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  • #46
    Originally posted by ElHalo
    Except that it was.

    No, the overall population base of the US wasn't shrinking. But, since baseball was a lot less popular of a sport and a lot fewer kids were playing it, the population base that baseball had to draw from was shrinking. The overall population of the US is a lot higher now than it was in 1925. The population of bootleggers is much, much lower, because bootlegging is a lot less popular now than it was in 1925... so a bootlegger's olympics would probably be a lot stronger in 1925 than today.
    except that it wasn't. Organized baseball was growing by leaps and bounds in the 70's and 80's. And I am not talking about MLB, but little league, high school, college and the minors.


    You had new markets opening up, the latin explosion didn't start in the 90's despite what you think. Blacks flocked to the game to the point where in 1978 they were at their highest point in terms of MLB roster spots. It declined from that high but it didn't go from 300 roster spots in 1978 to 10 roster spots in 1979. It was a gradual decline one that wouldn't be felt in the 80's or much of the 90's.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by ElHalo
      Just a very quick point... decreasing standard deviaition doesn't necessarily equate to increasing league quality. A lot of stat people just assume that this is true, but it isn't necessarily.

      Think of it this way: As scouting increases and player development increases, you're more likely to get the players from the very top of the bell curve, and so your standard deviation will be smaller. However, if, at the same time (as happened in the 70's and 80's as people had less interest in playing baseball than in the 50's and 60's), your population base is decreasing... the standard deviation will decrease even as league quality increases. Then, if you introduce a supply shock (such as, say, the massive influx of Latin players around 1990), you can massively increase the population base you're drawing from, which will increase the league quality by increasing the number of upper outliers... while at the same time increasing the standard deviation, because scouting in Latin America isn't at its best, and thus you're not drawing from solely the very top of the bell curve there.
      Just a quick counterpoint...better scouting and player development is one of the ingrediants TO MAKE ASTRONGER LEAGUE. League strength isn't just the absolute natural skill of all of the players...it's the players maximizing their abilities and performing at the highest level possible.

      And that "supply shock"...is also an ingrediant to make a better league...a sudden surplus of quality talent from a new source...that's going to improve league quality.

      You're right that decreasing standard deviations don't necessary represent increasing quality, but they *DO* represent proof that it is increasingly difficult to dominate modern leagues and come up with relative stats that look as impressive as those posted in the deadball era.

      And I think it is also fairly clear that decreasing standard deviations are linked in this case to increasing quality...not because I'm "just assuming it to be so" but because I believe the top end talent has been nearly the same throughout MOST years in major league history and that what causes variability is the imbalance created by a shortage of enough quality players to man every roster spot. When you don't have enough players, you start getting wider and wider ranges of performance because the top end guys find the league weaker and advance their credentials while the bottom end guys populate lower and lower performance levels.

      Keeping in mind that major league baseballl has (at least since the turn of the century) represented the top 1% or less of the bell curve in human baseball achievement...the weight of increasing standard deviation points DOWN...the worst the base of the league (the poorer the quality of the lower half of major league players) the higher the standard deviation will be because that is a larger area to reach for under the bell curve.

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      • #48
        Since we now have Japanese players as well as all the others, the league must be stronger than ever since we have a bigger population base to work from. therefore today's players ar4e much better than the players of Allen's era just as he and his contemporaries than the deadball players. Q.E.D.

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        • #49
          ?

          a) there are all of 7 Japanese players in the bigs right now. That's not going to make much of an impact.

          b) I don't understand your point...even if it were true that the 90s are better than the 70s...it doesn't change the fact that the 70s are better than the deadball era...and that by extension...Dick Allen is better than Joe Jackson.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by four tool
            Since we now have Japanese players as well as all the others, the league must be stronger than ever since we have a bigger population base to work from. therefore today's players ar4e much better than the players of Allen's era just as he and his contemporaries than the deadball players. Q.E.D.
            I agree with Matt. Japanese players at this point are making absolutely no impact on league quality. That very well may change in 10 years, but right now getting Japanese players in the bigs is still a work in progress.

            So, you think that modern baseball is way better than 1960s and 1970s baseball. How is that relevant to this discussion?

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            • #51
              Originally posted by ElHalo
              There were guys who didn't suck as much and had huge separation. Willie Stargell looked like a demon in the 70's, because he was playing against a crappy league. Can you honestly tell me that you believe Stargell was better than, say, Moises Alou?
              Absolutely yes, I can.



              Look at that. Just because of the bare fact that home runs were more prevalent, a great home run hitter could get four times the SLG advantage over an average player in 1972 than he could in 1911. Thus, a relative slugging average from 1911 is more impressive than an idential relative slugging average from 1972, because it was a whole lot easier to create separation once everybody started hitting homers.
              That's just because home runs have become a bigger part of slugging nowadays. Back then slugging was more doubles and triples than homers. With the change in balls and ballparks, the home run has become a much bigger part of the game. And anyway, going by this theory all the best sluggers in baseball history played almost 100 years ago. Do you honestly believe that?

