View Poll Results: Who was better?

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  • Rickey Henderson

    19 73.08%
  • Joe Morgan

    7 26.92%
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Thread: Henderson vs Morgan

  1. #1
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    Henderson vs Morgan

    usually Rickey Henderson and Joe Morgan are ranked pretty close together. The way i see it, however, They were virtually identical as hitters, but Rickey played about 400 more games. he also had more than double the steals of Morgan, as well as being a better defender relative to his position. Morgan has the positional advantage, but that's about it.

    Two players with very similar skills.

  2. #2
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    I voted for Rickey. Although Morgan did hold the best player in Baseball monicker at least for 5 seasons, something Rickey didn't. But Henderson's consistency and the way he revolutionized the position and the game itself gives him the pick.
    "I am not too serious about anything. I believe you have to enjoy yourself to get the most out of your ability."-
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    Quote Originally Posted by yankillaz View Post
    I voted for Rickey. Although Morgan did hold the best player in Baseball monicker at least for 5 seasons, something Rickey didn't. But Henderson's consistency and the way he revolutionized the position and the game itself gives him the pick.
    I would say each man had one season where they were clearly the best player in baseball (1990 for Rickey, 1976 for Morgan). Both were among the best for several more seasons, but others could be easily argued as the best as well.

  4. #4
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    Is it time to derail this thread by talking about how awesome Babe Ruth was, how WAR sucks, how walks are overrated, how ranking Joe Morgan ahead of Rogers Hornsby and Eddie Collins is stupid, that Rickey was a lazy bum because he hit less triples in a season than catcher Mike Heath, and that Rickey was selfish because he stole bases just to steal bases?
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by yankillaz View Post
    But Henderson's consistency and the way he revolutionized the position and the game itself gives him the pick.
    Maybe Henderson was a bit more consistent than Morgan, but I don't think by much. I also don't see that he revolutionized any position or the game. A geat player, for sure. One of the greatest base stealers ever, for sure. But not revolutionary- Aparicio, Wills, Brock were doing similar things years earlier. If you're referring to the attributes he brought to the leadoff position- maybe. But Raines had the same skill set- so did Morgan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    Is it time to derail this thread by talking about how awesome Babe Ruth was, how WAR sucks, how walks are overrated, how ranking Joe Morgan ahead of Rogers Hornsby and Eddie Collins is stupid, that Rickey was a lazy bum because he hit less triples in a season than catcher Mike Heath, and that Rickey was selfish because he stole bases just to steal bases?
    Not yet. But where getting close.
    "I am not too serious about anything. I believe you have to enjoy yourself to get the most out of your ability."-
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  7. #7
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    Henderson has a decent longevity edge. The question is, does Morgan's peak value take down Henderson's by enough of a margin to win this?

    Henderson, 10 year peak: 142 OPS+, 70.7 WAR, 53.8 WAA
    JoeMorgan, 10 year peak: 140 OPS+. 66.3 WAR, 47.8 WAA

    I have Henderson taking this one. I cannot see a case for Joe Morgan. Morgan was great, however.
    Last edited by pheasant; 02-05-2013 at 03:39 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRon View Post
    Maybe Henderson was a bit more consistent than Morgan, but I don't think by much. I also don't see that he revolutionized any position or the game. A geat player, for sure. One of the greatest base stealers ever, for sure. But not revolutionary- Aparicio, Wills, Brock were doing similar things years earlier. If you're referring to the attributes he brought to the leadoff position- maybe. But Raines had the same skill set- so did Morgan.
    Who defined what a leadoff hitter is? Who's the best leadoff hitter in the history of the game?

    As for Morgan being the best in only one season, he had two seasons, 1975/1976 and the argument could be done for 1973, 1974 too. While Rickey only had 1990 and maybe 1985.
    "I am not too serious about anything. I believe you have to enjoy yourself to get the most out of your ability."-
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pheasant View Post
    Henderson has a decent longevity edge. The question is, does Morgan's peak value take down Henderson's by enough of a margin to win this?

