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Thread: Greatest Baserunner of All Time? A completely new take...

  1. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
    I couldn't agree more, Manny was everything that's wrong with baseball in one convenient, easy to hate package. When he came back from his first suspension in LA, and called a press conference, and sat up there with dark sunglasses on, gloating and saying "it's showtime", I just wanted to puke.

    And Ed T. is spot on as to his defense and baserunning skills. He obviously saw him play more than I did, but it seemed to me his philosophy of baserunning was "run until you get thrown out".
    And coming full circle, that reminds me of an image/hype monger whose philosophy was "I'll trot into second when I could definitely try for third, or jog half-speed around first when I should be running for a double."

    (Now let's watch, bemused, while the Rickey trolls scramble to explain what was obvious to everyone, for 25 years).

  2. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by csh19792001 View Post

    Bottom line? "Guess you had to be there", as they say.
    I'm too interested in this forum to lose access due to you. If you choose to use blind hatred as a means to make evaluations, then so be it. There's nothing new to see here.

  3. #63
    Dated, but Crawford is still one of the best in the world:

    Jayson Stark (ESPN), Ranking the best baserunners: 8/19/2005:

    CARL CRAWFORD, DEVIL RAYS

    Some guys show up faster on the stopwatch, home to first. But Crawford is the most exhilarating runner in the game, home-to-third or first-to-the-plate.

    WHICH IS MORE INTIMIDATING -- SPEED OR POWER?

    THE CASE FOR SPEED: "To me," said Houston GM Tim Purpura, "power is almost a one-on-one game. It's all about the pitcher-hitter confrontation. Whereas speed affects everybody. It makes all the fielders a little more on their guard. It creates more mistakes. And the pitcher can really get out of sync when those things happen."

    THE CASE FOR POWER: "Speed can be unnerving, but I'll take power," said Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi. "Speed is like slow death. You're throwing over. You're holding guys on. You're stepping out. The whole game slows down. Power is quick death. One swing, and you're done. If I had a choice, I'd take power. You look at teams like the Red Sox and Yankees, with all their power. If you don't throw strikes, that power will end up crushing you. When you put those guys on base, they kill you with the three-run homer. That's more dangerous to me than a team like the Devil Rays that tries to create havoc by running the bases. If guys don't get on base, speed is a nonfactor."
    SPEEDY STATS: Over the last three seasons, Crawford has 148 steals and 41 triples. Devil Rays media-relations genius Rick Vaughn reports that only four players in history ever matched those numbers over any three-year stretch -- Juan Samuel (1984-86), Max Carey (1922-24), Ty Cobb (six times) and Honus Wagner (three times). ... Just two players since 1900 had more steals and triples than Crawford (157 SB, 46 triples) before turning 24 (which Crawford did this month) -- Ty Cobb (254 and 63) and Sherry Magee (200 and 65). ... Needs three triples to become the first player with back-to-back seasons of 15-plus triples since Jim Rice in 1977-78. And 16 more steals could make him the first with back-to-back 50-steal, 15-triple seasons since Cobb (1911-12-13).

    HOWWWWW FAST IS HE?: Crawford is the ultimate "triple" threat. He has hit at least one triple in 18 consecutive months, if you don't count his two games in Japan in March 2004. (Next-longest streak is five, by Juan Pierre -- eight if you don't count his three games last October.) ... Not a home-to-first sprint champ (timed at 3.95-4.0). But that's misleading. "I don't know if he's lightning fast, but he's quicker than everyone else," Stanton said. "He hits those triples because he does it right off the bat." ... "He runs funny," Lofton said. "But man, he runs fast."

    QUICK REVIEWS: "When Carl Crawford runs, he looks like a runaway hub cap," Donnelly quipped. "Ever seen a hub cap rolling downhill, leaning to one side? That's him." ... "Best baserunner in the league and best base stealer in the league," said one scout. ... "He hit a triple against us one time," Donnelly said, "and I swear his feet only hit the ground four times. We had skid marks on the infield."

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by drstrangelove View Post
    I'm too interested in this forum to lose access due to you. If you choose to use blind hatred as a means to make evaluations, then so be it. There's nothing new to see here.
    I've been contributing here for 10 years. Much of it, like the Hal Chase thread, or the litany of other threads I've "bumped up" so they would not be clandestinely lost to cyberspace is but one piece of evidence as to to just how much interest and time I've dedicated to this forum. Hundreds, if not thousands of hours of debate, toil, and research.....just on this very history forum!!

