One could argue Bags was one of em, though...
Dierker wouldn't let Bagwell run as much as he wanted, because he was afraid of his superstar getting hurt. The fact is Jeff could have been a 40-40 threat annually in the 90's. Had he been playing for someone with an ethos of Herzog in the 80's I think he would have stolen 30-50 a year in his prime.
Unless steroids become legalized, I guarantee you will NEVER see Babe Ruth or even Lou Gehrig type numbers in baseball again.
It goes for pitchers too. Clemens had to juice up to get into Walter Johnson's league, and he still falls short statistically. Maddux also falls short, Randy Johnson, Pedro, etc. Hell, they also fall way short to Cy Young too. It just seems strange to me that all of the best players and pitchers statistically seemed to play 50-60+ years ago, but whatever.
I'll just state one more time that I think it's unrealistic to expect Pujols or any other great hitters to come close to the batting statistics of Ruth, Gehrig, etc. I'm pretty sure it will never happen. Records like Ruth's career slugging% or his career OPS+ will stand forever.
Last edited by fenrir; 05-02-2012 at 12:55 AM.
If it hasn't already been mentioned, you wonder what age Pujols really is.
He's clearly in decline at this stage. How he handles being out of his comfort zone in St Louis remains to be seen, early indications aren't very good.
There is no proof, but all available evidence points to Pujols' competition and pitching being much stronger than Gehrig's. Lou is one of my heroes and always will be, but we have to be honest about this timeline debate.
What 'evidence' is there that the league now is better? Even if that is so, then every player during Gehrig's time was playing against the same level of low competition, and inferior pitching, and he still stood out. What more could he and Ruth do? If they had batted .450 every year and drove in 200, then some people would still say it is only because of low level of competition.
I've said this before: people want to penalize Gehrig in two ways, and in the process try to discount both his relative rates and his raw stats. They say his raw stats cannot be taken seriously because he played in such a high scoring era, and that his relative stats cannot be taken seriously, because everyone was still playing 'small ball', and he was hitting home runs. Well to me, you can't have it both ways. If the league was still stuck in the dead ball way of thinking, then why was scoring so high? If it was so easy to hit, then why was only Ruth and Foxx in a few years, able to match Lou's numbers?
The whole basis of sabermetrics is, because comparing raw stats throughout eras is unfair, to compare players based on relative stats. If we are then going to say that the relative stats are also skewed, then there is really no way to even have such debates as this. There is no way to 'prove' that players have gotten better. on average, over time. If anything, the only 'proof' we have points to the fact that the players have remained about the same in quality. This 'proof' is the fact that baseball is a continuous process. Some players playing now also played against guys 20 years ago...and some players playing 20 years ago also played against guys who played 20 years earlier...and so on. This is very important. If the average player was indeed improving at such a rapid rate, then it would not be possible for 35 and 40 year olds to keep up with the ever improving influx of younger, better players. In any case, I think once you reach a certain level, then you max out, and the numbers you put up will remain about the same. Some players can do great in AAA ball , and then flop in the majors...and some players can do good in the majors, and light it up in AAA..but I think that the BEST players wouldn't change. I think if you put Pujols or Kemp in AAA, then they will have about the same numbers, despite the lower 'league quality'
Last edited by willshad; 05-04-2012 at 08:19 PM.
The issue for me isn't whether or not Lou Gehrig would be elite. My issue is with people knocking Pujols simply because he hasn't posted video games numbers like Gehrig did, when in reality no non steroid player has been capable of those kind of numbers for over 50+ years. Hell, even with all the flagrant steroid abuse going on, only ONE juicer was able to approach Babe Ruth/Gehrig/Williams type numbers.
Last edited by fenrir; 05-04-2012 at 09:55 PM.
You do understand how much harder it is to dominate in today than it was 75 years ago....or do you just think almost all the best players in history just happened to finish their careers more than 5 decades ago?
What's more likely?
We have three options. We can compare them on raw numbers (silly waste of time), or on relative numbers (which doesn't mean much because they're "relative" only in comparison to the average guy in that league, that year). Gehrig "wins easily on both counts" because a good percentage of the competition he was dominating wouldn't even be in the Bigs today. The entire bottom quartile (or perhaps more!) would have their places taken by African American, Latin American, and now even some Asian players that weren't even around in Gehrig's day...save a handful of outliers/novelty acts.
And there is plenty of evidence suggesting that the average player has gotten better and that the game has advanced fundamentally since 1930. And by "plenty" of evidence, I mean "basically ALL the evidence". Stats based on standard deviation of player performance from top to bottom, film, anecdotal information, scouting techniques and global scope, the exponential advances in health and the science of sports nutrition and training, etc. etc.
