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Ty Cobb General Thread

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  • #16
    Originally posted by csh19792001
    "I'm one of those people who doesn't believe a strikeout is really any worse than a groundout"

    Halo- for your own edification-

    http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseb...nd_Harold3.stm

    That article's all well and good, but it doesn't prove any point. It talks about the stigma against strikeouts going away, and how it should be back, but it doesn't offer any objective evidence about the awful qualities of the strikeout. He talks about how some power hitters used to have low strikeout rates, but he doesn't offer any proof of why it's bad that hitters do now. Sure, you can't have a sacrifice fly or a runner moved over on a strikeout, but you most certainly can get on base on a strikeout, something you absolutely CAN NOT DO on a flyout or a groundout. And you can't hit into a double play on a strikeout. Until I see some statistical evidence to the contrary, I'm going to believe you've got a wash there.

    Now, I've heard people argue that "at least when you put a ball in play, there's a chance of a fielder committing an error." That's undoubtedly true, but it's completely irrelevant to this discussion. If the fielder commits an error on a ground ball, and you get on base, then nobody's out... and, by definition, a groundout has not occurred. So, when you get a groundout, or a flyout, or a strikeout, the result is the same. You're out. Except on a strikout, you're not posing the risk of forcing the guys you already have on base into forceouts for double plays and triple plays.
    "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

    Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by RuthMayBond
      SHOW me where I ALLEGEDLY said this

      LOL. I thought this one odd of you, esp. knowing what you know in statistics. It was in your post, and since you put everything in bold, and Bill has a way of answering the other person's question (potential response) before they make it (and then people quoting that, and so on) it gets more and more abstruse.

      My fault, RMB. I apologize. As a result of the hurlyburly, I thought you were speaking in your post, when it turns out you were quoting him.

      Why do you put everything in bold like that? I dont see anyone else who does that.


      (Bill - That's just lame and you well know it! Babe was taking walks, while Sisler was swinging at bad balls. He just wanted to hit the ball. Sizzler was known as impatient, and he should have had more plate discipline.)

      I don't think a guy should have more plate discipline if he is hitting .400 with 230 hits a year and extreemly LOW strikeout totals. I could be wrong, but I doubt it in this instance.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by csh19792001
        His SLG and OBP were through the roof, because he was Ruth (greatest slugger and HR hitter), because he was playing at the Polo Grounds, were he slugged 200 pts higher than he did on the road, and because pitchers walked him incessantly.

        And as to the walks- This is largely because they had never faced a HR hitter before, didnt know how to deal with him, and realized he was fat, fairly slow, and inept on the basepaths, and COULD be disposed of (via walks) as opposed to a guy like Cobb, with whom the trouble was ONLY BEGINNING when you put him on first.
        Um... what?

        Since you're talking about the Polo Grounds, I must assume you're talking about 1920-22, the only years Ruth played in the Polo Grounds.

        So you say Ruth was "fat, fairly slow, and inept on the basepaths" then? Again, I say... Um... what?

        In 1920, Babe Ruth led the Yankees in stolen bases. He was second to Wally Pipp in triples (Ruth had 12, Pipp had 14). In 1921, Babe Ruth led the Yankees in stolen bases AGAIN, and also led the Yankees in triples (tied with Bob Meusel at 16). In 1922, Ruth was injured for a good amount of time, so his stolen bases were down, but he still hit 8 triples, good for third on the team.

        So, I ask again... how was Ruth "fat, fairly slow, and inept on the basepaths"?
        "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

        Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by ElHalo
          That article's all well and good, but it doesn't prove any point. It talks about the stigma against strikeouts going away, and how it should be back, but it doesn't offer any objective evidence about the awful qualities of the strikeout. He talks about how some power hitters used to have low strikeout rates, but he doesn't offer any proof of why it's bad that hitters do now. Sure, you can't have a sacrifice fly or a runner moved over on a strikeout, but you most certainly can get on base on a strikeout, something you absolutely CAN NOT DO on a flyout or a groundout. And you can't hit into a double play on a strikeout. Until I see some statistical evidence to the contrary, I'm going to believe you've got a wash there.

