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Thread: Ty Cobb General Thread

  1. #26
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    Baseballreference.com has SB and CS numbers for each league for each year... once you have those, it's pretty easy to calculate SB% (SB / (SB + CS)).

    And yeah, admittedly, Ruth was a pretty hefty guy... but then again, so am I, so maybe I have a soft spot for him.

    But yeah, while Ruth was probably heavier and more out of shape than a lot of other ballplayers... he was also a far, far cry from John Goodman, which is the image a lot of people have of the Babe (i.e., an obese, lumbering oaf).
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  2. #27
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    Originally posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    RMB,

    I do appreciate anyone who rates Ty well. But I also asked ElHalo how he comes to his conclusions. Which makes me curious, as stats place Cobb in 2nd at the worst.
    It kind of got buried, Mr. Burgess, but if you check the post at the top of the 4th page in this thread, I explained why I put Hornsby, Williams, Mays, and Gehrig ahead of Cobb. Ruth... well, I figure you know those reasons.
    "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

    Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

  3. #28
    Originally posted by ElHalo
    Baseballreference.com has SB and CS numbers for each league for each year... once you have those, it's pretty easy to calculate SB% (SB / (SB + CS)).

    And yeah, admittedly, Ruth was a pretty hefty guy... but then again, so am I, so maybe I have a soft spot for him.

    But yeah, while Ruth was probably heavier and more out of shape than a lot of other ballplayers... he was also a far, far cry from John Goodman, which is the image a lot of people have of the Babe (i.e., an obese, lumbering oaf).

    Oh, for sure. The movies are a joke. Even if he was fat, you dont have all those XBHits without being able to run fairly well.

  4. #29
    Originally posted by bf-lurker
    It seems as if this argument is just wrong. Check out this article http://premium.baseballprospectus.co...articleid=2617
    Interesting scatterplots.

    However, this disproves none of the points in the Harold Friend article. This is on a MACRO level, or team wise.


    I'm talking micro level (eliminating many, many extraneous (potentially confounding) variables) In other words, what we are talking about here is in individual instances, and most plausible scenarios show (by logic) that a K is worse than a hit-out far more often than not.

    FROM THE ARTICLE- "Of course, causation is a sticky subject, so try not to misinterpret the above data as "proof" that increased strikeouts cause an improvement in a player's secondary skills. It's just that where one group shows up, often so does the other."

    And also, it deleteriously effect PRIMARY skills!!! Forget the tenuous link between this and SECONDARY skills.

    For instance, this does not take into account era differences, where runs per game were higher, creating more at bats, creating more strikeouts (more possibilities)!!! It amalgamates 1950-2000, which is specious and dissmissive.

    If you abide by this metric, however.... Notice, the distinct negative correlation between K's and BA and K's vs. OBP. Quite detrimental.

    PURIST perspective objections (the artistic, visceral, NON STATISTICAL side of the game)-

    Besides, strikeouts are usually boring!!!!!!! Walks are frequently boring. This is antithetical to the original intent of the game- to put the ball in play, make contact, and make things happen. The reason a K is an embarrasment is because it is a selfish failure and the worst out one can make. You arent giving anything a chance. Very little good can come of it.

    Last edited by csh19792001; 04-05-2004 at 08:28 PM.

  5. #30
    Originally posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    So, when you adjust things, Cobb is about 20 points ahead of everyone else, LIFETIME. That's fairly ridiculous, on the scale that batting average is based on. And the only guys within 20 points are Gwynn, who was hitting singles for 20 years while everyone else was going for homers, and Ted Williams, who many consider to be the greatest hitter ever.

    I think it's time for people to realize how ridiculous and impossible .367 is, for a career. And this is WITHOUT even realizing (in addition) that he led in slugging 8 times, OPS+ 11 times, and was a top notch CFer and the greatest baserunner of all time. EVEN if he just went for singles and/or focused entirely on hitting, it would be incredulous.


    Only 2 people have even hit over .360 THREE YEARS IN A ROW since 1931. And one was Larry Walker, who has a lifetime .393 BA at Coors Field.