    If you're going to plead about your indemnity and dedication to this forum, please at least spare us veterans and genuine historians the whining in the event you get screwed into the ground in a debate (i.e., Rickey Henderson being an amazing baserunner and a hard nosed, hustling baseball player).

    Post Script- There is plenty new to discuss and learn here, on nearly a daily basis on this forum. Stick around awhile...hopefully you can share in it with this cadre of die-hards here, and reciprocate the enrichment we share de vez en cuando.
    Last edited by csh19792001; 02-17-2012 at 09:40 PM.

  5. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by csh19792001 View Post
    I've been contributing here for 10 years. Much of it, like the Hal Chase thread, or the litany of other threads I've "bumped up" so they would not be clandestinely lost to cyberspace is but one piece of evidence as to to just how much interest and time I've dedicated to this forum. Hundreds, if not thousands of hours of debate, toil, and research.....just on this very history forum!!

    If you're going to plead about your indemnity and dedication to this forum, please at least spare us veterans and genuine historians the whining in the event you get screwed into the ground in a debate (i.e., Rickey Henderson being an amazing baserunner and a hard nosed, hustling baseball player).

    Post Script- There is plenty new to discuss and learn here, on nearly a daily basis on this forum. Stick around awhile...hopefully you can share in it with this cadre of die-hards here, and reciprocate the enrichment we share de vez en cuando.
    If you can't recognize that Henderson is one of the best base runners of all time then I assume it's because you simply hate him and as a result you refuse to accept the facts.

    You've replied to nothing that's been posted to demonstrate how great he was.
    You've replied to nothing explaining the erroneous methodology you're employing.
    You made up your own definition of base running skill that is employed by no one but you and spout it as if it's a useful tool.

    Grats on making thousands of posts and being here for years. That is as meaningful as your last post. I quoted your last one by the way and it demonstrates not research or discussion but sarcasm, condescension and entitlement.

    I'll re-state what I said earlier, since it was ignored.

    As far as you are concerned, it would not matter if Henderson had stolen 2nd, 3rd and home each and every time he got a walk, single, double or triple. You would still consider the catcher who hit 5 triples and stolen 7 bases as a better base runner.

    Do I have it right?
    Last edited by drstrangelove; 02-17-2012 at 10:30 PM.

  6. #66
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    If someone thinks that Mike Heath and Rickey Henderson are similar hitters or that all hitters hit the same then, well, I don't really care what their opinion is since they don't really know or understand baseball. Vendettas are nice and all but I don't have to follow along and play that game.

  7. #67
    Quotes about Rickey Henderson:

    Joe Morgan: "(Rickey) ran the bases unbelievably well. You (Rickey) are in my opinion one of the top 5 greatest players of all time." (From Joe Morgan's Radio show broadcast 9/8/11.)

    Tony LaRussa: "Carney (Lansford) pops behind first base, Ricky tags up and scores. Nobody scores (on that.) He makes a Rickey run. We call them Rickey runs because he makes runs no one can make." You Tube Tony LaRussa on Rickey Henderson.

    Carlton Fisk: "Well, he's the all-time greatest runner. Base runner." Carlton Fisk on You Tube talks about Rickey Henderson.

    Gary Carter: "He was a master at reading the pitcher."

    Bill James: "Without exaggerating one inch, you could find fifty Hall of Famers who, all taken together, don't own as many important records, as Rickey Henderson."

    My favorite quote:

    Bill James: "If you could split him in two, you'd have two Hall of Famers."

    Yea, I'm going to wuss out and side with Morgan, LaRussa, Carter, Fisk and James. I think they a know a little something about the game. I'm glad my opinion (based completely on numbers) is backed up by them based completely on studying and playing the game.
    Last edited by drstrangelove; 02-18-2012 at 08:00 AM.

  8. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by csh19792001 View Post
    Of course not! That's because you and your crony here look at raw numbers and draw all your conclusions from them.

    The fact that guys like Lloyd Moseby, Brady Anderson, and dozens of others with half his AB's and the same number of triples... who played in his timeframe, in his league, with probably a fraction of his speed, OUT RAN him, and, ispo facto, were better baserunners, overall, than he was. Unless one is dumb enough to have never played competitive baseball, AND/OR never actually watched it, and don't get what "hustle" is.

    That the slow RH catcher ON HIS OWN TEAM (Mike Friggin Heath!) outran and outhustled him....well, that says it all.

