View Poll Results: Who do you have ranked higher?

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  • Barry Bonds

    35 56.45%
  • Hank Aaron

    27 43.55%
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Thread: Barry Bonds vs Hank Aaron

  1. #51
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    I may be mistaken, but isn't Ichiro just as good in the majors as he was in Japan?

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    Though we can't being players pf the past to the present there is a real life analogy that I believe gives great insight into how players of the past may fair. This analogy is the the move of Japanese players to the majors. Every single player that comes to the majors from Japan has a drop in performance with respect to their Japanese stats. This makes sense since the Japanese player is coming to a league where the pitchers generally throw harder, the players tend to be larger and stronger, the stadiums are generally bigger, and the season is longer. At least to me this gives great insight as to how players of the past would fair today. Hideki Matsui was a great power hitter in Japan. I saw him play while I was in Japan back in 2002. Yet his HR power dropped significantly when he came to the majors.
    That's a pretty big false equivalency, HWR. The technological, nutritional and medical knowledge limitations of Ruth's day v. the limitations of the quality of players in the Japan League due to the genetic constraints of Asian males.

  3. #53
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    Nevermind, I just looked it up, and Ichiro was MUCH better in Japan. He had over a .900 OPS every year, some years over 1.000, and apparently he was never caught stealing, even once.

  4. #54
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    In baseball, being bigger isn't necessarily an advantage. If that were the case, then baseball players would all be the size of NFL or NBA players.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesky5 View Post
    That's a pretty big false equivalency, HWR. The technological, nutritional and medical knowledge limitations of Ruth's day v. the limitations of the quality of players in the Japan League due to the genetic constraints of Asian males.
    Sorry, I disagree 100%. It is a very valid analogy and I consider it strong evidence that the players of the past would struggle today. Genetic constraints on Asian males? Seriously? I won't touch that one...
    Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 03-31-2012 at 11:48 AM.
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    Ruth had good eye, quick reflexes and a big strong guy for his era. That is all we can know. We don't know if those attirbutes are good enough to play in today's game and do well.



    It's not so difficult to believe. How do we do we know Ruth was a great player? Because he utterly dominated his era. He played against a specific group of players, in specific stadduim, using a specific equipment.


    That is certainly possible. Like I asked before. Could Red Grange, Wilt Chamberlain, or Paavo Nurmi hold their own against modern athletes in their sport?


    I'm not familiar with this article. I'd like to read it.


    I would think Wagner and Cobb in todays game would hit, Carew, Brett, Bonds, put them into any era and they hit.

    One thing has to be considered, moving a past great into todays game should not come in todays game as is. Born in a later time they would benefit from some of the advancements in nutrition, training and equipment changes.
    The only way is to bring them as-is. The question is whether the Babe Ruth of the 1920's could dominate today. If you don't bring Ruth to the present as-si then you don't really have Babe Ruth anymore. You have someone else.

    Though we can't being players pf the past to the present there is a real life analogy that I believe gives great insight into how players of the past may fair. This analogy is the the move of Japanese players to the majors. Every single player that comes to the majors from Japan has a drop in performance with respect to their Japanese stats. This makes sense since the Japanese player is coming to a league where the pitchers generally throw harder, the players tend to be larger and stronger, the stadiums are generally bigger, and the season is longer. At least to me this gives great insight as to how players of the past would fair today. Hideki Matsui was a great power hitter in Japan. I saw him play while I was in Japan back in 2002. Yet his HR power dropped significantly when he came to the majors.

    Code:
    Age HR  PA   PA/HR
    19  11  203  18.45
    20  20  569  28.45
    21  22  569  25.86 
    22  38  569  14.97
    23  37  596  16.10
    24  34  603  17.74
    25  42  572  13.62
    26  42  589  14.02
    27  36  611  16.97
    28  50  620  12.40
    
    29  16  695  43.44
    30  31  680  21.94
    31  23  704  30.61
    32   8  201  25.13
    33  25  634  25.36
    34   9  378  42.00
    35  28  528  18.86
    36  21  558  26.57
    37  12  585  48.75
    [/QUOTE]

    Why should it be as is. How is that fair, this could start a whole new debate. Would todays player on average be as big and strong if they were born around 1900, probably not, it's a whole different world right from birth and then add in all the advancements.

