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Ty Cobb General Thread

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  • #31
    Originally posted by csh19792001
    PURIST perspective objections (the artistic, visceral, NON STATISTICAL side of the game)-

    Wait... there's a non statistical side of baseball?

    Since when? Why did no one ever tell me?
    "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

    Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

    Comment


    • #32
      One thing I'll interject in there...

      It's a little difficult sometimes to establish a players' greatness until long, long after they've retired... which is of course the only explaination I can see for putting Collins over Hornsby.

      Then again, he was definitely one of the old school of baseball, not a big reader of Moneyball ... Me personally, now, if I had the chance to create an all time team... my first wish would be to be able to use cloned players, so I can have multiples of one guy. And I'd set up my teams like this:

      1st team:
      C: Babe Ruth
      1B: Babe Ruth
      2B: Babe Ruth
      SS: Babe Ruth
      3B: Babe Ruth
      LF: Babe Ruth
      CF: Babe Ruth
      RF: Babe Ruth
      P: Babe Ruth

      2nd team:
      C: Ted Williams
      1B: Ted Williams
      2B: Ted Williams
      SS: Ted Williams
      3B: Ted Williams
      LF: Ted Williams
      CF: Ted Williams
      RF: Ted Williams
      P: Walter Johnson (Teddy can't pitch, so I had to cheat a little)
      DH: Ted Williams

      Now, I know my teams would have some defensive problems, especially at Catcher in the infield... but I more than think that their offensive attributes would more than make up for it.

      And I think, in all seriousness and all honesty, that either one of these teams would beat any team you could possibly make up of any players ever. The offensive prowess would be more than enough to make up for defensive liabilites.
      "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

      Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by william_burgess@usa.net
        ElHalo,

        If you truly believe that either of those two teams could actually win a game, the only physician who might POSSIBLY assist you, is presently incarcerated. His name is Dr. Kervorkian.

        If either of your two "teams" were ever in the field, the innings would never, ever end. Seriously. I could see one of your OF Babes calling, "I'll take it", and all nine of them, crash together and crack their skulls.

        Bill Burgess
        Like I said, not only do I believe that they could actually win a game, I believe that they'd never lose a game.

        I really do mean it when I say that I believe hitting is far, far, far more important than defense and baserunning.
        "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

        Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by RuthMayBond
          Not that a Yankee fan is any prize, but I actually have to stick up for Burgess on this one. I'd be bunting on Teddy at third and first all day. Then when they all spit at the crowd and all get tossed
          Here's how I think about it:

          Sure, the difference between this team and your average team on defense is pretty striking. But even so... the difference between this team and an average team on defense would be, at most... three runs a game? More some games, less others. I can't possibly imagine it being any higher than that.

          The difference in offense between this team and your typical team will be far, far greater than three runs a game.

          So we win. A lot.
          "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

          Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

          Comment


          • #35
            One of these days, I'll really have to do a mathematical study of this.

            But it really is my firm, firm, FIRM belief that unless a guy throws the ball into the stands every time he touches it, Chuck Knoblauch style, or snares up every ball that's hit even remotely near him, Mazeroski style... their defense is largely irrelevant. The difference between the tenth percentile of major league defender and the ninetieth percentile, fielding wise, isn't all that relavent. A few runs a month.

            And if they can hit like Babe, you overlook a few runs a month.

            Now, admittedly, Babe might have a hard time learning catcher... but I'd love to see him try.
            "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

            Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by william_burgess@usa.net
              During the '26 series, Babe couldn't touch Alexander with a 10 foot pole.

              RMB:
              Maybe but he hit .300 w/4 HR in the series

              During the last game, no Yankee could put the ball out of the infield.

              RMB:
              But they almost won the game. I don't think a Cobb man wants to be talking about someone else's World Series problems
              Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
              Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by william_burgess@usa.net
                Do you think your team of Babes could beat my team of Wagners?

                Bill Burgess
                Well, see, there's a question now. As you said, Wagner did indeed field a bunch of different positions, and he was at least halfway decent at most of them. And Wagner was quite a hitter.

                Here's the basic point I'm trying to make with my team full of Babe's, though: If you rate every player on a scale of 0-100 at hitting, and 0-100 at fielding...

                I'd argue that if you've got a choice between a player who's a 90 at hitting and an 80 at fielding, or player who's a 95 at hitting and a 20 at fielding... you pick the second guy, because hitting really is that much more important.

                It is entirely possible, however, that Wagner would be a 90 at most positions on the field, and Babe would be a 0 at Catcher or SS. We're not really sure. I'm inclined to think the Babe had enough natural ability that if you gave him a year or two to work at it, he could be at least as good a middle infielder as, say, Tony Lazerri... and then yeah, I'd take him over Wagner (because even if Wagner could hit at 95 and field at 90, Babe could hit at 100 at field at 20... and that's more valuable, in mind).
                "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by william_burgess@usa.net
                  Most importantly, could Babe have did what he did, without such a formidable bulkwark hitting behind him, in Lou Gehrig? Not too likely.
                  I'm not gonna comment on your other assertions, but this one I'll tackle.