    A little perspective.... Todd Helton (.337 lifetime). First, he is in mid-career (BA almost always drops 10-30 points during the decline phase), and playing in Colorado (Helton's career BA is .378 at Coors, .294 away). He is the ONLY GUY WITHIN THIRTY POINTS playing right now. The NEXT guys are at .323 lifetime (and again, mid career, before the decline phase).

    The only guy within the last 45 years to come within 25 points of Cobb was Williams. Best record in baseball, especially considering everything else Ty endured (and accomplished) while accomplishing it. And you wonder why 230 experts called him the greatest ever.
    Last edited by csh19792001; 04-05-2004 at 08:46 PM.

  6. #31
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    Originally posted by csh19792001
    PURIST perspective objections (the artistic, visceral, NON STATISTICAL side of the game)-

    Wait... there's a non statistical side of baseball?

    Since when? Why did no one ever tell me?
    "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

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  7. #32
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    One thing I'll interject in there...

    It's a little difficult sometimes to establish a players' greatness until long, long after they've retired... which is of course the only explaination I can see for putting Collins over Hornsby.

    Then again, he was definitely one of the old school of baseball, not a big reader of Moneyball ... Me personally, now, if I had the chance to create an all time team... my first wish would be to be able to use cloned players, so I can have multiples of one guy. And I'd set up my teams like this:

    1st team:
    C: Babe Ruth
    1B: Babe Ruth
    2B: Babe Ruth
    SS: Babe Ruth
    3B: Babe Ruth
    LF: Babe Ruth
    CF: Babe Ruth
    RF: Babe Ruth
    P: Babe Ruth

    2nd team:
    C: Ted Williams
    1B: Ted Williams
    2B: Ted Williams
    SS: Ted Williams
    3B: Ted Williams
    LF: Ted Williams
    CF: Ted Williams
    RF: Ted Williams
    P: Walter Johnson (Teddy can't pitch, so I had to cheat a little)
    DH: Ted Williams

    Now, I know my teams would have some defensive problems, especially at Catcher in the infield... but I more than think that their offensive attributes would more than make up for it.

    And I think, in all seriousness and all honesty, that either one of these teams would beat any team you could possibly make up of any players ever. The offensive prowess would be more than enough to make up for defensive liabilites.
    "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

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  8. #33
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    Originally posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    ElHalo,

    If you truly believe that either of those two teams could actually win a game, the only physician who might POSSIBLY assist you, is presently incarcerated. His name is Dr. Kervorkian.

    If either of your two "teams" were ever in the field, the innings would never, ever end. Seriously. I could see one of your OF Babes calling, "I'll take it", and all nine of them, crash together and crack their skulls.

    Bill Burgess
    Like I said, not only do I believe that they could actually win a game, I believe that they'd never lose a game.

    I really do mean it when I say that I believe hitting is far, far, far more important than defense and baserunning.
    "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

    Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

  9. #34
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    Originally posted by RuthMayBond
    Not that a Yankee fan is any prize, but I actually have to stick up for Burgess on this one. I'd be bunting on Teddy at third and first all day. Then when they all spit at the crowd and all get tossed
    Here's how I think about it:

    Sure, the difference between this team and your average team on defense is pretty striking. But even so... the difference between this team and an average team on defense would be, at most... three runs a game? More some games, less others. I can't possibly imagine it being any higher than that.

    The difference in offense between this team and your typical team will be far, far greater than three runs a game.

    So we win. A lot.
    "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

    Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

  10. #35
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    One of these days, I'll really have to do a mathematical study of this.

    But it really is my firm, firm, FIRM belief that unless a guy throws the ball into the stands every time he touches it, Chuck Knoblauch style, or snares up every ball that's hit even remotely near him, Mazeroski style... their defense is largely irrelevant. The difference between the tenth percentile of major league defender and the ninetieth percentile, fielding wise, isn't all that relavent. A few runs a month.

    And if they can hit like Babe, you overlook a few runs a month.

    Now, admittedly, Babe might have a hard time learning catcher... but I'd love to see him try.
    "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

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  11. #36
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    Originally posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    During the '26 series, Babe couldn't touch Alexander with a 10 foot pole.

