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

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by SavoyBG View Post
    So, you're saying that Rickey henderson is not one of the 25 greatest base runners?
    Errr, no. I had Rickey Henderson right on top; and not wanting to state the obvious, I wanted to shuffle him into the middle of the pack, which I [DUH] forgot to do. Nice catch. However, I would make a distinction between base stealing and great all-around base running. Some great base runners were not renowned base stealers.
    Last edited by leewileyfan; 02-12-2012 at 10:08 PM.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by csh19792001 View Post
    I From 1979-2003, the "greatest baserunner of all time" hit as many triples as guys with HALF his PA's or less. Guys like Jose Offerman, Brady Anderson and Lloyd Moseby? Seriously? That's flat out pathetic. Sadly, the Rickey usually didn't go all out unless it padded his totals, and his double and triple totals prove it. You have guys like Brett Butler, Paul Molitor, and Robin Yount, who had nowhere near the raw speed but hustled on HELL of a lot more and were much better baserunners than Rickey Henderson ever was.
    Rickey was too busy drawing walks way more often than Offerman, Anderson and Moseby, plus he played in bad parks for triples (Oakland, Yankee Stadium) for most of his career.

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by csh19792001 View Post
    I You have guys like Brett Butler, Paul Molitor, and Robin Yount, who had nowhere near the raw speed but hustled on HELL of a lot more and were much better baserunners than Rickey Henderson ever was.
    I think you are falling victim to the "white guys are hustlers" and "black guys are lazy" syndrome here. You picked out three white guys as your examples of great hustling baserunners and then say that the black guy, Henderson, dogged it.

    Usually when a player is described as "scrappy, with a lot of heart" it's a white guy like Phil Garner or David Eckstein or Craig Counsell.

    Usually when a player is described as selfish or dogging it, it's a black guy like Henderson, Barry Bonds, or Dick Allen.
    Last edited by SavoyBG; 02-12-2012 at 11:44 PM.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SavoyBG View Post
    I think you are falling victim to the "white guys are hustlers" and "black guys are lazy" syndrome here. You picked out three white guys as your examples of great hustling baserunners and then say that the black guy, Henderson, dogged it.

    Usually when a player is described as "scrappy, with a lot of heart" it's a white guy like Phil Garner or David Eckstein or Craig Counsell.

    Usually when a player is described as selfish or dogging it, it's a black guy like Henderson, Barry Bonds, or Dick Allen.
    And the "gamer" is almost always a white guy, too!
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SavoyBG View Post
    it's a black guy like Henderson
    If a black guy doesn't want to be accused of not hustling then he should become a black guy who does hustle.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by bluesky5 View Post
    If a black guy doesn't want to be accused of not hustling then he should become a black guy who does hustle.
    Can you list for us some black guys who hustle, and some white guys who don't hustle?

  7. #27
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    Hustle - Pierre, Granderson, Pokey Reese, Andrus

    Don't - Holliday, Greinke, Dunn, Pat Burrell,

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by SavoyBG View Post
    Can you list for us some white guys who don't hustle?
    Greg Luzinski
    Gus Triandos
    Mike Redmond
    Les Moss
    Charlie O'Brien
    Marc Hill
    Josh Bard
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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesky5 View Post
    Hustle - Pierre, Granderson, Pokey Reese, Andrus

    Don't - Holliday, Greinke, Dunn, Pat Burrell,
    I think Dunn tries to hustle, but he can't get out of his own way. And it's hard to hustle while you're striking out.
    What's the rumpus?

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
    I think Dunn tries to hustle, but he can't get out of his own way. And it's hard to hustle while you're striking out.
    Haha, lacking hustle out of necessity.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
    I think Dunn tries to hustle, but he can't get out of his own way. And it's hard to hustle while you're striking out.
    I think most of the other white guys listed as non-hustlers are big slow guys. I've seen Pat Burrell hustle many times. He just is slow to react to balls in the field and is slow on the basepaths. I have a clear memory of Burrell hustling as he stretched out a double into a triple in Arizona one time.
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

  12. #32
    Just doodling with numbers and weightings for speed, along with some Baseball-Reference and other data on baserunning values, I made an attempt to quantify top baserunners in terms of total bases and bases converted to runs value.