    Henderson, 10 year peak: 142 OPS+, 70.7 WAR, 53.8 WAA
    JoeMorgan, 10 year peak: 140 OPS+. 66.3 WAR, 47.8 WAA

    I have Henderson taking this won. I cannot see a case for Joe Morgan. Morgan was great, however.
    Nice. In BBF we can compare the player's stat per 162 games. And they're pretty similar in everything. Rickey scored more, while Morgan had the edge in OPS+. This common season averages for the two players, when Rickey played in 400 more games, gives him the edge also.
    "I am not too serious about anything. I believe you have to enjoy yourself to get the most out of your ability."-
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    Is it time to derail this thread by talking about how awesome Babe Ruth was, how WAR sucks, how walks are overrated, how ranking Joe Morgan ahead of Rogers Hornsby and Eddie Collins is stupid, that Rickey was a lazy bum because he hit less triples in a season than catcher Mike Heath, and that Rickey was selfish because he stole bases just to steal bases?
    and post a graph

  11. #11
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    I took Henderson, it's hard to pass up on a leadoff hitter like him.
    "(Shoeless Joe Jackson's fall from grace is one of the real tragedies of baseball. I always thought he was more sinned against than sinning." -- Connie Mack

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    Maybe I am biased by being in NY but to me the meat of Rickey's prime was riddled with hamstring issues. I think I'll take Morgan's 6 years from 72-77 vs. Rickeys, 80-82, 85, 90 or thereabouts. It's close though. They probably fall around 15-25 in most all time lists I've seen. It's really picking at nits to put one over the other.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by yankillaz View Post
    Who defined what a leadoff hitter is? Who's the best leadoff hitter in the history of the game?

    As for Morgan being the best in only one season, he had two seasons, 1975/1976 and the argument could be done for 1973, 1974 too. While Rickey only had 1990 and maybe 1985.
    Lynn has a decent case as best player in baseball in 1975, and that's not counting pitchers.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by yankillaz View Post
    Who defined what a leadoff hitter is? Who's the best leadoff hitter in the history of the game?
    Didn't Billy Hamilton define what a leadoff hitter is supposed to be (high BA, high OBP, and lots of steals)? What is odd is that Hamilton was completely forgotten historically as a ballplayer. Then with Rickey/Raines started to "define" the leadoff spot, that definition was essentially what Billy Hamilton was doing 90 years before.
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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    Quote Originally Posted by PVNICK View Post
    and post a graph
    How can I forget the regression analysis graph!
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    Didn't Billy Hamilton define what a leadoff hitter is supposed to be (high BA, high OBP, and lots of steals)? What is odd is that Hamilton was completely forgotten historically as a ballplayer. Then with Rickey/Raines started to "define" the leadoff spot, that definition was essentially what Billy Hamilton was doing 90 years before.
    I agree on the fact that Billy Hamilton is completely forgotten. But lets not dwelve on the LQ issue, otherwise this will be a Henderson vs. Hamilton thread. Lets leave it as Rickey defined the modern leadoff man, even so, more than Raines.

    As for Morgan, 1975 was his best season in WAR. Lynn was a rookie, who didn't even had the WAR lead in his own league. Very doubtful a rookie could be called the best player in the league, save for Trout of course. And he led his league in WAR. Lynn's best season came in 1979. I don't think there was a doubt of Morgan being the best player in 1975 and 1976 in all the sport.
    "I am not too serious about anything. I believe you have to enjoy yourself to get the most out of your ability."-
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by yankillaz View Post
    I agree on the fact that Billy Hamilton is completely forgotten. But lets not dwelve on the LQ issue, otherwise this will be a Henderson vs. Hamilton thread. Lets leave it as Rickey defined the modern leadoff man, even so, more than Raines.
    I'm not really trying to say that Hamilton should be part of this poll. What I am asking is why does Rickey get credited with "defining" the leadoff position if Hamilton was playing the same style of game as Rickey nine decades before Rickey?
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

  18. #18
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    Here is a great Sports Illustrated article about Rickey and Rock from 1986.

