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Thread: Bucketfoot Al

  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElHalo
    Bill's very big on defense and baserunning, and The Splendind Splinter had about the same quality of play in both departments as Stephen Hawking.
    I not only deduct for glove/running issues, by LQ adjustments, and a bad attitute which hurt his team every day of his career (refusing to go to LF).

    I would rather have a lesser player in my dugout, who gave me his 100% effort, than the greatest superstar, whose arrogance hurt my team every day of his career. That's what I think of Ted Williams, and I doubt if I'll EVER change my mind on him.

    Why should I tolerate a player who refuses to give me 100%? Ted had a massive egotism which rivals my own. Can't have him on my team, ever. He's lucky he cracks my top 10. 5th place was a gift, as far as I'm concerned. As far as I'm concerned, Williams refusal to go to LF to help his team was throwing games. Ruth went to LF, so what was Ted's problem?

    Bill Burgess

  2. #102
    Quote Originally Posted by yanks0714
    First off, Mel Ott was a RF'er, not a LF'er.
    I don't know if Chisox explaind this, but he didn't mean that. See what happened was I started another thread about Al Simmons this morning without realizing this thread was already started. In my first post in that thread I said Al Simmons doesn't really get much attenton and then put in parentheses that Ott doesn't really either. So Chisox was responding to that. When I closed that thread as to not distract from this one, he just cut and pasted his response into this thread, I guess without realizing the Ott comment had no context here. So that should be that.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    I not only deduct for glove/running issues, by LQ adjustments, and a bad attitute which hurt his team every day of his career (refusing to go to LF).

    I would rather have a lesser player in my dugout, who gave me his 100% effort, than the greatest superstar, whose arrogance hurt my team every day of his career. That's what I think of Ted Williams, and I doubt if I'll EVER change my mind on him. Why should I tolerate a player who refuses to give me 100%? Ted had a massive egotism which rivals my own. Can't have him on my team, ever. He's lucky he cracks my top 10. 5th place was a gift, as far as I'm concerned.

    Bill Burgess
    Bill, Yaz wasn't neccessarily an angel either. He was very cold, not a guy who would be a good team leader or a good friend.

    I have no problem with using intangibles in your rankings, but when it starts making Yaz better than Ted Williams you're taking it way too far.

    And Yaz/Williams was only one of a long list of craziness in your LF list. Could you address all the other questions I asked?

  4. #104
    No love for Bob Johnson or Sherry Magee on any of these extended LF lists?

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleX
    No love for Bob Johnson or Sherry Magee on any of these extended LF lists?
    I have Magee #16 in a very strong group of LFers, right behind Goose Goslin. He just makes my top 100 at #96.

    Bob Johnson doesn't quite make my top 25 LFers. I already gave my top 10, I'll just give the rest of my top 25:

    11.Ed Delahanty
    12.Mule Suttles
    13.Manny Ramirez
    14.Joe Medwick
    15.Goose Goslin
    16.Sherry Magee
    17.Fred Clarke
    18.Joe Jackson
    19.Minnie Minoso
    20.Ralph Kiner
    21.Jesse Burkett
    22.Frank Howard
    23.Jose Cruz
    24.Lou Brock
    25.Charlie Keller
    Last edited by 538280; 04-10-2006 at 06:54 PM.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by 538280
    Bill, Yaz wasn't necessarily an angel either. He was very cold, not a guy who would be a good team leader or a good friend.

    And Yaz/Williams was only one of a long list of craziness in your LF list. Could you address all the other questions I asked?
    I don't care if a player is the devil, if he gives me 100%. I have forgiven Anson, Cobb, McGraw, Hornsby, D. Allen, Belle, Bonds, for very serious crap. But you cannot charge them with subterfuge against winning.

    Wheat ahead of Henderson? Duffy Lewis ahead of Delahanty, Stargell, Kiner, Raines? Belle ahead of Stargell? Raines 21st? And I hope you forgot Turkey Stearnes.
    Like Wheat over Ricky due to Rickey going for walks to a ridiculous degree with his exaggerated crouch.

    Like Lewis and am trying to find a way to give respect to glove men and not merely the best hitters. I have a set of favorites who I am not sure what to do with, but am trying to insert in my rankings, even though their hitting was not up to par. It's an on-going problem, not sure how to proceed. I'll work it out eventually, somehow.