                  Lou Gehrig's rookie year was 1925. Before 1925, Babe did this for the Yankees:

                  1920: .376/.532/.847 158 R, 54 HR, 137 RBI
                  1921: .378/.512/.846 177 R, 59 HR, 171 RBI
                  1922: .315/.434/.672 94 R, 35 HR, 99 RBI (missed 44 games to injury)
                  1923: .393/.545/.764 151 R, 41 HR, 131 RBI
                  1924: .378/.513/.739 143 R, 46 HR, 121 RBI

                  You can do better than that, come on.
                  "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                  Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by ElHalo
                    Well, see, there's a question now. As you said, Wagner did indeed field a bunch of different positions, and he was at least halfway decent at most of them. And Wagner was quite a hitter.

                    Here's the basic point I'm trying to make with my team full of Babe's, though: If you rate every player on a scale of 0-100 at hitting, and 0-100 at fielding...

                    I'd argue that if you've got a choice between a player who's a 90 at hitting and an 80 at fielding, or player who's a 95 at hitting and a 20 at fielding... you pick the second guy, because hitting really is that much more important.

                    It is entirely possible, however, that Wagner would be a 90 at most positions on the field, and Babe would be a 0 at Catcher or SS. We're not really sure. I'm inclined to think the Babe had enough natural ability that if you gave him a year or two to work at it, he could be at least as good a middle infielder as, say, Tony Lazerri... and then yeah, I'd take him over Wagner (because even if Wagner could hit at 95 and field at 90, Babe could hit at 100 at field at 20... and that's more valuable, in mind).

                    Actually you intrigued me...so I did a simulation

                    10 wagners vs 10 Ruths
                    I used an average pitcher for both

                    for both I used a scale of A-E on fielding range and if they did not play the position I gave them a .900 F% (deadball average)

                    IN 100 games...Wagner's team won 65-68-72-74-76 of those games.

                    Honus when using his Fielding stats at Baseball reference was a D .985 at 1b, D.952 at 2b, C .920 at 3B, A .940 at SS, D 961 at OF

                    Ruth was a D .960 at OF and E .966 at 1B

                    Honus stole at will, and Ruth's generic pitcher had a nice average ERA of 1.23 since over half his Runs were unearned.

                    I used 1950 type offense

                    Babe averaged about a 1.700 OPS and about 70 HRS...but that was about it...

                    Honus averaged 85 2bs, 28 3bs and 25 hrs...plus 70 sbs.

                    I'd say defense is important, especially at SS, 2b and CF

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      To give our most serious consideration to the fans, is utter folly. Babe's fans were almost all new to BB and understood what they were seeing the least. Is that would you would have us pay the most attention to, Bulova? You surely aren't asking us to surrender our jugement to the lowest common denominator are you? Please remember, good friend, the Beatles easily outsold Beethoven, Shaesespeare is annually outsold by Michael Crighton, Agatha Criste, Grisham, Harry Potter author, and romance pulp writers.

                      Your other point that Cobb was preferred by only those who were deadballers was 100% incorrect. Almost every single star of the 1920's in on record as favoring Cobb over Ruth. Every one. And I mean all of them, not only the earlier ones. So just for your personal benefit, I will list those players who came into the league after 1920, played ONLY modern ball, and rate Ty first.



                      You should also remember, this is simply all the quotes I've been able to find. The belief that Ty was the best was so prevelant, that few felt the need to verbalize it. I forgot to include Babe himself, of 4 occasions, called Ty the best he had ever seen, or HEARD ABOUT. I haven't included the owners like Comiskey, Briggs, Yawkey, Shibe, etc. I might also mention that, personally, they might have liked Babe more than Ty. So no soft Cobb votes.

                      Your suggestion that NONE of them could properly evaluate the relative gifts and greatness of these two gentlemen strikes me as cruel. To disallow their imput, and yet, let later generations, who were TOTALLY IGNORANT of them, weigh in, is somehow a form of baseball hatred. Would you exclude witnesses to a crime from testifying.
                      Mr. Burgess, there were so many things I disagreed with about your post, I hardly know where to begin. But I'll start here.

                      You say Ruth had 2 gifts out of 12? I'd really love to see how you define gifts. I guess one is pitching, one is power hitting/average hitting/drawing walks? What are the other 10?