    RMB:
    Maybe but he hit .300 w/4 HR in the series

    During the last game, no Yankee could put the ball out of the infield.

    RMB:
    But they almost won the game. I don't think a Cobb man wants to be talking about someone else's World Series problems

  12. #37
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    Originally posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    Do you think your team of Babes could beat my team of Wagners?

    Bill Burgess
    Well, see, there's a question now. As you said, Wagner did indeed field a bunch of different positions, and he was at least halfway decent at most of them. And Wagner was quite a hitter.

    Here's the basic point I'm trying to make with my team full of Babe's, though: If you rate every player on a scale of 0-100 at hitting, and 0-100 at fielding...

    I'd argue that if you've got a choice between a player who's a 90 at hitting and an 80 at fielding, or player who's a 95 at hitting and a 20 at fielding... you pick the second guy, because hitting really is that much more important.

    It is entirely possible, however, that Wagner would be a 90 at most positions on the field, and Babe would be a 0 at Catcher or SS. We're not really sure. I'm inclined to think the Babe had enough natural ability that if you gave him a year or two to work at it, he could be at least as good a middle infielder as, say, Tony Lazerri... and then yeah, I'd take him over Wagner (because even if Wagner could hit at 95 and field at 90, Babe could hit at 100 at field at 20... and that's more valuable, in mind).
    "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

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  13. #38
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    Originally posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    Most importantly, could Babe have did what he did, without such a formidable bulkwark hitting behind him, in Lou Gehrig? Not too likely.
    I'm not gonna comment on your other assertions, but this one I'll tackle.

    Lou Gehrig's rookie year was 1925. Before 1925, Babe did this for the Yankees:

    1920: .376/.532/.847 158 R, 54 HR, 137 RBI
    1921: .378/.512/.846 177 R, 59 HR, 171 RBI
    1922: .315/.434/.672 94 R, 35 HR, 99 RBI (missed 44 games to injury)
    1923: .393/.545/.764 151 R, 41 HR, 131 RBI
    1924: .378/.513/.739 143 R, 46 HR, 121 RBI

    You can do better than that, come on.
    "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

    Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

  14. #39
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    Originally posted by ElHalo
    Well, see, there's a question now. As you said, Wagner did indeed field a bunch of different positions, and he was at least halfway decent at most of them. And Wagner was quite a hitter.

    Here's the basic point I'm trying to make with my team full of Babe's, though: If you rate every player on a scale of 0-100 at hitting, and 0-100 at fielding...

    I'd argue that if you've got a choice between a player who's a 90 at hitting and an 80 at fielding, or player who's a 95 at hitting and a 20 at fielding... you pick the second guy, because hitting really is that much more important.

    It is entirely possible, however, that Wagner would be a 90 at most positions on the field, and Babe would be a 0 at Catcher or SS. We're not really sure. I'm inclined to think the Babe had enough natural ability that if you gave him a year or two to work at it, he could be at least as good a middle infielder as, say, Tony Lazerri... and then yeah, I'd take him over Wagner (because even if Wagner could hit at 95 and field at 90, Babe could hit at 100 at field at 20... and that's more valuable, in mind).

    Actually you intrigued me...so I did a simulation

    10 wagners vs 10 Ruths
    I used an average pitcher for both

    for both I used a scale of A-E on fielding range and if they did not play the position I gave them a .900 F% (deadball average)

    IN 100 games...Wagner's team won 65-68-72-74-76 of those games.

    Honus when using his Fielding stats at Baseball reference was a D .985 at 1b, D.952 at 2b, C .920 at 3B, A .940 at SS, D 961 at OF

    Ruth was a D .960 at OF and E .966 at 1B

    Honus stole at will, and Ruth's generic pitcher had a nice average ERA of 1.23 since over half his Runs were unearned.

    I used 1950 type offense

    Babe averaged about a 1.700 OPS and about 70 HRS...but that was about it...

    Honus averaged 85 2bs, 28 3bs and 25 hrs...plus 70 sbs.

