921082)
One of the consistent themes in this series is my sense of joy at not having a father who needed me to be good at baseball.
When Chipper was 7 years old, his father pitched tennis balls to him. In those days, Chipper had a nasty habit of bailing out toward the shortstop when he swung right-handed. That is known as “stepping in the bucket,” and Larry Sr. saw it as dead. He repeatedly instructed his son, “Step at me! Step at me!”

But Chipper just couldn’t do it. He kept bailing out until, finally, Larry Sr. told his son, “Look, I’m not going to hit you. I would never hit you.”

Chipper nodded and stepped into the box to try again. His father promptly threw the next tennis ball right at his face, knocking out a baby tooth. Chipper began wailing, and his mother came over and screamed at her husband, “What the hell is wrong with you?”
   481. Blastin Posted: February 02, 2020 at 01:48 PM (#5921127)
Yeah these dads sound awful.
   482. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: February 02, 2020 at 02:52 PM (#5921133)
Chipper Sr. sounds like an angel compared to Ichiro's dad:

When Ichiro was 3, Nobuyuki bought him his first glove, made of shiny leather. It cost two weeks' salary. Nobuyuki taught his son to clean and polish it carefully. It wasn't a toy, he said. It was a tool. He taught his right-handed son to hit lefty, to gain a few extra steps out of the batter's box. They went to a nearby park, every day the same: 50 pitches, 200 soft-toss swings and 50 fungo drills. At night, they went to a batting cage near the Nagoya airport and Ichiro would take 250 to 300 swings on a pitching machine. They did this 365 days a year. Sometimes it got so cold that young Ichiro couldn't button his shirt, his fingers too stiff to work. In elementary school, he wrote in an essay that he played with other children only two or three days a year.

Nobuyuki Suzuki orchestrated Ichiro's brutal boyhood training regimen, and now they don't speak. … Nobuyuki found out about the Mariners signing the morning of the news conference. He insists he has no regrets and would do everything again if given a chance.

Whiting is a best-selling author and Japanese baseball expert and among the world's most sophisticated translators of the two cultures. He asked Ichiro about a passage in his father's book describing their training sessions as fun for both father and son. For the first and only time in the interview, Ichiro switched to English.
"He's a liar," he said.
Everyone laughed but Whiting didn't think he was joking at all. The next day, Ichiro's manager successfully petitioned Whiting not to run that quote because of the importance of filial reverence in Japan. Whiting left in what Ichiro said next in Japanese. Ichiro said his dad's behavior "bordered on child abuse."

Last year, a Miami newspaperman asked what he planned on doing after baseball.
"I think I'll just die," Ichiro said.
   483. Baldrick Posted: February 03, 2020 at 11:01 AM (#5921298)
Number 53: Buck Leonard.
“I don’t think anybody really felt sorry for himself until after Jackie Robinson integrated the Brooklyn Dodgers,” he said with some sadness in his voice. “Then everybody started thinking: ‘Maybe we should have been there all along.’ It was a shocking thought. Some of us weren’t prepared for it.”

When Leonard was 44, Bill Veeck approached him about playing for the St. Louis Browns. Leonard knew that he was too old to do it. Parsons said that right around at that time, he spoke with Leonard about the wonderful success that Robinson, Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe were having with the Dodgers.

“I’ll never forget Buck’s eyes filling with tears,” Parsons said. “And he said, ‘But it’s too late for me.’”
   484. Rennie's Tenet Posted: February 04, 2020 at 09:35 AM (#5921466)
54. Chipper Jones
53. Buck Leonard
52. Adrian Beltre
   485. Rennie's Tenet Posted: February 04, 2020 at 09:50 AM (#5921470)
Beltre's right above Clemente in career bWAR. They had broadly similar skills, and and unusual and remarkably similar career shapes. I don't think it got publicized much nationally, but Clemente even had some of the screwball component of Beltre's personality - he had folk remedies for his aches and pains, and the many young players the Pirates produced around 1970 tormented him like cubs would tease a crotchety old lion.
   486. PreservedFish Posted: February 04, 2020 at 09:57 AM (#5921473)
The commenters at the Athletic very much remind me of how glad I am that this place exists.


Hilarious details please.
   487. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: February 04, 2020 at 11:44 AM (#5921503)
486--I won't copy any specific posts because seems unfair to call out someone for a post without giving the poster a chance to respond.