    For that matter, there probably are some who could come as is and could play today.
    The Steve Balboni is a laugher. If Ruth could be a modern day Stave Balboni then who could play in todays game and compete with todays players. Thats about the same as saying there were no great players back then at all.

    As for that quotes about the 5 percent in any era being able successful in any era, I don't recall where I saw it, that was years ago and I did say their numbers might not be the same. Why can't it be considered, makes sense to me, 5 percent is not asking much. There just had to be a handful of very good hitters in any era, why would the be none. Or do you think the 5 percent should be lower.

    As is is out, if they lived and played today ever thing is different. You don't have some one else. You either have a good eye or you don't and you can't change the reflexes speed your born with, thats a part of the good and great hitters package, just a part..
    Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 03-31-2012 at 12:24 PM.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHOELESSJOE3 View Post
    As for that quotes about the 5 percent in any era being able successful in any era, I don't recall where I saw it, that was years ago and I did say their numbers might not be the same. Why can't it be considered, makes sense to me, 5 percent is not asking much. There just had to be a handful of very good hitters in any era, why would the be none. Or do you think the 5 percent should be lower.
    US Population 1920: 106M
    US Population 2010: 310M

    And baseball recruits worldwide. So the top 500 players are drawn from a much larger pool. If a player had to be in the top 5% in 1920, they would have to be in the top 2% (something smaller anyway) today.

  8. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by leecemark View Post
    --I think a Brett type players is a good comp for Cobb also. Cobb was more consistently near the top of his game though so I'd expect you'd see a few more seasons like Brett at his best and fewer off seasons. So another batting title or three, maybe more than the one 30 HR season, a few hundred more hits and an OPS+ maybe halfway between Brett's and what Cobb did in his own time.

    That's what I was thinking. If we look at the 5 "healthy" Brett seasons: '76, '79, '85, '88 and '90 and then kind of fill in the gaps in the 10 years when he was on the DL it might be a good gauge. He had OPS+'s of 145, 148, 184, 149 and 153 in those 5 healthy years which would be a 156 average in 5 years spread out over a 15 year period, and we don't even count the injured years in 1977, 1980 or 1983 where he had good rates when he did play. I someone put up those 5 year rates for 15 years of "prime" that would be about .325 average 3000 hits, 600 doubles, 150 triples, 300 home runs, 1400 RBI and I think the walks would have been similar too. Then give him another 5-7 decent years on the bookends.

    I think he might have been a LITTLE more like a cross between a healthy Brett and Gwynn's run in the mid 90's though-placing more hits, but driving the ball from time to time. Maybe Brett's power and Gwynn's averages with Ichiro's baserunning.

  9. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by SHOELESSJOE3 View Post
    Why should it be as is. How is that fair, this could start a whole new debate. Would todays player on average be as big and strong if they were born around 1900, probably not, it's a whole different world right from birth and then add in all the advancements.

    For that matter, there probably are some who could come as is and could play today.
    The Steve Balboni is a laugher. If Ruth could be a modern day Stave Balboni then who could play in todays game and compete with todays players. Thats about the same as saying there were no great players back then at all.

    As for that quotes about the 5 percent in any era being able successful in any era, I don't recall where I saw it, that was years ago and I did say their numbers might not be the same. Why can't it be considered, makes sense to me, 5 percent is not asking much. There just had to be a handful of very good hitters in any era, why would the be none. Or do you think the 5 percent should be lower.

    As is is out, if they lived and played today ever thing is different. You don't have some one else. You either have a good eye or you don't and you can't change the reflexes speed your born with, thats a part of the good and great hitters package, just a part..

    I think Ruth probably would be an excellent hitter in today's game, but I'm not sure if he would be the best, meaning better than Pujols.

    I remember when Berkman made that comment about Pujols being better than Ruth, and nearly everyone thought it was ridiculous, and I'm not sure why. Pujols could very well be better than Ruth ever was. We'll sadly never know though.