    I'd say defense is important, especially at SS, 2b and CF

  15. #40
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    To give our most serious consideration to the fans, is utter folly. Babe's fans were almost all new to BB and understood what they were seeing the least. Is that would you would have us pay the most attention to, Bulova? You surely aren't asking us to surrender our jugement to the lowest common denominator are you? Please remember, good friend, the Beatles easily outsold Beethoven, Shaesespeare is annually outsold by Michael Crighton, Agatha Criste, Grisham, Harry Potter author, and romance pulp writers.

    Your other point that Cobb was preferred by only those who were deadballers was 100% incorrect. Almost every single star of the 1920's in on record as favoring Cobb over Ruth. Every one. And I mean all of them, not only the earlier ones. So just for your personal benefit, I will list those players who came into the league after 1920, played ONLY modern ball, and rate Ty first.



    You should also remember, this is simply all the quotes I've been able to find. The belief that Ty was the best was so prevelant, that few felt the need to verbalize it. I forgot to include Babe himself, of 4 occasions, called Ty the best he had ever seen, or HEARD ABOUT. I haven't included the owners like Comiskey, Briggs, Yawkey, Shibe, etc. I might also mention that, personally, they might have liked Babe more than Ty. So no soft Cobb votes.

    Your suggestion that NONE of them could properly evaluate the relative gifts and greatness of these two gentlemen strikes me as cruel. To disallow their imput, and yet, let later generations, who were TOTALLY IGNORANT of them, weigh in, is somehow a form of baseball hatred. Would you exclude witnesses to a crime from testifying.
    Mr. Burgess, there were so many things I disagreed with about your post, I hardly know where to begin. But I'll start here.

    You say Ruth had 2 gifts out of 12? I'd really love to see how you define gifts. I guess one is pitching, one is power hitting/average hitting/drawing walks? What are the other 10?

    And why does somebody have to be good at all of them to be the best? I think that everyone would agree that Albert Pujols is not particularly good at fielding or baserunning, but Carlos Beltran is. And I think you'd be very, very, VERY hard pressed to find a person who'd rather have Carlos Beltran on their team than Albert Pujols. Does the best pitcher have to throw a fastball, splitter, curveball, slider, screwball, knuckleball, changeup, curve ball, etc., etc., etc., or can dominance with three or four pitches be enough? I'll tell you what, I'll take Mariano Rivera in 1999 throwing his cut fastball ahead of... well, pretty much any pitcher you can throw at me with four pitches working. Sometimes, being good at one thing, if you're really THAT good at it, can be enough to more than overcome an inability to dominate other facets.

    Next off, one of your lovely quotes. "Babe's fans were almost all new to baseball." So you're saying that Babe Ruth drew new fans into baseball. Fans who'd never seen the sport before. And droves of them, evidently.

    Isn't that the very definition of having a huge impact on the game? Drawing in new fans who'd never seen the sport before? Isn't baseball, after all, a business, designed to make money? And wasn't Babe better at acheiving that goal than any other player in history?

    Next up. Ask any casual baseball fan, and they'll tell you that the greatest living baseball player is Barry Bonds. Ask any informed baseball fan, and they're likely to tell you it's Willie Mays. Bonds himself would tell you Mays is better than him. I'd most certainly say Mays is better than him.

    But fifty years from now, how many people do you think are actually going to say that Willie Mays was better than Barry Bonds? My guess is, not too many. And you know what? They'll probably be right.

    Most of the baseball world, including myself, have a pre-conceived notion that Willie Mays is the greatest living ballplayer. And that pre-conceived notion prevents us from admitting to ourselves what's plain in front of our noses: Bonds is better. If you asked me where Bonds ranks in the all time pantheon of baseball players, I'd probably say somewhere around the twentieth spot. And it's just blatantly, PATENTLY obvious that he's better than that... but I've already got the heirarchy in my head, and it's a whole lot harder to change the hegemony than it is to get in before the heirarchy's cemented itself.