    I like Belle's peak, and forgive him his head problems. His best seasons are similar to Thomas, Dick Allen. Stargell I like too, but like Albert more.

    Raines I haven't dealt with yet, and he is scheduled to move up. I find it hard to keep up with a lot of '66-85 players, who I honestly don't know a lot about, and it's not that I'm against them, as much as know too little about them. So as fast as people brief me on that class of players, I move them up.

    I like Turkey Stearns, but I place him below some of his peers, like Torriente, Dihigo, Hill, Suttles, and some of the other NLers. I haven't finished processing a lot of the Negro League guys.

    After Wheat in my list, my order is pretty fluid. Not really prepared to debate them or fight it out.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 04-10-2006 at 07:05 PM.

  7. #107
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    --You know I think Bill has a point. If Williams had just been willing to hit to LF he might have put up some big numbers . Virtually all the great stars had huge egos and did things their own way, sometimes to the detriment of their teams. What hurt their team more; Cobbs suspensions, Ruth's mistakenly believing he was a good basestealer (well and his suspensions too) or Williams stubbornly pulling the ball - with just a fair amount of success ?

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by leecemark
    --You know I think Bill has a point. If Williams had just been willing to hit to LF he might have put up some big numbers

    OK. I can recognize well-intentioned humor.


    Virtually all the great stars had huge egos and did things their own way, sometimes to the detriment of their teams. What hurt their team more; Cobbs suspensions, Ruth's mistakenly believing he was a good basestealer (well and his suspensions too) or Williams stubbornly pulling the ball - with just a fair amount of success ?
    While it may very well be true that to reach the top of one's field required a massive ego, I do ask myself if their so-called arrogance really did hurt their teams. Sincerely.

    Did Cobb's refusal to incorporate more long-ball hitting hurt his team, once The Babe established that it was the way to go?

    Possibly, yes. But we need to consider the risks of failure too. Cobb faced a 370 foot RF foul line, which no doubt converted a lot of his long shots into loud outs. So he would have had to chart a faultless course in when to go for the long ball and when to play it safer.

    So I don't think his playing it conservatively was 'arrogance'.

    Did Babe hurt his team by running, after he proved he wasn't particularly gifted at that aspect of the game? Yes, he probably did. But he didn't try it that often to where he was running his team out of a lot of potential runs. Babe was CS 117 times in his career. Only once over 14 times in a season.

    I do think that was arrogant, but nothing like Williams going to RF every time up. Not even in the same class of BB 'crime'.

    Ty/Babe did have a lot of BB chutzpah, but Wagner/Gehrig didn't. And others also lacked arrogance. Collins/Sisler lacked arrogance or ego.

    Bill

  9. #109
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    --Eddie Collins nickname was "Cocky". That suggests he displayed no shortage of self confidence.
    --I didn't say anything about Cobb's failure to adjust to the modern power game. As you point out, he was as stubborn in that as Williams was in not hitting the other way though.
    --Williams has the 2nd best (some people would even argue best) hitting record of any player in history. That suggestions his sticking to his own style of hitting didn't exactly hurt his team.

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by leecemark
    Williams has the 2nd best (some people would even argue best) hitting record of any player in history. That suggestions his sticking to his own style of hitting didn't exactly hurt his team.
    Imperfect logic. Babe hit the other way when they tried to shift against him.

    Babe was 'stubborn' too, but wasn't stupid/arrogant about it. Suggesting Williams couldn't have improved his performance, simply because he was an excellent hitter displays imperfect logic.

    Cobb not going for power in the 20's, while stubborn, wasn't born of arrogance. It was a risk-assessment judgment call, by the smartest player who ever lived. He was facing a long, 370 RF. In a way, it showed admirable lack of ego. He wasn't over-valuing his relative gifts. Not the same thing at all.

    But I'm sure you'll view my appraisal of these matters as covering for Cobb, but it's not.

    Bill
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 04-10-2006 at 09:57 PM.

  11. #111
    Quote Originally Posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    Imperfect logic. Babe hit the other way when they tried to shift against him.

    Babe was 'stubborn' too, but wasn't stupid/arrogant about it. Suggesting Williams couldn't have improved his performance, simply because he was an excellent hitter displays imperfect logic.

    Cobb not going for power in the 20's, while stubborn, wasn't born of arrogance. It was a risk-assessment judgment call, by the smartest player who ever lived. He was facing a long, 370 RF. In a way, it showed admirable lack of ego. He wasn't over-valuing his relative gifts. Not the same thing at all.