    Bottom line? "Guess you had to be there", as they say.
    As Drstrangelove said, getting to second or third is what counts, whether you take an extra base on the hit or whether you steal it. Not only that, the more hits you stretch, the more you get thrown out. If you're the greatest base-stealer in the history of the world, the absolutely dumbest thing you can do is get thrown out at second on a stretched single or at third on a stretched double. It makes absolutely perfect sense for Rickey's double and triple numbers to be relatively low.

    His state of mind is irrelevant. He made the smart play.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackaroo Dave View Post
    As Drstrangelove said, getting to second or third is what counts, whether you take an extra base on the hit or whether you steal it. Not only that, the more hits you stretch, the more you get thrown out. If you're the greatest base-stealer in the history of the world, the absolutely dumbest thing you can do is get thrown out at second on a stretched single or at third on a stretched double. It makes absolutely perfect sense for Rickey's double and triple numbers to be relatively low.

    His state of mind is irrelevant. He made the smart play.
    I have to agree with this. Rickey played to his strength. As long as he made it around the bases, who cares how he did it?
    He scored more runs than anybody in history, that's good enough for me.
    Shalom, y'all!
    What's the rumpus?

  10. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Jackaroo Dave View Post
    Rickey Henderson's state of mind was irrelevant.
    I have to apologize, but vehemently disagree, as a lifelong athlete and ballplayer through college. If your lens is derived entirely- or almost entirely- from the sabermetric perspective, than I see where you're coming from. Runs in, runs out...(doesn't matter how things happened, whatsoever.)

    In the real world of higher level competitive baseball, however.....the one vied for on the actual diamond, in the dirt, and on the basepaths, terms like "intent" and "hustle" are tremendously important. They are imbued with value, credited directly and indirectly on the field and in the clubhouses, to the teammates, coaches, GM's, and to the owners. They often determine who is cut, who stays on the roster, and who is demoted or cut.

    Selfishness is abhorred, and the converse appropriately lauded. I suppose for those who never made it past, say, 7th grade baseball, these ARE abstractions. No fault there, we all skills and deficiencies, but please be aware of just how much you don't know if you were not a competitive ballplayer for years playing at a higher level than Little League (at a minimum!).

    Rickey Henderson could have hustled one HELL of a lot more, and perhaps he wouldn't be regarded as (perhaps) the ultimate "hot-dog" jack*** in modern baseball history had he tried harder. Instead of having as many triples as Lloyd Moseby and Brady Anderson, and as many doubles as guys with HALF his at bats, maybe he could have actually BLANKING HUSTLED. But he didn't. He ran to run up his SB totals. Always. All ego. I remember Harold Reynolds relaying a story on Baseball Tonight...he got a personal phone call from the Rickey when Harold won the SB crown in 1987....Rickey said "Guy leading the league with SIXTY stolen bases! You kiddin me, boy!" (Click). Reynolds said he barked that at him, hung up the phone.

    That was Rickey.

    Tremendous basestealer, yet, ironically not even a tremendous baserunner, or even close!! Paul Molitor, for example, exposed him for the lazy baserunnner and consummately selfish player he was. Willie Mays, Willie Wilson...same case. Rickey's double and triples rates are awful. He didn't run hard out of the box, or rounding the bases. Period.

    And that "is what it is", as they say.
    Last edited by csh19792001; 02-29-2012 at 04:34 PM.

  11. #71
    [to CSH]

    I guess Rickey was just lucky, then, in that his character deficiencies made him a smarter baserunner. Don't worry about hurting my feelings as a non-athlete. I disagree with Gene Mauch, for pete's sake.

  12. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by Jackaroo Dave View Post
    [to CSH]

    I guess Rickey was just lucky, then, in that his character deficiencies made him a smarter baserunner. Don't worry about hurting my feelings as a non-athlete. I disagree with Gene Mauch, for pete's sake.
    I think his incredible natural speed made him the greatest base stealer of all time, however his obvious patently obvious character (and intellectual) deficiencies prevented him for being a much better base runner. Hell, Rickey should have been the best base runner that ever lived.

  13. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    On padding:
    Yep, on padding....Rickey always ran... when it mattered....and often when it didn't. That's why he's 500 steals ahead of Brock.

    Rickey was somewhat like like Pete Rose (or maybe Ichiro) with hits....procure as many as possible, regardless of whether it was pertinent to the outcome of the game. Ichiro bunted in a few situations in 04' when it was completely unwarranted and probably (on average) would have hurt his team's chances of winning. In 78', Rose (biggest ego, stat ***** in history) laid down a bunt in a situation to keep his steak alive. Later, when his streak got stopped at 44, the hick had the audacity/idiocy to complain that he wasn't getting enough good pitches/fastballs to hit. (As if the other team should have been catering to his own personal statistical pursuit.)