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              • #52
                Originally posted by 538280
                That's just because home runs have become a bigger part of slugging nowadays. Back then slugging was more doubles and triples than homers. With the change in balls and ballparks, the home run has become a much bigger part of the game.
                Which was exactly my point. Home runs make it easier to seperate yourself from the pack in slugging. The home run is a much bigger part of the game more recently. Hence, it's a lot easier to seperate yourself from the pack more recently.
                And anyway, going by this theory all the best sluggers in baseball history played almost 100 years ago. Do you honestly believe that?
                No, not at all. What I'm saying is that a relative slugging percentage from the dead ball era is more impressive than an equal relative slugging from the live ball era. This doesn't mean that all the great sluggers played in the dead ball era, because there really aren't many guys from that era with great relative slugging averages.

                And most of the relative slugging from a lot of guys back then came from high batting averages. Look, if you will, at their respective IsoSLG+. 187 for Jackson, 198 for Allen. So Jackson was taking 87% more extra bases (not counting singles) over the league, as opposed to Allen's 98%... and Jackson was doing that without the benefit of the long ball. Do I think that Jackson's number is more impressive? You better believe it.

                Are all the best sluggers in baseball history deadballers? Of course not. But there are very, very few players in the history of baseball who were as good at hitting as Joe Jackson. And Dick Allen is most assuredly not one of them.
                "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by ElHalo
                  Which was exactly my point. Home runs make it easier to seperate yourself from the pack in slugging. The home run is a much bigger part of the game more recently. Hence, it's a lot easier to seperate yourself from the pack more recently. No, not at all. What I'm saying is that a relative slugging percentage from the dead ball era is more impressive than an equal relative slugging from the live ball era. This doesn't mean that all the great sluggers played in the dead ball era, because there really aren't many guys from that era with great relative slugging averages.

                  And most of the relative slugging from a lot of guys back then came from high batting averages. Look, if you will, at their respective IsoSLG+. 187 for Jackson, 198 for Allen. So Jackson was taking 87% more extra bases (not counting singles) over the league, as opposed to Allen's 98%... and Jackson was doing that without the benefit of the long ball. Do I think that Jackson's number is more impressive? You better believe it.

                  Are all the best sluggers in baseball history deadballers? Of course not. But there are very, very few players in the history of baseball who were as good at hitting as Joe Jackson. And Dick Allen is most assuredly not one of them.
                  Except EH...there was a MUCH broader range of BATTING AVEAGES in the deadball era..and slugging percentage was highly dependent on your batting average. A higher relative slugging percentage in the deadball era did not mean you were a better slugger...it meant you hit for a higher batting average...and all of the research indicates that it was easier to separate yourself form the pack in batting average in the deadball era than it is now or was in the 70s.

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                  • #54
                    If you looked at Isolated Power..instead of SLG, you would be right EH that it's easier to have a larger ISOP now than it was in 1915. But OPS is TWO PARTS BA...ONE PART all of the other componants...roughly speaking anyway (think about it...Isolated power ranges from 0 to about .400 and Isolated Walks range from 0 to about .15...the two combine to be on about the same scale as batting average which is DOUBLE COUNTED in OPS)...and since we know that batting average was easier to dominate in the deadball era, OPS is two parts easier to dominate in the deadball era...and one part potentially easier to dominate now...

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by 538280
                      Absolutely yes, I can.

                      For a fun excersize:

                      How about we take the top ten guys in the majors from, say, 1980 and 2000, in OPS+, and rank them in accordance with how good of hitters they were (just to keep it simple, let's not take into account things like defense, positional play, etc.). I'm personally writing this preamble before I actually look at the lists... if there are any weird fluky outlier guys (like, say, Brady Anderson), I'm not going to bother ranking them at all. Just for fun, let's see where we'd rank these 20 guys (as hitters, for their careers, not just for the one season I'm pulling from)... and one other thing. This probably isn't right, but I'm not going to be excluding steroid users, though I'll of course be giving them a hit (I might consider Sammy Sosa to be a better hitter than ARod, even with the lower OPS, but not after giving him a steroid hit):

                      1980:

                      George Brett
                      Reggie Jackson
                      Mike Schmidt
                      Cecil Cooper
                      Ben Ogilvie
                      Jack Clark
                      Kieth Hernandez
                      Cesar Cedeno
                      Ken Singleton
                      Buddy Bell

                      Well, happily, there weren't any real Brady Anderson types in this list... everybody here had a pretty good sized career, so I'll be able to rank all of them. Ogilvie was probably the shortest lived guy, but that was more just not being able to stay healthy rather than being a flash in the pan. Moving on to 2000...