    But I'm sure you'll view my appraisal of these matters as covering for Cobb, but it's not.

    Bill
    But what if in trying to adjust his hitting, Williams became less of a hitter? You're assuming he could make a fluid adjustment and not lose anything that made him great the way he was. For Williams, perhaps his hitting was most valuable to stay at his style despite the shift then in trying to adapt his style to go the other way. He might have lost more hits that way for various reasons.

    While posting this, I'm thinking back to Jason Giambi last year. He struggled for the first two months of the season, and a lot of that struggling had to do with him trying to go the other way and use the entire field. When he scrapped that plan and just went back to what he did best, pulling the ball, his season took off. A player has to do what's best for him; forced changes could actually make things work though in theory they might seem better.

  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    Like Wheat over Ricky due to Rickey going for walks to a ridiculous degree with his exaggerated crouch.
    Change that to "getting on base to a ridiculous degree with his exaggerated crouch". It's ironic you penalize Ted for his strange unwillingness to go the other way, claiming it hurt the team, and when Rickey does something strange that HELPS the team you also penalize him. Just look at Wheat and Rickey, Bill. Look at them on a BBRef page or in the record book and try to tell me if there's any way in hell Wheat is better. There isn't. Personally, I rate Rickey the 15th greatest player of all time, Wheat doesn't even make the top 100.

    I like Belle's peak, and forgive him his head problems. His best seasons are similar to Thomas, Dick Allen. Stargell I like too, but like Albert more.
    He did have a monster peak, certainly, but not anywhere near Thomas or Allen, maybe near Stargell. Don't be fooled by the traditional numbers. Look beyond those and you'll see Allen and Thomas were MUCH better hitters. Belle certainly did just as much or more than Williams in his career to hurt his teams.

    Raines I haven't dealt with yet, and he is scheduled to move up. I find it hard to keep up with a lot of '66-85 players, who I honestly don't know a lot about, and it's not that I'm against them, as much as know too little about them. So as fast as people brief me on that class of players, I move them up.
    Just to give you a little backgroud-Raines is like Rickey Jr, pretty much. Did everything Rickey did, just not quite as good. Not like Rickey as a person at all though. While Rickey was always talking and showboating Raines was an extremely quiet, reserved player. IMO, deserved two MVP awards in the 1980s.

    I like Turkey Stearns, but I place him below some of his peers, like Torriente, Dihigo, Hill, Suttles, and some of the other NLers. I haven't finished processing a lot of the Negro League guys.
    All right, but that goes against most of what I've read. I think Stearnes was just a bit behind Torriente, but ahead of all those other guys.

  13. #113
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    Bill,

    I'm going to have to echo those sentiments. I've just finished my left field index. I'll send it along to you as I don't feel like broadcasting results at this point. Suffice it to say, Henderson ranks very high and Bucketfoot Al also ranks a little higher than I remember, but not much higher.
    I am the author of "Checks and Imbalances" and "The State of Baseball Management."

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by 538280
    Change that to "getting on base to a ridiculous degree with his exaggerated crouch". It's ironic you penalize Ted for his strange unwillingness to go the other way, claiming it hurt the team, and when Rickey does something strange that HELPS the team you also penalize him. Just look at Wheat and Rickey, Bill. Look at them on a BBRef page or in the record book and try to tell me if there's any way in hell Wheat is better. There isn't. Personally, I rate Rickey the 15th greatest player of all time, Wheat doesn't even make the top 100.

    I never said that Zack was a better player than The Rickey. Just that I like Zack better. Never gave me a reason to deduct points from him. But to tell you the truth, Chris, I have to agree with you on this one. I must learn to forgive the petty stuff I hold against some guys and give them their justice. So see? I am open to debate and let myself be influenced by solid argumentation. Rickey will go up next time I get around to it. I'm so caught up with my projects/research that I don't spend enough time on my player evaluations. So thanks for that!

    He did have a monster peak, certainly, but not anywhere near Thomas or Allen, maybe near Stargell. Don't be fooled by the traditional numbers. Look beyond those and you'll see Allen and Thomas were MUCH better hitters. Belle certainly did just as much or more than Williams in his career to hurt his teams.

    Belle was certainly controversial often enough, but I always felt he couldn't help himself. Like emotionally disabled. And some of his seasons were very like Thomas/Allen. Wasn't as long as Thomas' and Allen didn't consolidate his great seasons.