  10. #60
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    Granted, the pitchers were probably only throwing 85-95(100 mph was highly unlikely, except for possibly Sir Walter)during Babe's day with less stuff, but better control. I don't buy the fact that Ruth faced 75 mph fastballs(competitive for Junior Varsity high school), like some people have said he may have faced. That is ridiculous. Beanpoles on my high school team were clocked at 78 mph, and they weren't very good at all. I was clocked in the low 70s and I played 1st base! The fact that the Babe could swing a whopping 42 ounce bat and clock those pitches 500+ feet is unbelievable. He truly made a mockery of the pitching back then, albeit unintentionally. I can't see how that's even possible. However, he wouldn't be afforded the luxury of being able to completely tee off against the 100 mph pitchers of today with their assortment of new junk. And bringing the Babe to this era with his ridiculous 42 ounce bat would hurt him immensely. And since he wouldn't be able to take advantage of all of the bennies today like medicine, better diet, weight training, A LIGHTER BAT, etc, then comparing him to Bye Bye Balboni or Dave Kingman looks about right. I used a very light 28 ounce bat and that felt heavy enough. I believe that swinging a 32 ounce bat takes a lot of strength to swing it fast enough to even clock high school pitching. OK, I'll admit that I wasn't very good in HS. Actually, I kind of sucked. And to set the record straight: Lasek does not give you Ted Williams eyes. It is simply a corrective surgery. I.e, it brings you back to the 20/20 or 20/15 vision that you originally had, but nothing better. I found this out when I went to TLC, the same company that Tiger Woods and Bill used. Although Lasek is very convenient and worth every penny of the 4250.00 that I spent, it won't give you the ability to pick up the spin on a curve like Ted Williams could, recognize which part of the plate the ball will pass over in under 1/10th of a second, nor increase your depth perception(this killed me personally on fly balls). I'm personally waiting for a lens that I can wear that'll increase my depth perception and give me more of a 3D vision. I clearly lacked it. But it'd be very valuable for fielding high fly balls and hitting a ball.

  11. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by pheasant View Post
    Granted, the pitchers were probably only throwing 85-95(100 mph was highly unlikely, except for possibly Sir Walter)during Babe's day with less stuff, but better control. I don't buy the fact that Ruth faced 75 mph fastballs(competitive for Junior Varsity high school), like some people have said he may have faced. That is ridiculous. Beanpoles on my high school team were clocked at 78 mph, and they weren't very good at all. I was clocked in the low 70s and I played 1st base! The fact that the Babe could swing a whopping 42 ounce bat and clock those pitches 500+ feet is unbelievable. He truly made a mockery of the pitching back then, albeit unintentionally. I can't see how that's even possible. However, he wouldn't be afforded the luxury of being able to completely tee off against the 100 mph pitchers of today with their assortment of new junk. And bringing the Babe to this era with his ridiculous 42 ounce bat would hurt him immensely. And since he wouldn't be able to take advantage of all of the bennies today like medicine, better diet, weight training, A LIGHTER BAT, etc, then comparing him to Bye Bye Balboni or Dave Kingman looks about right. I used a very light 28 ounce bat and that felt heavy enough. I believe that swinging a 32 ounce bat takes a lot of strength to swing it fast enough to even clock high school pitching. OK, I'll admit that I wasn't very good in HS. Actually, I kind of sucked. And to set the record straight: Lasek does not give you Ted Williams eyes. It is simply a corrective surgery. I.e, it brings you back to the 20/20 or 20/15 vision that you originally had, but nothing better. I found this out when I went to TLC, the same company that Tiger Woods and Bill used. Although Lasek is very convenient and worth every penny of the 4250.00 that I spent, it won't give you the ability to pick up the spin on a curve like Ted Williams could, recognize which part of the plate the ball will pass over in under 1/10th of a second, nor increase your depth perception(this killed me personally on fly balls). I'm personally waiting for a lens that I can wear that'll increase my depth perception and give me more of a 3D vision. I clearly lacked it. But it'd be very valuable for fielding high fly balls and hitting a ball.


    Ruth could "tee-off" in part because the pitches didn't move as much though. Pitchers varied speed and timing more, but if your a little early or late on a straight pitch you are still going to make solid contact a lot of the time.

  12. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    Sorry, I disagree 100%. It is a very valid analogy and I consider it strong evidence that the players of the past would struggle today. Genetic constraints on Asian males? Seriously? I won't touch that one...
    Is it a coincidence that every Asian import besides Matsui hasn't been anything close to a HR hitter? Any reasonable observer can see why a shorter skinnier player is less likely to succeed. MLB has access to Asian players and their numbers pale in comparison to white players who pale in comparison to the more common latino's. Baseball has recently fallen out of favor with the majority of black athletes but they dominated whites and latino's since the color barrier was broken.
    Last edited by milladrive; 04-01-2012 at 06:53 AM. Reason: Removed personal attack.