    This is no treatise. It was an enjoyable exercise. I tried to apply values equitably across the period 1901 to the present. I may have penalized some of the older guys ... not too much, I believe.

    Player .........................Runs

    Henderson...................315
    V. Coleman..................252
    Brock..........................215
    Raines........................211
    W. Wilson...................190
    Cobb..........................168
    Lofton........................157
    Campaneris.................145
    Lopes........................132
    Ho. Wagner.................130
    C. Crawford................123
    Pierre.........................122
    Wills...........................121
    Grissom......................115
    Aparicio......................111
    Moreno......................111
    Ba. Bonds...................110
    Mays.........................105
    J. Rollins.....................104
    M. Carey....................101
    Otis...........................101
    E. Collins....................100
    LeFlore.......................100

    Guys with incomplete careers, abbreviated careers, and one outstanding cup of coffee who just excelled [and each seems to qualify as a baserunner with "smarts" include]:

    Dave Roberts
    Ichiro Suzuki
    Ross Youngs
    Jackie Robinson
    Jacoby Ellsbury
    Sam Jethroe [the cup of coffee] ... segregation and age

  13. #33
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    Last summer, I read the recent biography on Willie Mays, which runs nearly 600 pages. It was one of the most thoroughly researched bios I've ever read on a baseball player, and one of the impressive matters which I noticed as I read was how often the author was able to tell a Mays story from specific games over his career. Several of these stories involved baserunning and his exploits on basepaths to use his speed early in his career. A typical story would involve a close game, where a potentially decisive run might score on a Mays hit and Mays would attempt to take an extra base at the expense of a rundown. It appeared to onlookers that Mays would deliberately take undue risk in the name of enticing a lead runner to attempt to score by drawing a throw. This happened often enough that it came to mind as I read this thread. He trusted his quick reflexes, and would sacrifice himself for the sake of the team like no one else at the time, and maybe since. I'm not sure any of that could be quantified, but sometimes anecdotal evidence will swing the balance when the numbers decide the matter.
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  14. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by SavoyBG View Post
    I think you are falling victim to the "white guys are hustlers" and "black guys are lazy" syndrome here. You picked out three white guys as your examples of great hustling baserunners and then say that the black guy, Henderson, dogged it.

    Usually when a player is described as "scrappy, with a lot of heart" it's a white guy like Phil Garner or David Eckstein or Craig Counsell.

    Usually when a player is described as selfish or dogging it, it's a black guy like Henderson, Barry Bonds, or Dick Allen.


    Let's also not forget who has 'blue collar work ethics' versus who has an 'instinct' for what to do.

    Wow, I thought I was lame for noticing these types of 'hidden' meanings, and you both pointed out two that I have heard often and completely ignored. Just wow and thx!

  15. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by csh19792001 View Post
    I consider baserunning separate than base stealing.

    By that definition, Henderson was not the best baserunner in history, and not even close. In fact he didn't even run the bases nearly as hard as he could have; he mostly ran to pad his own SB stats, which he cared about more than anything else. If you doubt that, read what he's said about his baseunning totals....proclaiming himself as "The Greatest Ever" when he passed Brock, or his giant "1406" medallion necklace he wears in public to this day.

    Code:
    LEADERS
    1979-2003
    
    PLATE APPEARANCES               PA     
    1    Rickey Henderson          13346  
    2    Cal Ripken                12883   
    3    Paul Molitor              11604   
    4    Eddie Murray              11461   
    5    Harold Baines             11092   
    6    Rafael Palmeiro           10973   
    7    Barry Bonds               10967   
    8    Wade Boggs                10740   
    9    Tim Raines                10359   
    10   Tony Gwynn                10232   
    11   Roberto Alomar            10210   
    12   Ozzie Smith               10110   
    13   Fred McGriff              10093   
    14   Chili Davis                9996   
    15   Craig Biggio               9990   
    16   Gary Gaetti                9817   
    17   Brett Butler               9545   
    18   Andre Dawson               9451   
    19   Robin Yount                9380   
    20   Lou Whitaker               9363 
    