But one of the ongoing themes is that the writer clearly outlines how folks should take his work and while presented as a list it's not a relative ranking. Just a list in a way. But every time there is a new article like multiple posters ##### endlessly on why this player versus that player.

And I know I just wrote I wouldn't post about a specific comment but a guy just posted that Beltre is not a top 300 player much less 52 which of course is totally crazy.
   488. Baldrick Posted: February 04, 2020 at 11:46 AM (#5921504)
Hilarious details please.

There are very few hilarious ones. They're just a bunch of old 'get your nose out of the spreadsheet' guys who are convinced that whoever was famous when they were 9 years old is by definition better than anyone else. And as far as I can tell, they are there in EVERY THREAD complaining about how X was ranked higher than Koufax or Pete Rose.

From today:
Totally agree with you Darrell. Can’t think of one baseball-wide transcendent moment in Beltre’s career. When I think of stat compilers on bad teams, his name is at the top of the list. I am not arguing with the stats or whatever WAR calculations tally.
It is just very hard as a baseball fan present and paying attention during Beltre’s entire career to think of him as one of the best of his generation, certainly not among the best of all time. If you were truly a great MLB player, the gravity of your greatness should have attracted more great players, or a top club would have paid top $ for your services. Ideally you should have had at least one season where you literally carried your team to the top.


There are enough good comments here and there, of people elaborating on details of Joe's stories, or bringing up some of their own favorites, that I generally do try to scan through them, but boy howdy is it tedious.
   489. Rally Posted: February 04, 2020 at 01:01 PM (#5921527)
But one of the ongoing themes is that the writer clearly outlines how folks should take his work and while presented as a list it's not a relative ranking. Just a list in a way. But every time there is a new article like multiple posters ##### endlessly on why this player versus that player.


Somewhat true, in that we should not overreact because so and so was ranked 55 instead of 68, or stuff like that. Joe DiMaggio at 56 was more about the number itself than a careful consideration of whether he should be ranked in the top 40 or closer to 70. But I'd be surprised if it didn't at least end up as a tiered ranking.

We aren't going to get to Babe Ruth until one of the very last (probably the absolute last) articles. Willie Mays is not going to be posted before Ken Griffey Jr. Ted, Barry, Roger, Hank, Walter, Left, Honus - we aren't going to see them until we get to at least the last 20 spots. Or so is my impression. We'll see.
   490. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 04, 2020 at 01:05 PM (#5921530)
If you were truly a great MLB player, the gravity of your greatness should have attracted more great players,
This is just classic. Lemme guess...NBA fan?
   491. PreservedFish Posted: February 04, 2020 at 01:19 PM (#5921537)
I admit that I also found it surprising to see Adrian Beltre above players like Rose and Koufax, Bagwell, Big Hurt, etc, guys that were true superstars. But if his career were turned around - if he was a huge star in his 20s and then just kept adding year after year of competent play in his 30s - he might well be thought of in that way.
   492. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: February 04, 2020 at 02:30 PM (#5921568)
As far as the rankings, Pos mentioned in his newsletter this week that he's tried to "connect" the player to a number. DiMaggio is the most recent and obvious example. Some other explanations are very mathy - he ranked Niekro at 83 because it's a prime number and the sum of five consecutive prime numbers; Jeter is 79 because it's known as a "happy prime." I have to admit I did not make these connections before his explanation.
   493. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: February 04, 2020 at 02:39 PM (#5921571)
491--good point. Guy had an amazing third act. If not for his one big season with Dodgers would have set all his career highs in his 30's. Even some on defense.
   494. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 04, 2020 at 02:40 PM (#5921572)
he ranked Niekro at 83 because it's a prime number and the sum of five consecutive prime numbers
Um....huh?? Am I missing something about either Niekro or math that makes a connection here?
   495. bbmck Posted: February 04, 2020 at 02:58 PM (#5921577)
David Wright Age 21-28: 4783 PA, 134 OPS+, 34.3 WAR, -31 Rfield, 2x SS, 2x GG, 5x AS, MVP 4-7-9-19-24
Adrian Beltre Age 31-38: 4772 PA, 133 OPS+, 48.8 WAR, 86 Rfield, 3x SS, 3x GG, 4x AS, MVP 3-7-7-7-9-15-15
Chase Utley Age 26-33: 4701 PA, 130 OPS+, 52.4 WAR, 135 Rfield, 4x SS, no GG, 5x AS, MVP 7-8-8-13-14

Defense generally isn't a way to become a "superstar".
   496. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: February 04, 2020 at 03:04 PM (#5921578)
he ranked Niekro at 83 because it's a prime number and the sum of five consecutive prime numbers

Um....huh?? Am I missing something about either Niekro or math that makes a connection here?