    Just to give you a little backgroud-Raines is like Rickey Jr, pretty much. Did everything Rickey did, just not quite as good. Not like Rickey as a person at all though. While Rickey was always talking and showboating Raines was an extremely quiet, reserved player. IMO, deserved two MVP awards in the 1980s.
    Raines will move up. Thanks, Chris.


    All right, but that goes against most of what I've read. I think Stearnes was just a bit behind Torriente, but ahead of all those other guys.
    I wish I had more time/inclination to finish up readings about so many different subjects. Takes a lot of time.

    Thanks, Chris.

  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleX
    But what if in trying to adjust his hitting, Williams became less of a hitter? You're assuming he could make a fluid adjustment and not lose anything that made him great the way he was. For Williams, perhaps his hitting was most valuable to stay at his style despite the shift then in trying to adapt his style to go the other way. He might have lost more hits that way for various reasons.

    While posting this, I'm thinking back to Jason Giambi last year. He struggled for the first two months of the season, and a lot of that struggling had to do with him trying to go the other way and use the entire field. When he scrapped that plan and just went back to what he did best, pulling the ball, his season took off. A player has to do what's best for him; forced changes could actually make things work though in theory they might seem better.
    It's unlikely that a hitter with Williams ability would be hurt by going the other way more, especially when him doing so, would disallow the shift to continue being implemented. If we consider the impact, we should take things back to the beginning of his career, and assume what would have happened given his known ability. Instead of thinking he'd make a "switch" in approach at a later age like Giambi did.

    No doubt he pulled the ball better than he went to left, but there comes a point when you must take what is given to you. Taking a pitch just off the outside corner is nice, but when you're Ted Williams, the man on your team, you gotta be swinging the bat imo, and even more so when you're not exactly Rickey Henderson on the bases.

    If you're saying that by him going the other way more, then he would fail to remain the same hitter on the inside pitch, I might agree to a certain degree. At the same time though, he'd open up more room over there for when he did pull the ball, likely increasing his numbers overall. From a pitcher's standpoint, there would be a lot more to worry about if Williams had put more dents into the monster.

    To think he could have put up even better numbers than he did, is a pretty scary thought. Really it worked out pretty well for him as it was, so who can really say what he should have done. He had 20 more singles in his career than Babe, in nearly 700 less AB, and Babe did go the other way and bunt to keep them honest.

  16. #116
    Quote Originally Posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    Imperfect logic. Babe hit the other way when they tried to shift against him.

    Babe was 'stubborn' too, but wasn't stupid/arrogant about it.
    I posted on that long ago Bill. I'm not here to say that Babe's reaction to the shift was better or more effective than Williams, Bond's, Giambi or others who refused to go the other way but he discouraged shifting on him right away.

    He would go the other way and in one game he really challenged the shift. One single to left, right down the line. One line drive over the third base bag for a double. To top it off a bunt down the third base line rolled into left field for another double. After that last one Ruth standing on second, laughing slapping his thighs and gesturing to the left side of the field, pointing at the SS who was the right side of second base in shallow RF. Oh and one strikeout.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 04-11-2006 at 01:03 PM.

  17. #117
    You can be sure a can of worms was opened here, I've see it happen on other boards. Any mention any hint that Ted should have gone the other way not all the time , even some times, will really get the ball rolling... and rolling... and rolling.
    Don't even mention that Ted could have helped his team " in some situations" by swinging at a pitch a fraction out of the strike zone or borderline with men in scoring position in some game situations.

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by yanks0714
    First off, Mel Ott was a RF'er, not a LF'er.
    That was from XX's post. He claimed Ott was someone (along with Simmons) that we infrequently talk about.

    I'm a big Al Simmons fan but I can't put him behind Rickey Henderson who I consider the 2nd best LF'er in AL history behind Ted Williams. I DO put him ahead of Joe JAckson and Yax as the 3rd best LF'er in AL history.
    Overall, besides Williams and Henderson, I have Simmons behind Musial and Barry Bonds (I penalize Bonds by dropping him behind Stan).
    So that makes Al Simmons the 5th best LF'er of all time in my book. He's just not looked at as being great because in his own time he played in Jimmie Foxx's shadown on the A's as well as Ruth's and Gehrig's. While he wasn't at their level I think he was right behind them.
    I'll tend to agree with most of that. I'm certain I have Rickey higher than Simmons, but I'll have to re-check, considering how both have fluctuated in them.
    Johnson and now Goligoski gone.
    I hope that's all.