    In much the same way, ballplayers growing up in the 05-15 time KNEW that Ty Cobb was the greatest ballplayer. It was just plain as daylight to them. And no matter what anybody did, no matter what feats anybody accomplished, nothing was going to change that in their minds, because he already had that slot. You couldn't take it away from him.

    So yeah, it's entirely possible that people couldn't fully appreciate the relative greatness of Ruth and Cobb while they were watching them. In the same way that it's entirely possible that the baseball world won't be able to tell how truly great Barry Bonds is until everyone who's seen him play is tottering in a nursing home somewhere.

    And please, come on now. If you're going to make an argument about Cobb being a better player, go ahead and do so, but bringing up his war enlistment? If we really want to get into character issues, Babe has Cobb licked like a lollipop. So please don't EVEN start that nonsense.

    Next issue: Babe's lack of a decline was strictly the result of increasing offense in the 30's, not a matter of him actually having great longevity.

    You know how not true this is, right? From 1930 on, Babe's OPS+'s look like this:

    1930: 211
    1931: 219
    1932: 201
    1933: 176
    1934: 161

    So while, yes, league offense was higher from 30-34 than from 25-29 (though not that much... 4.92 rpg for the first period, 5.18 rpg for the second period, for a total increase of 5.3%), Babe was STILL unbelievably ahead of everyone else. Just for comparison's sake, his 1933 OPS+, when he was 38 years old, is ahead of the career OPS+ of all but... 3 other people ever. Williams, Bonds, Gehrig. That's it. And his 1932 OPS+ was better than anyone's ever done for a career, by a wide margin. Even his 1934 OPS+, when he was a tottering old 39 year old dodger, was better than the career totals of all but 13 other men in the history of the game.

    So no, Ruth's decline period isn't illusory.

    And one final note. Don't knock Harry Potter. I consider myself a pretty well read person. Some of the most dog eared and lovingly read and re-read volumes on my shelf are widely considered to be the greatest classics in literature; Dante, Dickens, Kafka, Shakespeare, Nabakov, Marlowe, Joyce. And Harry Potter's good stuff.
    "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

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  16. #41
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    Is my above post showing up to anyone? It's not time stamping for some reason...
    "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

    Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

  17. #42
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    Originally posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    Yeah, he had it all, all right. Babe Ruth had 2 skills which were world-class. He could hit & he could throw. All the rest of his skills were easily matched by half of the league.

    Bill Burgess
    I'll repeat again: so what? As I said before, Carlos Beltran is a 5 tool player, and Albert Pujols is a 2 tool player, or possibly 3 (I don't know how his arm is). But could you really find me a manager who'd rather have Beltran than Pujols? Or (say three years ago when both were healthy) a manager who'd rather have Kendall than Piazza? Piazza's an awful fielder who can't run at all and can't throw out the garbage. Kendall can field, run, hit, throw, and hit for power. But I think you can fit all the baseball guys who'd rather have had Kendall than Piazza in a closet with room left over for spare linens.

    How many times in a season will a player get caught in a rundown? 2, tops? What difference does it make if one guy's the worst in the world and one guy's the best in the world at it? If somebody can get on base like Ruth and hit homers like Ruth, when would you ever possibly want him to bunt? With no outs and a runner on second in extra innings of a tie game at home? How often does that situation arise? The skills you're saying Ruth didn't have weren't skills that he even remotely needed ever. Sure, maybe they would have been worth two or three runs over the course of a year. But Ruth's hitting was worth much, much, much more than that.

    Oh, and as far as running down balls... Ruth's range factor in the outfield (where he played mostly in rightfield, with its short porch and resultant fewer defensive opportunities for right fielders) hovered right around or above league average until 1929... when he started to get slower because of age. Sure, it happens.

    Mr. Burgess, I've noticed that your last few posts to me seem to reflect a little... hostility. Please understand that I'm not trying to be antagonistic to you, or anything like that. Just trying to have a discussion here.
    "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

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  18. #43
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    Originally posted by william_burgess@usa.net

    No hostility intended. I like to point out those skills which Babe was not world-class, because so many people here post as if he were so amazing at all matters baseball. I really question if they knew how limited on a ballfield he really was.