          Now, I've heard people argue that "at least when you put a ball in play, there's a chance of a fielder committing an error." That's undoubtedly true, but it's completely irrelevant to this discussion. If the fielder commits an error on a ground ball, and you get on base, then nobody's out... and, by definition, a groundout has not occurred. So, when you get a groundout, or a flyout, or a strikeout, the result is the same. You're out. Except on a strikout, you're not posing the risk of forcing the guys you already have on base into forceouts for double plays and triple plays.
          A Strikeout: The Cruelest Out of All

          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          by Harold Friend

          "There is nothing worse than a strikeout. A strikeout is not just another out. It is an out that is a completely wasted at bat for the offensive team. Almost nothing positive can occur when a batter strikes out, and the few good things that can happen are so rare in today’s game that they can virtually be discounted.

          A strikeout can help the offensive team if the batter reaches base safely after striking out. With fewer than two outs and first base unoccupied, or with two outs and first base occupied, a strikeout victim can reach first safely if the catcher misses the third strike and beats a throw to first base. Baserunners can advance at their own risk if a third strike gets by the catcher. That just about summarizes the good things that can happen when a batter strikes out, with one exception.

          There is an instance in which a strikeout can be as good as a base on balls. When the batter has two strikes and the next pitch is clearly wild and going to get by the catcher, an alert batter can intentionally swing at the pitch, knowing he will strike out, but also realizing that he will stand an excellent chance of reaching first base.

          Almost none of today’s players ever attempts such a play. The reason players give is that it will break their rhythm for future plate appearances, and that is a valid point. But there are times when there is a dire need to get something going offensively, and paradoxically, it can be a strikeout.

          When a batter strikes out, runners do not advance and runs do not score. A strike out eats up an out. That’s it. Even a double play can be better than a strikeout, and depending on the situation, can actually be productive.

          In 1962, the Yankees and Giants split the first six games of the World Series. The seventh game at Candlestick Park was a scoreless pitching duel between the Yankees’ Ralph Terry and the Giants’ Jack Sanford until the Yankees came to bat in the top of the fifth inning. Bill Skowron singled, Clete Boyer singled, and pitcher Ralph Terry drew a base a ball.

          It was a great opportunity for the Yankees to break the game open, but leadoff man Tony Kubek grounded into a double play, scoring Skowron. That was it. There was no more scoring. The only run of the game, and the run that was the margin of victory for the Yankees to win the World Championship, scored as the result of a double play.

          Double plays kill rallies, but at least the ball is in play. Kubek made contact and hit the ball well, but it was hit to the fielder. A batter can’t direct the flight of the ball. But striking out is failure, because contact is not made."

          SNIP

          "Today, it is a different game. Some sportscasters and former baseball players have stated that “an out is an out” and a strikeout is simply another way of a batter being retired. Many players also subscribe to the false belief that a strikeout is no worse than any other type of out. Do they really believe that a strikeout is just as good as a fly ball to the outfield when there is one out and a runner on third? Would the arbitrator at a salary hearing agree with the concept that “an out is an out?

          New York Mets broadcasters Tom Seaver and Gary Thorne discussed whether or not McGwire, with all the strikeouts, was helping St. Louis. Thorne felt that McGwire was a detriment because if he didn’t hit a home run, he would do nothing to start a rally, continue a rally, or move a runner along. His strikeouts had killed many rallies.

          Seaver agreed, but put in the disclaimer that McGwire’s home runs helped the team, and he concluded that McGwire was more of a positive than a negative. Home runs are good. Implicit in the discussion was the fact that no out is worse than a strikeout.

          Scoring runs is important and wins games, but preventing the other team from scoring runs is even more important. Pitching and defense, not home runs, win championships. Players who strike out simply strengthen their opponents pitching and defense and ruin their team’s offense. A strikeout is the worst play in baseball."