  13. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by fenrir View Post
    I think Ruth probably would be an excellent hitter in today's game, but I'm not sure if he would be the best, meaning better than Pujols.

    I remember when Berkman made that comment about Pujols being better than Ruth, and nearly everyone thought it was ridiculous, and I'm not sure why. Pujols could very well be better than Ruth ever was. We'll sadly never know though.
    If I recall that comment was made after Pujol's 3 homer World Series game. To witness something like that, possible he was a bit excited. Also Ruth did that twice in the WS and had two WS games with two home runs.
    That was Berkman's opinion, not a problem with that.

  14. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by brett View Post
    Ruth could "tee-off" in part because the pitches didn't move as much though. Pitchers varied speed and timing more, but if your a little early or late on a straight pitch you are still going to make solid contact a lot of the time.
    We can go down this road again, the pitching then, also Ruth not facing relief pitching and today the shrunken strike zone, suspect ball, smaller parks and the lower mound. Ruth had some things going his way and todays player have some things in their favor.
    No one era had everything going their way for the batters.
    The problem is, how does anyone ever know how to make an adjustment, we can't.

  15. #65
    Small sample here but Ruth had some long ball success with two of the best. Walter Johnson, Ruth hit 10 homers against him. A pretty fair lefty, Lefty Grove Ruth and Gehrig hit the most home runs against him, both with 9 homers. Ruth lost one off of Lefty at Shibe in 1930 when he cleared the wall but the ball struck speaker supports, Yanks bitch but lose the argument, Babe sent back to second, a double
    Keep in mind Ruth never faced lefty Grove until 1925 or 1926.
    Again, small sample.

  16. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by SHOELESSJOE3 View Post
    We can go down this road again, the pitching then, also Ruth not facing relief pitching and today the shrunken strike zone, suspect ball, smaller parks and the lower mound. Ruth had some things going his way and todays player have some things in their favor.
    No one era had everything going their way for the batters.
    The problem is, how does anyone ever know how to make an adjustment, we can't.
    My point here is not about productivity, its about the image I have of Ruth shuffling up into the pitch and trying to hit it out of the stadium.

  17. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by CandlestickBum View Post
    US Population 1920: 106M
    US Population 2010: 310M

    And baseball recruits worldwide. So the top 500 players are drawn from a much larger pool. If a player had to be in the top 5% in 1920, they would have to be in the top 2% (something smaller anyway) today.
    I did yield some on that 5 percent in an earlier post, asking the poster if he thought 5 percent was to high.
    I think the point is there had to be a small percentage in any era that could comptete in any other era.

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHOELESSJOE3 View Post
    I did yield some on that 5 percent in an earlier post, asking the poster if he thought 5 percent was to high.
    I think the point is there had to be a small percentage in any era that could comptete in any other era.
    I agree wholeheartedly.

  19. #69
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    Some of my friends take it to the extreme: They've said that baseball has had a steep linear improvement from Cobb's time, up until the 1980s(our era). Then, the linear improvement got even steeper, due to advances in weight training, techology, nutrition, etc, and hence, a new era altogether. They've argued that Bonds was the best ever, until recently. Nowadays, they have Pujols as the best ever. They've even said that Mays is from a different era altogether(I agree). And they have Mays getting crushed by today's players(I strongly disagree). And forget about Ruth and Cobb. They laugh at them and call them High School players in today's game.


    Although I believe that baseball has improved modestly over time, I believe that the very greatest from each generation would still be great, regardless of which era he played in. I would still say that Cobb would finish #1 during the 1910s style of ball. He'd have much, much more competition. But he'd be the best. Similarly, Ruth takes the 1920s in those gigantic parks and large strike zone, while dealing with beanballs with no hardware at the plate. It's reasonable to think this way for Mays in the 1960s, and for Pujols the past 10 years(unless steroids players count). Could the slow-footed yet incredible hitting Pujols take down Cobb in the 1910s? I don't think so. Could he take down Cobb in today's game? Definitely, unless Cobb took advantage of today's tools. Then Cobb would make it close, due to his overall play. Of course, nobody can prove any of this, which makes it fun! With all of that being said, I'll still rank players in the following order, when considering their cumulative rankings of all eras combined: Ruth, Mays, Cobb, then Bonds. I like the representation of each era and generation here. And these four always pop into my head when I think about all-time greats. Unfortunately, my favorite is Lou Gehrig, who never quite hits the top 5. And I believe Mr Pujols will eventually crack the top 5, while putting Gehrig into the rear-view mirror. That's a shame. But I try to be objective. On the flip side, Mr. Bonds was a jerk and is a very unpopular answer here. But I respect his pre-steroids play, especially since I saw a lot of it. And I like my list. Let the debates continue....