Go ahead and throw out some facts to challenge/refute the claim that athletes and the average ballplayers are much better today. Or all the evidence supporting/proving that the pre 1950 superstars were just much better than modern guys. I'd like to hear the rationale which has been underpinning posts inspiring sentiments such as the last one for years. This isn't personal; many people feel the way you do....
Last edited by csh19792001; 05-04-2012 at 11:22 PM.
OK, then forget 70 years ago for a minute. Why couldn't Pujols even catch Frank Thomas' best years if he was so good? Why hasn't he ever had a top 30 season? He was great, but also over-rated a lot. He's no top 10 player by a mile.
Lou Gehrig is the Truest Yankee of them all!
There are a couple of logical fallacies that need to be addressed here.
First of all, let's assume that the players HAVE improved over time. If the average played has improved so much, then wouldn't it make sense that the BEST players have likewise improved?
Second of all, nobody has answered why, if the new players keep getting better, the older players are not run out of the league at a more rapid pace.
Third of all, if the players are so much better now, why does every all time player list still have the old timers all over the top 10, top, 20 and top 100?
I think it is very possible that many of the best players played nearly 100 years ago. Sometimes random distribution just happens that way.
How exactly are we supposed to 'adjust' for league quality? Do we just reduce Lou's and Babe's stats by 10%? 20%? 50%? Do we then have to adjust EVERY players stats from pre-1930 accordingly?
All these people who claim that the league quality has improved so rapidly..Id love to see their list of top 50 all time players.
The reason Pujols has not had a 200 OPS+ season is because he is not that selective at the plate. It has nothing to do with is hitting ability. Ruth, Gehrig, Williams, Bonds, etc were able to get their OPS+ scores so high because they walked 150 times a year. Add 50 walks to every Pujols season and see what he ends up with.
Last edited by willshad; 05-04-2012 at 11:50 PM.
Frank Thomas, Bagwell, and Belle all three posted a Slugging% over .700 in a season that was shortened by the strike, and Larry Walker was undoubtedly aided by the hitters paradise known as coors field. Basically, looking at this list, when it comes to Slugging% all of the best hitters ever seemed to play 50-60+ years ago. Again, to me this seems incredibly odd. Hell, even when Mantle played the league wasn't fully integrated, and was inferior to the NL during his playing days.Code:Rank Player (age that year) Slugging % Year Bats 2. Babe Ruth+ (25) .8472 1920 L 3. Babe Ruth+ (26) .8463 1921 L 6. Babe Ruth+ (32) .7722 1927 L 7. Lou Gehrig+ (24) .7654 1927 L 8. Babe Ruth+ (28) .7644 1923 L 9. Rogers Hornsby+ (29) .7560 1925 R 11. Jeff Bagwell (26) .7500 1994 R 12. Jimmie Fox+ (24) .7487 1932 R 14. Babe Ruth+ (29) .7391 1924 L 15. Babe Ruth+ (31) .7374 1926 L 17. Ted Williams+ (22) .7346 1941 L 18. Babe Ruth+ (35) .7317 1930 L 19. Ted Williams+ (38) .7310 1957 L 21. Frank Thomas (26) .7293 1994 R 22. Hack Wilson+ (30) .7231 1930 R 23. Rogers Hornsby+ (26) .7223 1922 R 24. Lou Gehrig+ (27) .7212 1930 L 25. Larry Walker (30) .7201 1997 L 26. Albert Belle (27) .7136 1994 R 27. Larry Walker (32) .7100 1999 L 28. Babe Ruth+ (33) .7090 1928 L 29. Al Simmons+ (28) .7076 1930 R 30. Lou Gehrig+ (31) .7064 1934 L 31. Mickey Mantle+ (24) .7054 1956 B 32. Jimmie Foxx+ (30) .7044 1938 R 33. Jimmie Foxx+ (25) .7033 1933 R 34. Stan Musial+ (27) .7021 1948 L
Your Second Base Coach
Garvey, Lopes, Russell, and Cey started 833 times and the Dodgers went 498-335, for a .598 winning percentage. Thatís equal to a team going 97-65 over a season. On those occasions when at least one of them missed his start, the Dodgers were 306-267-1, which is a .534 clip. That works out to a team going 87-75. So having all four of them added 10 wins to the Dodgers per year.
Just expanding on your idea's.
There was not this type of dominance 1871-1919, then Ruth. Baseball strategy changed radically for the first time. Everyone caught up eventually.
Another thing, the earliest HR stars: Ruth, Gehrig, Cy Willams, Ken Williams, Hornsby, Klein, Wilson, had advantageous home parks.
"I go all out. And I'm going to bring that to the table every day, in good times and bad times." - Eric Byrnes
"...far too many people want to retroactively apply today's standards to yesterday's players, as if they played the game under the same assumptions and just heedlessly and obdurately plowed on in their own groove." - Los Bravos