  14. #74
    I'd call this: The Quintessence of Rickey


    Article, Davey vs. Rickey, Ten Years After


    Ten years ago this weekend, Davey Lopes and Rickey Henderson had a little Code-related run-in. It would quickly turn into one of the most prominent kerfluffles in the recent history of the unwritten rules, sufficiently noteworthy to lead a chapter about when and when not to steal in a certain book devoted to the subject.

    Similar situations still come up all the time. (Look no further than Carlos Gomez or A.J. Ellis earlier this year, or Nyjer Morgan‘s antics last season.) Still, in honor of the grandaddy moment of them all, it seems worth revisiting. From The Baseball Codes:

    In July 2001, Rickey Henderson was forty-two years old and, by an enormous margin, baseball’s all-time stolen-base leader. The San Diego Padres outfielder was well over two decades into his major-league career and had long since been anointed the greatest leadoff hitter of all time. Then he stole second base against the Brewers, and Milwaukee manager Davey Lopes exploded.

    It wasn’t just any steal that set Lopes off—it happened in the seventh inning of a game in which the Padres led 12–5, after Milwaukee’s defense had essentially cried “uncle” by positioning first baseman Richie Sexson in the hole behind Henderson instead of holding him on. The play was so borderline, as far as stolen bases go, that it was ruled defensive indifference, and Henderson wasn’t even credited with a steal. That wasn’t his goal, however. Henderson was approaching Ty Cobb’s all-time record for runs scored (which he would ultimately best in the season’s final week), and he had just put himself into scoring position.

    Lopes could not have been less interested in the runner’s motivation. As soon as Henderson reached second, Lopes went to the mound, ostensibly to talk to pitcher Ray King but really to direct a tirade up the middle. At top volume and with R-rated vocabulary, Lopes informed Henderson that he had just become a target for the Brewers pitching staff.

    “I didn’t appreciate what he did,” Lopes told reporters after the game. “I know he’s trying to obtain a record for most runs scored, but do it the right way. If he keeps doing stuff like that he’s going to get one of his play*ers hurt. I just told him to stay in the game because he was going on his ass. We were going to drill him, flat out. I told him that. But he chose not to stay in the game; I knew he wouldn’t.”

    Henderson was removed after the inning by Padres manager Bruce Bochy, which the skipper insisted had to do with the lopsided score, not Lopes’s threats. Afterward, Henderson said that he was reluctantly fol*lowing green-light orders given to him by third-base coach Tim Flannery and sanctioned by Bochy, and that showing anybody up was the last thing on his mind. “Davey and I argued, but I told him that on my own, in that situation, I wouldn’t go down and steal that base,” he said. (“Rickey said I gave him the sign?” said a surprised Flannery when he heard Henderson’s take. “Rickey didn’t even know the sign.”)

    “To be blunt, what he did was ********,” said King after the game. “We weren’t holding him on. If he’s going to break the record that way, he doesn’t deserve it. The guy’s probably going in the Hall of Fame, but to try to get to second base just to score a run, that’s sorry. When he took off I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding.’ ”

    What Henderson had done was break one of the cornerstone entries in baseball’s unwritten rulebook: Don’t play aggressively with a big lead late in the game. It’s tantamount to running up the score in football, and no tenet of the Code is more simultaneously revered and loathed. It means the cessation of stolen-base attempts, sending runners in search of extra bases, swinging at 3-0 pitches, and an assortment of other tactics aimed toward scoring at all costs.

    “There is no excuse that can be made up to justify trying to show some*one up,” said Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson, one of the Code’s staunchest practitioners in his twenty-five years at the helm of the Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers. “There’s no excuse, and you can’t invent one.”

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by csh19792001 View Post
    Yep, on padding....Rickey always ran... when it mattered....and often when it didn't. That's why he's 500 steals ahead of Brock.
    As I have shown several times now his base stealing rate was in line with league averages.

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    As I have shown several times now his base stealing rate was in line with league averages.
    Don't confuse the issue with facts when people are busy making fact-oids to fit their opinions.

    That's what modern USA is all about after all; making up stuff to fit preconcieved notions.
    It's so widespread throughout the mainstream media, that it was only a matter of time when regular people started to ape them.
    Don't like the color yellow? Make up something to make it bad, villainous even, like yellow dye is made from crushed puppies or something. Instant justification for hating yellow. Just constantly ignore anything to the contrary and you are set for life.