    DOUBLES                         2B     
    1    Cal Ripken                  603   
    2    Paul Molitor                579   
    3    Wade Boggs                  578   
    T4   Rafael Palmeiro             543   
    T4   Tony Gwynn                  543   
    6    Barry Bonds                 536   
    7    Craig Biggio                517   
    8    Mark Grace                  511   
    9    Rickey Henderson            510   
    10   Eddie Murray                499   
    11   Roberto Alomar              498   
    12   George Brett                496   
    13   Edgar Martinez              492   
    14   Harold Baines               488   
    15   John Olerud                 473   
    16   Robin Yount                 465   
    17   Jeff Bagwell                455   
    18   Paul O'Neill                451   
    19   Andre Dawson                449   
    20   Andres Galarraga            444  
    
    TRIPLES                         3B     
    1    Willie Wilson               145   
    2    Brett Butler                131   
    3    Lance Johnson               117   
    4    Tim Raines                  113   
    5    Paul Molitor                110   
    6    Steve Finley                108   
    7    Robin Yount                 103   
    8    Juan Samuel                 102   
    9    Willie McGee                 94   
    10   Tony Fernandez               92   
    11   Andy Van Slyke               91   
    12   Vince Coleman                89   
    13   Kenny Lofton                 86   
    14   Tony Gwynn                   85   
    15   George Brett                 84   
    16   Andre Dawson                 80   
    T17  Roberto Alomar               78   
    T17  Alfredo Griffin              78   
    19   Ryne Sandberg                76   
    T20  Delino DeShields             74   
    T20  Barry Bonds                  74   
    T22  Barry Larkin                 73   
    T22  Garry Templeton              73   
    24   Dave Martinez                72   
    T25  Mookie Wilson                71   
    T25  Devon White                  71   
    T27  Omar Moreno                  70   
    T27  Luis Polonia                 70   
    T29  Jose Offerman                69   
    T29  Ozzie Guillen                69   
    31   Johnny Damon                 68   
    T32  Jay Bell                     67   
    T32  Brady Anderson               67   
    T34  Rickey Henderson             66  [/B] 
    T34  Lloyd Moseby                 66
    From 1979-2003, the "greatest baserunner of all time" hit as many triples as guys with HALF his PA's or less. Guys like Jose Offerman, Brady Anderson and Lloyd Moseby? Seriously? That's flat out pathetic. Sadly, the Rickey usually didn't go all out unless it padded his totals, and his double and triple totals prove it. You have guys like Brett Butler, Paul Molitor, and Robin Yount, who had nowhere near the raw speed but hustled on HELL of a lot more and were much better baserunners than Rickey Henderson ever was.
    Not to debate the point, but your point would be the same if Henderson had stolen 3,000 bases. You seem to suggest that you can only be the best if you are among the best in every aspect of baserunning. Being incredibly superior in getting on base 4,500 times and stealing second/third 1,400 times is trumped by not getting an extra 30 triples or 100 doubles. I don't follow that logic.

    Musial I'm sure had far MORE doubles and triples and far FEWER walks and stolen bases. You, I think, would conclude that Musial was a better baserunner. This turns logic on it's head. Musial was a far superior hitter. Once the ball had left the bat, he got as far as his average foot speed would take him. Henderson, was a bonafied hall of famer, who never would have seen the hall had he not taken a batting style to get on base and to use his talents to steal base after base. Simply hitting the ball, in his best season, he was not as good as Musial in Musial's best 10.
    Last edited by drstrangelove; 02-14-2012 at 02:05 PM.

  16. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by SavoyBG View Post
    I think you are falling victim to the "white guys are hustlers" and "black guys are lazy" syndrome here. You picked out three white guys as your examples of great hustling baserunners and then say that the black guy, Henderson, dogged it.

    Usually when a player is described as "scrappy, with a lot of heart" it's a white guy like Phil Garner or David Eckstein or Craig Counsell.