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesky5 View Post
    Is it a coincidence that every Asian import besides Matsui hasn't been anything close to a HR hitter? Any reasonable observer can see why a shorter skinnier player is less likely to succeed. MLB has access to Asian players and their numbers pale in comparison to white players who pale in comparison to the more common latino's. Baseball has recently fallen out of favor with the majority of black athletes but they dominated whites and latino's since the color barrier was broken.
    Blacks haven't really dominated whites and latinos. What you are witnessing for the most part is a selection bias. If instead of integrating a white league with the very best black players they had integrated a black league with the very best white players we would be saying that whites have dominated blacks in baseball.
    Last edited by milladrive; 04-01-2012 at 06:52 AM. Reason: Removed personal attack from quote.

  21. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    Blacks haven't really dominated whites and latinos. What you are witnessing for the most part is a selection bias. If instead of integrating a white league with the very best black players they had integrated a black league with the very best white players we would be saying that whites have dominated blacks in baseball.
    Eh, I think I'm gonna just agree to disagree on this one. I think Mays, Aaron, Bonds > Williams, Mantle, Schmidt on the top side of things. I could go on but it's not worth it.

  22. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    Blacks haven't really dominated whites and latinos. What you are witnessing for the most part is a selection bias. If instead of integrating a white league with the very best black players they had integrated a black league with the very best white players we would be saying that whites have dominated blacks in baseball.

    Clarify this. I believe that something like half of the top 30 or 40 players by WAR since 1950 have been black. How is that due to selection bias?

  23. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by pheasant View Post
    Some of my friends take it to the extreme: They've said that baseball has had a steep linear improvement from Cobb's time, up until the 1980s(our era). Then, the linear improvement got even steeper, due to advances in weight training, techology, nutrition, etc, and hence, a new era altogether. They've argued that Bonds was the best ever, until recently. Nowadays, they have Pujols as the best ever. They've even said that Mays is from a different era altogether(I agree). And they have Mays getting crushed by today's players(I strongly disagree). And forget about Ruth and Cobb. They laugh at them and call them High School players in today's game.

    I think we underestimate early 1900s athletes. Humans were probably genetically superior 100 years ago compared to today because they were not many generations removed from hard labor. I have tended to be an advocate for putting recent players near the top of lists, but Ruth and Mays and Cobb were primal beasts.

  24. #74
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    I think that the idea of old time players being humbled by today's game is due to shortsightedness on people's part. We tend to think of 1900 as the beginning of time, and act as though men 'evolved' from that time into a superior 'modern' man. It seems laughable, but it seems as though that's how some people think. So, somehow, in a 100 or so year time frame, the human race has evolved into superior athletes? What about the thousands of years before that? If humans developed as athletes as quickly as these people claim, then the people of 400 or 500 years ago would not even be as children compared to the modern man. If you heard someone from 1850 saying that the 'modern' man was superior athletically to the men of 1750, you'd laugh. Well guess what, it's the same concept.

    The best athletes of 1900 were every bit as good as the best athletes of 2012. To argue against such a statement is akin to saying that men of a few hundred years ago were all weak and couldn't run at all, and that we will become a race of superhumans in another couple hundred years.

  25. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by willshad View Post
    I think that the idea of old time players being humbled by today's game is due to shortsightedness on people's part. We tend to think of 1900 as the beginning of time, and act as though men 'evolved' from that time into a superior 'modern' man. It seems laughable, but it seems as though that's how some people think. So, somehow, in a 100 or so year time frame, the human race has evolved into superior athletes? What about the thousands of years before that? If humans developed as athletes as quickly as these people claim, then the people of 400 or 500 years ago would not even be as children compared to the modern man. If you heard someone from 1850 saying that the 'modern' man was superior athletically to the men of 1750, you'd laugh. Well guess what, it's the same concept.

    The best athletes of 1900 were every bit as good as the best athletes of 2012. To argue against such a statement is akin to saying that men of a few hundred years ago were all weak and couldn't run at all, and that we will become a race of superhumans in another couple hundred years.
    I'm glad someone else has the perspective to see this.

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