Well, Niekro was a very unique (alert the pedantry!) pitcher, being a knuckler and all. Giving him 84, which has 10 factors (not counting 1 or 84), just wouldn't seem right.
   497. PreservedFish Posted: February 04, 2020 at 03:07 PM (#5921579)
Defense generally isn't a way to become a "superstar".


Strange point. Wright and Utley were both big stars and widely considered HOF caliber in their primes.
   498. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 04, 2020 at 03:18 PM (#5921582)
Well, Niekro was a very unique (alert the pedantry!) pitcher, being a knuckler and all. Giving him 84, which has 10 factors (not counting 1 or 84), just wouldn't seem right.
Of course. Duh.
   499. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: February 04, 2020 at 06:32 PM (#5921645)
If you were truly a great MLB player, the gravity of your greatness should have attracted more great players, or a top club would have paid top $ for your services. Ideally you should have had at least one season where you literally carried your team to the top.

(A), this is obviously dumb on its face. But (b), Beltre kind of did these things? He was at least one of the stars of the 2011 Rangers, who came about as close to winning the World Series as you can come without actually winning the World Series. He signed multiple pretty large contracts as a free agent (the largest of which came with Texas in the 2010-11 offseason, at which point the Rangers were the reigning AL champion, meeting any definition of "top club" I'm aware of). And... the "attracting other great players" part is a thoroughly bizarre requirement, but he had some good teammates? He played with Ichiro and Felix in Seattle, and Hamilton and Kinsler in Texas, and Sheffield and Brown in LA, and Pedroia and Ortiz in Boston. His teams had a winning record in games he played over the course of his career (1510-1423, 1469-1400 in starts).
   500. Rennie's Tenet Posted: February 04, 2020 at 10:16 PM (#5921700)
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Last: vortex of dissipation

NewsblogRosenthal: Carlos Correa rips Bellinger, passionately defends Altuve and says the Astros deserve their 2017 title – The Athletic
(41 - 4:18pm, Feb 16)
Last: KronicFatigue

NewsblogSparse crowds, slow ticket sales, no buzz -- Red Sox facing an enthusiasm deficit
(17 - 4:10pm, Feb 16)
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NewsblogOT - Soccer Thread - January, 2020
(548 - 4:05pm, Feb 16)
Last: frannyzoo

NewsblogThis was the time for the Astros to own their cheating. Maybe they missed the sign.
(5 - 3:58pm, Feb 16)
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NewsblogCubs 3B Bryant: No hard feelings on losing grievance
(4 - 3:29pm, Feb 16)
Last: Red Voodooin

NewsblogBay Bridge spanned: A’s, Giants make 1st trade since 1990
(7 - 3:25pm, Feb 16)
Last: A triple short of the cycle

NewsblogBartolo Colón, 46, signs deal with Mexican minor league team
(11 - 2:43pm, Feb 16)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogAstros’ Dusty Baker begs MLB to protect players from cheating retaliation
(2 - 1:55pm, Feb 16)
Last: .

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (February 2020)
(76 - 12:05pm, Feb 16)
Last: Swoboda is freedom

NewsblogPosnanski: Baseball 100 Rules
(603 - 11:55am, Feb 16)
Last: Baldrick

NewsblogPhillies’ Zack Wheeler puts end to insult-slinging with Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen
(9 - 10:42am, Feb 16)
Last: bobm

NewsblogBen Zobrist Reportedly Not Planning To Play In 2020
(30 - 9:45am, Feb 16)
Last: It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out

NewsblogMLB Announces Minor-League Player Minimum Salaries Will Be Raised in 2021
(1 - 1:17am, Feb 16)
Last: QLE

NewsblogOT - NBA Thread 2020
(1347 - 11:41pm, Feb 15)
Last: Howie Menckel

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