    Usually when a player is described as selfish or dogging it, it's a black guy like Henderson, Barry Bonds, or Dick Allen.
    It's funny how the racist reads race into every statement, and tries to label others (when they clearly should be looking in the mirror). I could have mentioned Willie Wilson, Lance Johnson, and Tim Raines from that list. I watched Molitor and Butler, and they ran the bases better and hustled more than Henderson. Earlier in the thread I mentioned Ichiro- for all his INCREDIBLE speed and SB's- is NOT a great baserunner, and this shows up in his extra bases taken % and his very low number of triples. Does that have anything to do with him being non Caucasian also, right?

    I brought up three guys who ACTUALLY hustled, and ran the bases hard. That shows up in their triples total, for one.

    And as far as your BS about walks, use triples per career AB instead of per PA. The Rickey is still pathetic because he didn't really hustle on the basepaths, unless it involved padding his SB totals. Period.

  17. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by bluesky5 View Post
    If a black guy doesn't want to be accused of not hustling then he should become a black guy who does hustle.
    Atta boy!

  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by drstrangelove View Post
    You seem to suggest that you can only be the best if you are among the best in every aspect of baserunning. I don't follow that logic.
    No, my point is that baserunning is FAR MORE than base stealing. And its also more important over the course of a career, because everyone runs the bases almost every game, but base stealing is not a constant, every game. Take a guy like Brett Butler, who was constantly running, hustled his ass off down the line beating out bunts, infield hits, and reaching on error. He had 109 infield hits in 1992!! Yet, Butler only attempted a stolen base 19% of the time, but was on base over 3,000 times. Base running is integral, but has gone almost totally uncredited directly until very recently.

    Quote Originally Posted by drstrangelove View Post
    Musial I'm sure had far MORE doubles and triples and far FEWER walks and stolen bases. You, I think, would conclude that Musial was a better baserunner.

    Musial hustled a hell of a lot more than Henderson. He ran harder, turned doubles into triples, and singles into doubles. Read what Broeg and Stanton wrote about his speed and adroitness at taking the extra base in their respective biographical works on The Donora Greyhound. Henderson had much more what the scouts would call "warning track power" in comparison to a guy like Musial. This should have led to MORE doubles and triples per AB versus a guy with a ton of home runs, not LESS (often FAR less, when compared to most of his contemporaries).

    And the other thing to consider is that Rickey- esp. in his early days- was allowed to run whenever he wanted to. Martin allowed it. Rickey also played in an era of the resurgence of stolen base. In both leagues. Guys were stealing 80-100+ a year, when in Musial's prime, people were leading the league with maybe 20-40 steals...

    I have absolutely no doubt Mantle was faster and others from different eras much better baserunner than Rickey Henderson, but all most do is focus on the stolen base totals.

    We have to look much deeper at the entire picture to have an honest and comprehensive conversation about baserunning.
    Last edited by csh19792001; 02-14-2012 at 07:07 PM.

  19. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by SavoyBG View Post
    Rickey was too busy drawing walks way more often than Offerman, Anderson and Moseby, plus he played in bad parks for triples (Oakland, Yankee Stadium) for most of his career.
    "Too busy drawing walks". Fine, forget all the walks, then.

    So, "the parks" are the reason why he has the same number of career triples as Jose Offerman (who had HALF the career AB's as Rickey)....Brady Anderson (little over half)...and Lloyd Moseby (little over HALF his career AB's).

    Yeah, it was definately "the parks", and NOT Rickey's tremendous lack of hustle (and/or inability) to stretch doubles into triples.
    Last edited by csh19792001; 02-14-2012 at 07:07 PM.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by csh19792001 View Post
    It's funny how the racist reads race into every statement, and tries to label others (when they clearly should be looking in the mirror).
    He responded to this specific quote and post:

    "I You have guys like Brett Butler, Paul Molitor, and Robin Yount, who had nowhere near the raw speed but hustled on HELL of a lot more and were much better baserunners than Rickey Henderson ever was."

    He may not have, read every single other word you've written. So, look again, and read this one post in isolation. Does his response have merit?

    You could have argued it was out of context, and that you've also named many others as paragons, irrespective of race. But you did not.

    Now, how you can shamefaced call him a racist for seeing something in that post, well, that I leave to you.
    To accuse someone else of what you are defending, seems, more avoidance than anything.

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