  19. #119
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    It seems as if some have missed my point here. When I speak of Williams hitting to LF, we are not speaking as if he should have done so for the rest of his career. When they shifted on Babe, he merely hit to LF and then the other team would STOP ShIFTING!!! You defeat it by hitting free doubles, triples to LF, and then they MUST STOP SHIFTING. And it's that simple.

    And after they STOP ShIFTING, you GO BACK TO BASHING TO RF!!!! And with a RF not bunched with defenders, your hitting is significantly much improved!! Does that not follow automatically?? By definition?

    And that is what I meant when I said that Ted Williams hurt his team every day once they started to shift on him and he started throwing one at bat after another. I don't care if he hit 1.000. If he wasn't trying to put the odds in favor of his team, and HE WASN'T, THE MAN WAS THROWING GAMES!!

    And another thing. Many here have suggested that perhaps he might have hit better by pulling the ball to his power field, and by cutting his stroke, he might have lessened his value as a hitter.

    This might sound like a reasonable argument, and if I didn't know what I know, I might be open to it. But I know better. Ted was a student of hitting. And he was very tight with Ty Cobb, his good pal. Ty showed him how he could go to LF, WITHOUT CUTTING HIS STROKE IN ANY WAY.

    Mr. Cobb was also a student of hitting. And his record proves he was the most valuable, effective, astute hitting coach who ever lived. Taught Heilmann, Simmons, Cochrane, Dykes, O'Doul, Manush, Flagstad, Fothergill, Wingo, Haney, Fonseca, and tons of others. Ty was the only known hitter who could hit murderous line drives down the LF line, as a left-handed hitter, on an inside pitch.

    Here is how he did it, and what he showed to Ted. When he noticed that there was a hole in LF, or the LFers was shading him too far to CF, he'd crowd the plate. Of course, that would invite the pitcher to come hard inside, to drive him back off the inside corner. Simple, old-fashioned ball.

    But here's the twist. Ty would crowd the plate, inviting the brush-back, and knowing he was going to get it on the very next pitch. When the pitcher came in with that hard inside pitch, Ty would, while the pitcher was winding up, subtly, unnoticeably, move his back foot towards the 1st base dugout. He'd swivel his body alignment to where he was almost facing the 3rd base dugout. He was then so re-aligned, his back was facing the pitcher, instead of his right shoulder.

    And in that position, he could take his full cut, not cutting his stroke whatsoever, and whistle that inside pitch down the LF foul line.

    One would have thought that sharp-eyed observers would have picked up on his trick. But they didn't. He pulled it over and over again, and they never caught on. Maybe they couldn't believe he could actually do it, and never noticed how he'd subtly shifted his feet and swiveled his body alignment. Ty only did that at the very last moment, and most people were watching the pitcher deliver the ball, and not studying Ty while he awaited the pitch.

    And that is what Ty showed Ted. Ted, who was supposed to be such a smart hitter. Smart my greasy butt! He could have improved his performance many points if he had the humility to follow a few of Ty's simple, but brilliant hitting tips.

    And that is why I posted so over the top on Ted. I had my reasons. Always do.

    Bill Burgess
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 04-11-2006 at 03:29 PM.

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    And that is what Ty showed Ted. Ted, who was supposed to be such a smart hitter. Smart my greasy butt! He could have improved his performance many points if he had the humility to follow a few of Ty's simple, but brilliant hitting tips.

    And that is why I posted so over the top on Ted. I had my reasons. Always do.

    Bill Burgess
    Bill, much less biased than before, good job.

    But, don't you think Ty could have probably benifited from, in his career, listening to some of Ted's hitting instruction? Not to say Cobb was impatient, but he didn't draw the walks like Ted/Babe. He had to swing away.

    Not to say Cobb didn't have great power, but perhaps, if he went with Ted's style and tried to uppercut the ball he'd be even better. I know it would have gone against the times, but still, the same things could really be applied for Cobb.

    Another thing, maybe if Cobb would have listened to Ted and his thoughts on black players and Negro Leaguers, he'd be liked a whole lot more by a lot of people, including myself?