    Raines-Rickey-01.JPG


    Raines-Rickey-02.JPG


    Raines-Rickey-03.JPG


    Raines-Rickey-04.JPG


    Raines-Rickey-05.JPG
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

  19. #19
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    Now that you mention this, what other instances in baseball does this happens? That a player gets credit for something someone else did before?
    "I am not too serious about anything. I believe you have to enjoy yourself to get the most out of your ability."-
    George Brett

  20. #20
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    Joe Morgan hailed as baseball's most complete player.

    Joe Morgan SI Cover 1976.JPG
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

  21. #21
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    Morgan con't.

    Morgan 5.JPG
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

  22. #22
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    By the end of Rickey's second full season in the majors (1981) he was viewed as a special ballplayer, among the best players in baseball. From Sports Illustrated September 14, 1981.

    Rickey SI 09-14-1981-1.JPG


    Rickey SI 09-14-1981-2.JPG
    Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 02-05-2013 at 11:39 AM.
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by yankillaz View Post
    I agree on the fact that Billy Hamilton is completely forgotten. But lets not dwelve on the LQ issue, otherwise this will be a Henderson vs. Hamilton thread. Lets leave it as Rickey defined the modern leadoff man, even so, more than Raines.

    As for Morgan, 1975 was his best season in WAR. Lynn was a rookie, who didn't even had the WAR lead in his own league. Very doubtful a rookie could be called the best player in the league, save for Trout of course. And he led his league in WAR. Lynn's best season came in 1979. I don't think there was a doubt of Morgan being the best player in 1975 and 1976 in all the sport.
    Oh I forgot, WAR is all that really matters.

    Lynn was the league MVP in 1975, so he was very possibly the best player in the league. he led in runs, doubles, slugging , OPS and was second in OPS+, 6 points behind the leader. He did this while playing great defense in center field.
    Last edited by willshad; 02-05-2013 at 03:32 PM.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by willshad View Post
    Oh I forgot, WAR is all that really matters.

    Lynn was the league MVP in 1975, so he was very possibly the best player in the league. he led in runs, doubles, slugging , OPS and was second in OPS+, 6 points behind the leader. He did this while playing great defense in center field.
    Morgan was the player of the year in almost every publication in '75 and '76 as well.

  25. #25
    I rate Morgan at 17 now, lower than early sabermetrics did.

    Now personally I have a couple of issues. 1, his rates were horrible in situations where a hit was worth a lot more than a walk. Something like .227 batting and .350 slugging with a runner on second and first base empty. In other words, he was not a great batter who drew walks on top of great batting, he was a great walker who used walks and patience to maximumize to boost his overall hitting rates. There are situations in which I would much rather have someone else at the plate.

    Two other issues with Morgan are that I actually think that the 70s and early 80s were NOT an extremely high LQ period. I think that offense had been stunted at the end of the 60s and batters reverted to inferior approaches and mechanics just to put the ball in play and hope for an "empty" .300 that managers seemed to like then. As a result it may have been easier for guys who walked and hit with some power to stand out statistically. YES I think it was actually a period of regression for baseball. Moreso to insert something other than stats here, Morgan's swing itself just does not look like a good modern baseball swing. It looks like the inferior mechanics of the 70s combined with some strong wrists and a good eye.

    Third, Morgan made himself a gold glove fielder for maybe 4 years at his peak, but he was below average for 11-12 years at the beginning, and below average for 6-7 years at the end and on balance a BELOW AVERAGE fielding second baseman over the entirety of his career, but I'll see people subjectively rate him as a B or B+ fielder because he peaked at a gold glove level.

    I do not know if Henderson was a great hitter who walked, or a walker who's walking helped his other rates, but he had a 133 OPS+ over 2600+ games, but Henderson did not suffer a sub .230 batting average in those situations where a single meant a lot more than a walk, and DID not suffer a loss even in on base percentage as Morgan did in those situations. also Henderson's swing is an efficient modern non "second deadball Charlie Lau approach" swing.

    The real kicker for me with Henderson is that I rate him as an all time top 10 defensive left fielder.

    Morgan was a great all around baserunner but the value of his running as in stats like WAR would have been much less in a higher offensive era where the break even value point for steals was higher.

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