          I'm presenting you with logic and expecting you to use your intuitive baseball knowledge to understand this. It should be self-implicit and self revealed from all your years of watching baseball. Again, do I have stats to show how much worse? No, because stats arent applicable here.

          Most of the time, a strikeout is the worst out that can happen, and the most selfish.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by RuthMayBond
            I put my quotes inside what I quote so I don't have to keep bolding and un-bolding. So you CAUGHT Burgess, the guy on YOUR side? Justice is served
            yeah, i nabbed Bill!!

            i know how much he supports Gorgeous George, so it surprises me that he would say it.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by ElHalo
              Um... what?

              Since you're talking about the Polo Grounds, I must assume you're talking about 1920-22, the only years Ruth played in the Polo Grounds.

              So you say Ruth was "fat, fairly slow, and inept on the basepaths" then? Again, I say... Um... what?

              In 1920, Babe Ruth led the Yankees in stolen bases. He was second to Wally Pipp in triples (Ruth had 12, Pipp had 14). In 1921, Babe Ruth led the Yankees in stolen bases AGAIN, and also led the Yankees in triples (tied with Bob Meusel at 16). In 1922, Ruth was injured for a good amount of time, so his stolen bases were down, but he still hit 8 triples, good for third on the team.

              So, I ask again... how was Ruth "fat, fairly slow, and inept on the basepaths"?
              Yes- 20-22, because we were talking about him in comparison to Sisler.

              Perhaps I've overstated it on "fairly slow", but I don't think so. Maybe people can tell me that is untrue. The other two assumptions seem to hold.

              1. Marshall Smelsler "The Life That Ruth Built" pgs. 340-41. (On the 26' World Series debacle, due to Ruth's incompetence. A microcosm of a career.

              2. 123 stolen bases, lifetime, and 117 CS.

              3. Reading quotes from contemporaries about Ruth's baserunning various places, such as Bill's files. He was better than one would expect from someone so heavy, but still far from good.

              4. On "fat" and also on "farily slow"- seeing film of him and him running, and reading about him weighing close to 250 at various points in his career (Robert Creamer).

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by csh19792001

                I'm presenting you with logic and expecting you to use your intuitive baseball knowledge to understand this. It should be self-implicit and self revealed from all your years of watching baseball. Again, do I have stats to show how much worse? No, because stats arent applicable here.

                Most of the time, a strikeout is the worst out that can happen, and the most selfish.

                I read the article. I just didn't agree with it.

                I've watched baseball for many years, yes. And yes, there are times, in close games with less than two outs and a guy on third, that I'm praying for just a popout.

                But there are just as many times, when a guy's taken a weak swing at a pitch and sailed a lazy chopper to short, starting an inning ending double play, that I've wished they would have just taken the third strike.

                Sorry, but until I see some kind of statistical evidence showing me that productive groundouts/flyouts are more prevalent than double/triple plays and advancing to first on dropped third strikes, I'll continue to believe that one is just as good as the other.
                "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by csh19792001
                  I'm presenting you with logic and expecting you to use your intuitive baseball knowledge to understand this. It should be self-implicit and self revealed from all your years of watching baseball. Again, do I have stats to show how much worse? No, because stats arent applicable here.

                  Most of the time, a strikeout is the worst out that can happen, and the most selfish.
                  It seems as if this argument is just wrong. Check out this article http://premium.baseballprospectus.co...articleid=2617

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by csh19792001
                    Yes- 20-22, because we were talking about him in comparison to Sisler.

                    Perhaps I've overstated it on "fairly slow", but I don't think so. Maybe people can tell me that is untrue. The other two assumptions seem to hold.

                    1. Marshall Smelsler "The Life That Ruth Built" pgs. 340-41. (On the 26' World Series debacle, due to Ruth's incompetence. A microcosm of a career.

                    2. 123 stolen bases, lifetime, and 117 CS.