  21. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    My LF guys:

    LF - Musial, Jackson, Bonds (steroid discount), Yaz, Williams, Simmons,
    B. Williams, Wheat, Henderson, D. Lewis, Clarke, Kiner, Delahanty, A.
    Belle, Stargell, Goslin, Sheckard, Rice, Medwick, Ramirez, Raines.
    Oh, my word!!! I don't know where to start...this post left me literally gasping, Bill.

    Musial first? Well, I won't argue but I can't see him ahead of Ted...whom you have at, incredibly, 5th! YaZ ahead of Ted Williams!!! Bill!!!
    Joe Jackson 2nd! Wow!
    Bonds 3rd witha steroid discount, okay. Simmons at 6 is okay.
    Billy Williams, Zack Wheat ahead of Rickey Henderson...sorry, but that blows my mind.
    Please don't tell me that 'D. Lewis' is Duffy Lewis. Please don't. And ahead of Fred Clarke and Ralph Kiner and Willie Stargell and Goose Goslin and Joe Medwick???!!!
    Ed Delahanty so far down the list as to be an after thought....boggles my mind.
    Tim Raines nearly off the list!
    Bill, please check the tobacco in that pipe of yours.

    Yankees Fan Since 1957

  22. #122
    Quote Originally Posted by 538280
    But, don't you think Ty could have probably benifited from, in his career, listening to some of Ted's hitting instruction? Not to say Cobb was impatient, but he didn't draw the walks like Ted/Babe. He had to swing away.
    Same tired old story....

    Walks, homeruns, and strikeouts=the only path to true greatness....

    A guy wins 12 straight batting titles, leads in slugging 8 times, and hits nearly .390 during a decade dominated by pitching, and you say "he had to swing away" like it's a pejorative. One DOES NOT have to draw a ton of walks to be an incredible hitter (or baseball player), for that matter. People just can't get past walks or for a second percieve the game through any other prism than the Moneyball perspective (as if people who played 30+ years before OBP was even conceived of would adhere to that ethos). How silly.

    "Swinging away" is just fine if you're a hitter of legendary talent (see Albert Pujols).

    To think that Cobb would/could/should have just upped and tried to become Babe Ruth after totally dominating baseball for over a decade just shows a tremendous lack of historical perspective on your part. One freak of nature outhomering entire teams shows up- against and 50 years of baseball being taught, learned, practiced, and played under rules and conditions antithetical to one allowing the Ruthian style- and some people make the ridiculous retroactive statement that Ty Cobb should have tried to hit a homerun every time up (as Ruth basically did) once the live ball was introduced. And he should have done this playing in a park with a 370 foot right field line and 467 to center- one of the worst home runs parks for lefties in all of baseball? It's apparent that you, Chris, simply haven't researched Ty Cobb or the deadball era very much.

    How many books/biographies of pre 1920's baseball/ballplayers have you actually read?
    Last edited by csh19792001; 04-11-2006 at 03:35 PM.

  23. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by 538280
    But, don't you think Ty could have probably benefited from, in his career, listening to some of Ted's hitting instruction? Not to say Cobb was impatient, but he didn't draw the walks like Ted/Babe. He had to swing away.

    That would have been a very nice trick, considering that Ted came along 11 yrs. after Ty retired. But yes, I agree. If someone had suggested to him to use the BB as a weapon, he'd have went with it. But we must project ourselves into that time and understand what the dynamics were.

    In his day, the pitchers were pitching to Cobb MUCH more than they did to Babe/Barry. Ty wasn't feared, and they would rather feed him a fat pitch than put him on. So, consequently, he probably got many fewer chances to walk than we think.

    One of his tricks, to get on, was to crowd the plate and invite them to brush him back. When they came inside to back him off, he'd contrive to let the pitch hit the big baggy sleeve of his uniform. And they caught on to that and stopped letting him do that to them.

    So, Chris, TC did try to walk, but they had his number and were alert not to put him on for free. He also let the pitches hit him a lot to get on. Or if the pitch was too close, he'd throw his butt way out to tell the ump, it was way too inside. He DID have his tricks.


    Not to say Cobb didn't have great power, but perhaps, if he went with Ted's style and tried to uppercut the ball he'd be even better. I know it would have gone against the times, but still, the same things could really be applied for Cobb.