    ElHalo:
    Taken in isolation, these skills like getting down to first in a hurry to beat out a throw, or running down a long line drive between FR & CF, might not seem important to you, but taken in total, all these skills are what wins or loses games in the real world.

    Bill Burgess
    I'm pretty sure fans know that Babe wasn't Cobb on the basepaths or Speaker in the field. But he was MORE than proficient at hitting and pitching, and hitting a pitching are 95% of baseball.

    And as for those skills losing or winning games in the real world... I guess that's why Babe's teams had such lousy winning percentages.

    Is it nice if somebody can do those things? Sure. Do you care if they can't do them if they hit .380 with fifty homers and 140 RBI? No, not a lick.
    "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

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  19. #44
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    Originally posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    (Bill - That 95% figure is just so wrong. The 1930 Phillies were a bruising offensive team and came in last, due to lousy pitching & defense.

    RMB:
    I think he's referring to that hitting is 95% of a BATTER's worth

    The 1923-25 Tigers outhit & outscored the Yankees, yet came in behind them, due to poor pitching & god-awful defense.

    RMB:
    The 1925 Tigers did not come in behind the 1925 Yanks

    Even with a minimum of offense, as the '08, & '63 Dodgers proved.

    RMB:
    If you're referring to the 1908 Tigers, they had more than a minimum of offense, as did the '63 Dodgers (3rd in adjusted BER & OPS)

  20. #45
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    Originally posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    ElHalo,

    But he was MORE than proficient at hitting and pitching, and "hitting a pitching are 95% of baseball.

    Is it nice if somebody can do those things? Sure. Do you care if they can't do them if they hit .380 with fifty homers and 140 RBI? No, not a lick."

    (Bill - That 95% figure is just so wrong. The 1930 Phillies were a bruising offensive team and came in last, due to lousy pitching & defense.

    Get over your obsession with "hitting is 95% baseball", ElHalo. It's been disproved for over 140 yrs. of BB history. Both Bonds & A-Rod have been disproving your pet theory for 5 yrs. now. Superstars without the supporting cast don't win pennants.

    Bill Burgess
    It doesn't help that there was a typo in my original post, of course. It's supposed to say "hitting AND pitching are 95% of baseball." Of course you need good pitchers to win. In my opinion, good pitchers are more important than good hitters to winning ball games. Pitching wins ballgames, especially in the postseason.

    But pitchers really are responsible, in my opinion, for about 90% of how many runs a team gives up. If you think defense is really all that important, then let's see you put Walter Johnson up in front of a defense for 80 games, and then put, oh, I don't know, Jason Jennings up in front of that same defense for 80 games. If defense is so important, shouldn't they both give up about the same number of runs? But of course they won't. Because pitching is what determines how many runs a team gives up, for the most part. Not how rangy their right fielder is. That's certainly a part of it, but not a a huge part.

    Those 1930 Phillies (while not really a bruising offensive team... they finished 4th in the NL in runs) did so poorly because they had awful pitchers on their team... a team ERA of 7.69. And would you believe this? 14 different pitchers started a game for those 1930 Phillies.... and exactly one of them, Grover Cleveland Alexander, had a career ERA less than league average. And his ERA that year was 9.14! I don't care if you've got Tris Speaker, Richie Ashburn, and Roger Maris in the outfield, with Ozzie Smith, Brooks Robinson, Bill Mazeroski, and Don Mattingly in the infield, and Johnny Bench at the plate... with pitchers like that, you're not going to win a lot of ballgames.

    And can one guy win a pennant by himself? Of course not, and I never meant to imply that they can. I'm just saying that if Babe Ruth was hurting his team so much by not being able to, uh, bunt, then they wouldn't be winning so many games, would they? Because five times a game, when they really needed Babe to lay down a drag bunt, they just wouldn't be getting what they need.