                    3. Reading quotes from contemporaries about Ruth's baserunning various places, such as Bill's files. He was better than one would expect from someone so heavy, but still far from good.

                    4. On "fat" and also on "farily slow"- seeing film of him and him running, and reading about him weighing close to 250 at various points in his career (Robert Creamer).
                    Well, he's listed at 6'2" and 215"... which doesn't really seem all that fat to me. And as far as him weighing close to 250... Roger Clemens weighs close to 250, but I don't think anyone would really call him "fat."... Sure, Ruth was overweight at times, but he was never a David Wells.

                    And as for the SB's... he had a career SB% of 51. Not great, sure. Let's look at the league numbers (that we have CS' for...). I'll start with 1920... the CS numbers are shady before then.

                    1920: 51.5%
                    1921: 55.6%
                    1922: 56.9%
                    1923: 55.0%
                    1924: 56.3%
                    ...

                    You get the idea. The SB% numbers hovered right around 55%... meaning that Ruth was below average, but hardly incompetent, at basestealing.
                    "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                    Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by ElHalo
                      Well, he's listed at 6'2" and 215"... which doesn't really seem all that fat to me. And as far as him weighing close to 250... Roger Clemens weighs close to 250, but I don't think anyone would really call him "fat."... Sure, Ruth was overweight at times, but he was never a David Wells.

                      And as for the SB's... he had a career SB% of 51. Not great, sure. Let's look at the league numbers (that we have CS' for...). I'll start with 1920... the CS numbers are shady before then.

                      1920: 51.5%
                      1921: 55.6%
                      1922: 56.9%
                      1923: 55.0%
                      1924: 56.3%
                      ...

                      You get the idea. The SB% numbers hovered right around 55%... meaning that Ruth was below average, but hardly incompetent, at basestealing.
                      Halo-
                      Where did you get the league numbers? What are they for Babe's career, vs. his career pct? Interesting stuff.

                      Two things seriously missing are strikeouts and CS. They had to go back and figure out RBI's before the 20's, even!!

                      I don't put hardly any stock in the listed weights- they have Frank Howard at 255- when everyone agrees that he was closer to 280, at surely more at the end of his career. They have Cobb at 175, when in his prime he was never under 190. They have Mo Vaughn at 230 and Fielder at 240- both of which, you and I know to be ridiculous.

                      Their listings for Mantle and Gehrig seem to be way off, too.

                      I'm getting the weight info from just seeing pics of the Babe (and some film, esp from 25' on), and from what I read in the Smesler and Creamer biopics. Clemens is a fitness fanatic, btw. He is famous for his hellish, 3 hour workouts. He doesn't have a huge belly, like Ruth did, esp. (look at pics of him on the 27 and 28 Yanks). I think Clemens was always just built like a football player- just husky. They babe (according to Smesler), was 185 when he came up. He grew fat early. I don't think Clemens ever weighed under 220. He's put on weight as he has gone on, to be sure.

                      So Babe was never really obese, like Wells or Fielder, (or the guys that played him in the movies ), but he was pretty close at times, from what I've seen. Certainly a far, far cry from a somebody with great speed.
                      Last edited by csh19792001; 04-05-2004, 04:17 PM.

                      Comment


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

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

                        But yeah, while Ruth was probably heavier and more out of shape than a lot of other ballplayers... he was also a far, far cry from John Goodman, which is the image a lot of people have of the Babe (i.e., an obese, lumbering oaf).
                        "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                        Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by william_burgess@usa.net
                          RMB,

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

                          Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                          Comment


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

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

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

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

                            Comment


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                              Last edited by csh19792001; 04-05-2004, 09:28 PM.

                              Comment


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

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


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

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

                                The only guy within the last 45 years to come within 25 points of Cobb was Williams. Best record in baseball, especially considering everything else Ty endured (and accomplished) while accomplishing it. And you wonder why 230 experts called him the greatest ever.
                                Last edited by csh19792001; 04-05-2004, 09:46 PM.

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