                      2000:

                      Barry Bonds
                      Jason Giambi
                      Manny Ramirez
                      Carlos Delgado
                      Gary Sheffield
                      Sammy Sosa
                      Alex Rodriguez
                      Vlad Guerrero
                      Jeff Kent
                      Edgar Martinez

                      Again, no real one hit wonders on this list... Giambi is the closest, and, well... whatever. I guess he showed this year that he can be a marginally useful (if not truly good; .271 average what?) hitter without steroids... so here's my ranking of all 20 guys. Let's just see which era has the better hitters.

                      1. Bonds
                      2. Ramirez
                      3. Guerrero
                      4. Rodriguez
                      5. Martinez
                      6. Sheffield
                      7. Brett
                      8. Schmidt
                      9. Giambi
                      10. Sosa
                      11. Delgado
                      12. Jackson
                      13. Singleton
                      14. Clark
                      15. Hernandez
                      16. Kent
                      17. Cedeno
                      18. Cooper
                      19. Oglivie
                      20. Cooper

                      So that's 9 of the first 11 that are 2000 guys, and it would have been 9 of the first 9 if I wasn't hitting Sosa and Giambi for steroids. Yeah, that sounds about right.
                      "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                      Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by ElHalo
                        For a fun excersize:

                        How about we take the top ten guys in the majors from, say, 1980 and 2000, in OPS+, and rank them in accordance with how good of hitters they were (just to keep it simple, let's not take into account things like defense, positional play, etc.). I'm personally writing this preamble before I actually look at the lists... if there are any weird fluky outlier guys (like, say, Brady Anderson), I'm not going to bother ranking them at all. Just for fun, let's see where we'd rank these 20 guys (as hitters, for their careers, not just for the one season I'm pulling from)... and one other thing. This probably isn't right, but I'm not going to be excluding steroid users, though I'll of course be giving them a hit (I might consider Sammy Sosa to be a better hitter than ARod, even with the lower OPS, but not after giving him a steroid hit):

                        1980:

                        George Brett
                        Reggie Jackson
                        Mike Schmidt
                        Cecil Cooper
                        Ben Ogilvie
                        Jack Clark
                        Kieth Hernandez
                        Cesar Cedeno
                        Ken Singleton
                        Buddy Bell

                        Well, happily, there weren't any real Brady Anderson types in this list... everybody here had a pretty good sized career, so I'll be able to rank all of them. Ogilvie was probably the shortest lived guy, but that was more just not being able to stay healthy rather than being a flash in the pan. Moving on to 2000...

                        2000:

                        Barry Bonds
                        Jason Giambi
                        Manny Ramirez
                        Carlos Delgado
                        Gary Sheffield
                        Sammy Sosa
                        Alex Rodriguez
                        Vlad Guerrero
                        Jeff Kent
                        Edgar Martinez

                        Again, no real one hit wonders on this list... Giambi is the closest, and, well... whatever. I guess he showed this year that he can be a marginally useful (if not truly good; .271 average what?) hitter without steroids... so here's my ranking of all 20 guys. Let's just see which era has the better hitters.

                        1. Bonds
                        2. Ramirez
                        3. Guerrero
                        4. Rodriguez
                        5. Martinez
                        6. Sheffield
                        7. Brett
                        8. Schmidt
                        9. Giambi
                        10. Sosa
                        11. Delgado
                        12. Jackson
                        13. Singleton
                        14. Clark
                        15. Hernandez
                        16. Kent
                        17. Cedeno
                        18. Cooper
                        19. Oglivie
                        20. Cooper

                        So that's 9 of the first 11 that are 2000 guys, and it would have been 9 of the first 9 if I wasn't hitting Sosa and Giambi for steroids. Yeah, that sounds about right.
                        What criteria are you using to rank these players as hitters?

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by SABR Matt
                          What criteria are you using to rank these players as hitters?
                          Mix of subjective and objective components, same as always. That's just an off the cuff list; I could probably be pursuaded to move some people around. The fact that at least 8 out of 10 of the top guys are going to be from 2000 is pretty non-negotiable, though (unless you're unreasonably infatuated with Reggie Jackson, but decide not to give him a hit for steroid use while hitting all the 2000 steroid users).
                          "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                          Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by ElHalo
                            (unless you're unreasonably infatuated with Reggie Jackson, but decide not to give him a hit for steroid use while hitting all the 2000 steroid users).
                            What???!!!???!!! :noidea :grouchy Are you actually seriously claiming that Reggie Jackson used steroids? I'd like you to give one hint of proof.
                            Last edited by 538280; 01-14-2006, 07:45 PM.

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                            • #59
                              My thoughts exactly.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by 538280
                                What???!!!???!!! :noidea :grouchy Are you actually seriously claiming that Reggie Jackson used steroids? I'd like give one hint of proof of that.
                                You're honestly telling me you've never heard that before? Of course there's no proof, just as with most steroid users, but there are a lot of allegations, and some actual verified connections. Curt Wenzlaff, the guy who supplied Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire with their steroids in the late 80's, was one of Reggie Jackson's best friends (not just was an acquantance of his, but actually slept in his guest room all the time and stuff), as well as Reggie's personal trainer.
                                "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                                Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                                Comment

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