    Now go throw out everything yellow in your closet, you puppy hating person you.

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by csh19792001 View Post
    Yep, on padding....Rickey always ran... when it mattered....and often when it didn't. That's why he's 500 steals ahead of Brock.

    Rickey was somewhat like like Pete Rose (or maybe Ichiro) with hits....procure as many as possible, regardless of whether it was pertinent to the outcome of the game. Ichiro bunted in a few situations in 04' when it was completely unwarranted and probably (on average) would have hurt his team's chances of winning. In 78', Rose (biggest ego, stat ***** in history) laid down a bunt in a situation to keep his steak alive. Later, when his streak got stopped at 44, the hick had the audacity/idiocy to complain that he wasn't getting enough good pitches/fastballs to hit. (As if the other team should have been catering to his own personal statistical pursuit.)
    Is there a personal vendetta's thread?

  18. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    As I have shown several times now his base stealing rate was in line with league averages.
    Right, he ran regardless of the situation.

    He also never hustled to stretch a double into a triple, or a single into a double, ala Hal McRae, George Brett, etc. Hence his pathetic doubles/triple totals (and rates) compared to other guys who are supposed to be "not in his universe" in baserunning ability.

  19. #79
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    I apologize it's taken me so log to respond, I look at this thread now and again and never saw this.

    Quote Originally Posted by drstrangelove View Post
    Henderson had 66 triples and stole 3rd base 322 times. That puts him on third 388 times.

    Henderson had 510 doubles and stole 2nd base 1,080 times. That's putting himself on 2nd 1,590 times.

    Barring Cobb, (whose exact stats we don't have) who was probabaly better at getting to 3rd and not quite as good at getting to second, Henderson has no equal or anyone who remotely comes close. The two stand alone far out of sight from whoever is #3 in using their running skills to put themselves in a position to score runs for their team.

    BEING on third from a stretching a double into a triple and BEING on third from a double and a steal are the SAME. BEING on second from a stretching a single into a double and BEING on second from a walk / single and a steal are the SAME.
    NO. THEY. ARE. NOT. By simple terminology we can see that a double is one base more than a single. -- A steal requires the possibility of a 1. pick-off and a caught stealing. 2. The batter has to either lay off the pitch or 3. swing to protect Rick, costing himself a strike, 4. or try to hit the ball on the ground behind the runner. 5. He can hit a hard liner or 6. ground the ball right to a fielder for a double play (if we talk stretching singles instead of doubles) 7. He may foul the ball off thus creating a strike for himself and 8. giving away the runners intent thus making it 9. easier to throw him out next pitch. That's CS, pick-off, DP's, strike, giving away strategy in exchange for what? A SB. Which is the same? As being in scoring position/3rd for the first pitch? Giving the batter a chance to swing more freely and hit to both sides of the diamond, hit a sac fly to score a run. The best thing that comes out of that is the batter gets the ball in a hole somewhere and Rickey moves 1st-3rd, maybe home, great. But he could have been on 2nd and given the batter a better chance to get a hit and not cost him a strike. If he is on third and made a run out of a fly ball out. This is baseball.

    I'm pretty sure this is what goes thru csh19792001's head when he is trying to explain this. I never claimed Rick didn't always hustle either. I can't imagine him getting away with it under Martin to start his career. I only saw the tail end of Rick's career and saw what I perceived to be dogging it. Maybe it was just because of age. I really do not know. I see a selfish player, a likable guy, but a guy who would let up at times to pad his totals. He obviously didn't dog it during big games or we would have heard about it. But competitors want to win all games. There really is no place for not hustling. I can't quantify hustling, I can't tell you how many games Rick's teams won or lost because of it. But I can tell you there is no excuse for it.

    Your a better stat man than I, drstrangeglove. What do you think about the guys csh19792001 mentioned as having half Rick's XBH totals?

  20. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by csh19792001 View Post
    Right, he ran regardless of the situation.

    He also never hustled to stretch a double into a triple, or a single into a double, ala Hal McRae, George Brett, etc. Hence his pathetic doubles/triple totals (and rates) compared to other guys who are supposed to be "not in his universe" in baserunning ability.
    I agree with that, may have been the best at base stealing but his lack of hustle so evident
    I don't agree with some calling that smart base running......I'll just take the double, why take a chance and get thrown out at third, absurd.
    He was willing to take the chance on stealing, why not just get there in the first place, when it looks like you can make that extra base.

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