    Another thing, maybe if Cobb would have listened to Ted and his thoughts on black players and Negro Leaguers, he'd be liked a whole lot more by a lot of people, including myself?
    Again, I agree. I wish that he, Speaker, Jackson, Wheat, and certain others had tried to use more of a 'grooved, power swing', with a nice little upper-cut in it. I think that a select few would have met with at least some success.

    But again, we must see the 'big picture'. The parks were fairly larger than today's parks. Cobb's RF was 370 feet down the line, and nice power is a very elusive, exacting art. And if he screwed up the procedure, and his BA came down, that small, select circle of deadball stars would have been hooted, jeered, baited, taunted, etc. Cobb got that already as it was. If he had tried to employ his HR swing more often, and just grazed the ball, and popped up, or pounded it into the dirt, or screwed it up, the price he would have paid would have been very disproportionate.

    When a player is over 33, everyone is watching to see when you start to 'go down slow'. And there were always others lurking in the sidelines, lined up in a queue, waiting to step into your slot. And since TC was carrying a pricetag of $50K, as player/manager, his tightwad, skinflint, cheapskate owner, Frank Navin, was just looking for his excuse to ratchet down that fat $50K figure, based on productivity.

    The rewards would have been nice, but the risks were also terrifying, considering the loss of thousands of bucks in income for his family of 6.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 04-11-2006 at 05:07 PM.

  24. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    It seems as if some have missed my point here. When I speak of Williams hitting to LF, we are not speaking as if he should have done so for the rest of his career. When they shifted on Babe, he merely hit to LF and then the other team would STOP ShIFTING!!! You defeat it by hitting free doubles, triples to LF, and then they MUST STOP SHIFTING. And it's that simple.

    And after they STOP ShIFTING, you GO BACK TO BASHING TO RF!!!! And with a RF not bunched with defenders, your hitting is significantly much improved!! Does that not follow automatically?? By definition?
    Bill Burgess
    Bill, I really respect your knowledge and enjoy your posts immensely. BUT, this is Ted Williams we're talking about here. With all that he accomplished at the plate you think he was "hurting" his team?

    If it were some other LH'ed hitter who hadn't done what Williams actually did at the plate, stubbornly hitting against a shift maybe, probably, I would agree with you. But not when the subject is Ted Williams.

    BTW, Ty Cobb. You mentioned several times about it being 370 down the line. I assume you mean at his home park. But, Ty didn't swing for the fences at smaller fields either on the road...even in the live ball era after 1920.
    There is plenty of documentation that Ty hated the way Ruth played the game, basing it on power. He preferred 'scientific' baseball. I consider Cobb to be just as blasted stubbon as Williams was in his own way, by not trying to 'help' his team more by going for the long ball on a more consistant basis. Remember, BA is what was the end all be all in the deadball era and Ty Cobb never wanted to change his style in the live ball era and possibly sacrifice his BA.

    Yankees Fan Since 1957

  25. #125
    Quote Originally Posted by yanks0714
    I consider Cobb to be just as blasted stubbon as Williams was in his own way, by not trying to 'help' his team more by going for the long ball on a more consistant basis. Remember, BA is what was the end all be all in the deadball era and Ty Cobb never wanted to change his style in the live ball era and possibly sacrifice his BA.
    Right, BA was the gold standard of hitting ability in Cobb's day- and it remained so till the end of his career and beyond. We all know that SLG%, OPS+, RC, (even OBP) weren't even coceived of until much, much later. Ruth's homeruns were a novelty; people weren't assessing (or trying to exactly quantify) how much exact impact they had on his team's success. Even Cobb, arguably the most brillant player ever, couldn't be expected to be prescient enough to say "Well, if I take more walks, my "OPS+" might go up and I might one day be considered more valuable/greater". This is again a silly imposition of a modern paradigm on a player borne from an era still ridden with sepia toned photographs. The handlebar mustache was not long since out of vogue when Cobb entered the Majors.

    The difference, however, is that Ted Williams knew that hitting past three infielders and towards one outfielder (instead of adapting, taking the inside-out approach, and hitting the ball where it was frequently pitched- towards one infielder and one outfielder) almost certainly wasn't the best thing for his team in the long run. As awesome as he was, he would certainly have been better hitting the ball towards the holes more than infrequently- and he certainly could have done it. But Ted wanted his homeruns and the personal glory, and his hitting hubris and insistence on gritting his teeth and trying to pull the ball regardless of situation (and whether it was the best thing for his team) is as well documented as Cobb's aversion to Ruth heretical approach to hitting.

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