    Is hitting 90% of baseball? Of course not. But it's certainly 90% of offense. And is pitching 90% of baseball? No, but it's certainly 90% of defense. If you've got a team full of Walter Johnsons pitching, and a team full of Ted Williams's hitting, do you really think you're going to lose that many ballgames? If fielding and baserunning were really what won ballgames, then guys like Ray Ordonez and Tony Womack would be having their doors knocked down by major league GM's, instead of bouncing around the minors.
    "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

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  21. #46
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    Long Island!
    Posts
    10,293
    Mr. Burgess;

    How long have you had this Ty Cobb obsession? Has he always been your favorite player?

    I know, personally, I hated Ty Cobb from the very first time I read about him... he was a racist and he never touched alcohol, and those are two things I absolutely cannot abide in a human being.

    But I know that to me, it was never the best players that I always had as my favorites. Babe Ruth, as great as he was, was never my favorite player... though I always loved him, more for his personality than his hitting feats. Pepper Martin and Billy Martin were always my favorites (odd that they've got the same last name...)... guys who were scrappy, spent most of their time drunk, and were as likely to fight you as look at you. I've always respected that, in a ballplayer and in a human being.
    "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

    Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

  22. #47
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    northeast Ohio
    Posts
    26,735
    In some instances players can move a team up three to four places but the 1963 NL race is NOT a typical example. I'm laughing about where you say you're a big fan of the "rest of the team" then you say that one guy can make his team win twenty games just by himself.

  23. #48
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    57
    Bill,

    I have to thank you for all the insight and great stories.

    I grew up living and breathing Detroit Tiger baseball (and George Brett), and Ty Cobb was always my favorite (after George Brett). Honestly I never knew about any of the 'bad stuff' about him until I was probably a late teenager. So I guess I was too young to realize he shouldn't be my favorite player because he was supposedly such a bad person or whatever???

    Anyway, I've been reading your posts here and find them VERY INTERESTING. I can see, agree or disagree, you have put a great amount of time and study into what you are saying. Thank you, it's great to see somebody with so much passion for what they speak of. I definately plan to check out some of the books you mentioned.

    Now I have to get off this thread before I end up not getting any work done

    --S.R.

  24. #49
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    mariners country
    Posts
    23,571
    My goodness, theres a lot of material to work throught in this thread. Bill, I applaud the effort you've put in to collecting your collections of Ty Cobb tributes. Some interesting reading, but do you really think it proves Cobb was better than Ruth? I think if anybody wanted to put in the effort (not volunteering myself thanks) they could come up with hundreds of equally glowing quotes about Ruth. Also, isn't it possible alot of the old timers picking Cobb over Ruth were as much expressing their preference the old "scientific" ball over the new live ball as anything else?
    El Halo, I think you drastically underestimate defense. Your Walter Johnson vs Jason Jennings comparison "wouldn't they give up the same amount of runs with the same defense behind the" is a classic strawman. NOBODY thinks defense is the only factor in preventing runs. If it was, all pitchers on every staff would have the same ERA. There is a theory floating around that pitchers only control strike outs and home runs and defense determines almost everything else. I personally don't buy that, but I think defense is more like 30-40 of run prevention than the 10 percent you estimate. If you go with 30% that would make 15% of a position players value defensive. I would double that for middle of the diamond guys and half it for corner guys (just rough numbers here). If you check out a few pitchers that moved from good defensive teams to poor ones I think you'll be surprised by how much their ERA is impacted.
    Total Baseball is a great reference in many ways, but I take their TPR with a grain of salt. Even though I respect defense more than some, I think they weigh it wrong and have some other conclusions that are hard to buy into. Bill Dahlen 20th all time? Tim Raines better than Joe DiMaggio? Art Fletcher better than Willie Stargell? I can't take that seriously.

  25. #50
    Mr. Burgess,
    I cannot fathom the amazing information and writing on Cobb you've done in this forum. In my history on baseball fever, I've never seen a better dissection and collection of research than what you've amassed on a singular player. You could write a book with all of your information! I give you much respect, and you deserve some kind of award for what you've done, because you're more than just a poster-you're a true baseball historian. I just wanted to comment on the fascinating job you've done, and I hold high respect for you on these boards. You bring extensive arguments to the table, and give every post some interesting information.

    Keep up the great work,
    Pumpsie

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