                      And why does somebody have to be good at all of them to be the best? I think that everyone would agree that Albert Pujols is not particularly good at fielding or baserunning, but Carlos Beltran is. And I think you'd be very, very, VERY hard pressed to find a person who'd rather have Carlos Beltran on their team than Albert Pujols. Does the best pitcher have to throw a fastball, splitter, curveball, slider, screwball, knuckleball, changeup, curve ball, etc., etc., etc., or can dominance with three or four pitches be enough? I'll tell you what, I'll take Mariano Rivera in 1999 throwing his cut fastball ahead of... well, pretty much any pitcher you can throw at me with four pitches working. Sometimes, being good at one thing, if you're really THAT good at it, can be enough to more than overcome an inability to dominate other facets.

                      Next off, one of your lovely quotes. "Babe's fans were almost all new to baseball." So you're saying that Babe Ruth drew new fans into baseball. Fans who'd never seen the sport before. And droves of them, evidently.

                      Isn't that the very definition of having a huge impact on the game? Drawing in new fans who'd never seen the sport before? Isn't baseball, after all, a business, designed to make money? And wasn't Babe better at acheiving that goal than any other player in history?

                      Next up. Ask any casual baseball fan, and they'll tell you that the greatest living baseball player is Barry Bonds. Ask any informed baseball fan, and they're likely to tell you it's Willie Mays. Bonds himself would tell you Mays is better than him. I'd most certainly say Mays is better than him.

                      But fifty years from now, how many people do you think are actually going to say that Willie Mays was better than Barry Bonds? My guess is, not too many. And you know what? They'll probably be right.

                      Most of the baseball world, including myself, have a pre-conceived notion that Willie Mays is the greatest living ballplayer. And that pre-conceived notion prevents us from admitting to ourselves what's plain in front of our noses: Bonds is better. If you asked me where Bonds ranks in the all time pantheon of baseball players, I'd probably say somewhere around the twentieth spot. And it's just blatantly, PATENTLY obvious that he's better than that... but I've already got the heirarchy in my head, and it's a whole lot harder to change the hegemony than it is to get in before the heirarchy's cemented itself.

                      In much the same way, ballplayers growing up in the 05-15 time KNEW that Ty Cobb was the greatest ballplayer. It was just plain as daylight to them. And no matter what anybody did, no matter what feats anybody accomplished, nothing was going to change that in their minds, because he already had that slot. You couldn't take it away from him.

                      So yeah, it's entirely possible that people couldn't fully appreciate the relative greatness of Ruth and Cobb while they were watching them. In the same way that it's entirely possible that the baseball world won't be able to tell how truly great Barry Bonds is until everyone who's seen him play is tottering in a nursing home somewhere.

                      And please, come on now. If you're going to make an argument about Cobb being a better player, go ahead and do so, but bringing up his war enlistment? If we really want to get into character issues, Babe has Cobb licked like a lollipop. So please don't EVEN start that nonsense.

                      Next issue: Babe's lack of a decline was strictly the result of increasing offense in the 30's, not a matter of him actually having great longevity.

                      You know how not true this is, right? From 1930 on, Babe's OPS+'s look like this:

                      1930: 211
                      1931: 219
                      1932: 201
                      1933: 176
                      1934: 161

                      So while, yes, league offense was higher from 30-34 than from 25-29 (though not that much... 4.92 rpg for the first period, 5.18 rpg for the second period, for a total increase of 5.3%), Babe was STILL unbelievably ahead of everyone else. Just for comparison's sake, his 1933 OPS+, when he was 38 years old, is ahead of the career OPS+ of all but... 3 other people ever. Williams, Bonds, Gehrig. That's it. And his 1932 OPS+ was better than anyone's ever done for a career, by a wide margin. Even his 1934 OPS+, when he was a tottering old 39 year old dodger, was better than the career totals of all but 13 other men in the history of the game.

                      So no, Ruth's decline period isn't illusory.

                      And one final note. Don't knock Harry Potter. I consider myself a pretty well read person. Some of the most dog eared and lovingly read and re-read volumes on my shelf are widely considered to be the greatest classics in literature; Dante, Dickens, Kafka, Shakespeare, Nabakov, Marlowe, Joyce. And Harry Potter's good stuff.
                      "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                      Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Is my above post showing up to anyone? It's not time stamping for some reason...
                        "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                        Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by william_burgess@usa.net
                          Yeah, he had it all, all right. Babe Ruth had 2 skills which were world-class. He could hit & he could throw. All the rest of his skills were easily matched by half of the league.

                          Bill Burgess
                          I'll repeat again: so what? As I said before, Carlos Beltran is a 5 tool player, and Albert Pujols is a 2 tool player, or possibly 3 (I don't know how his arm is). But could you really find me a manager who'd rather have Beltran than Pujols? Or (say three years ago when both were healthy) a manager who'd rather have Kendall than Piazza? Piazza's an awful fielder who can't run at all and can't throw out the garbage. Kendall can field, run, hit, throw, and hit for power. But I think you can fit all the baseball guys who'd rather have had Kendall than Piazza in a closet with room left over for spare linens.

                          How many times in a season will a player get caught in a rundown? 2, tops? What difference does it make if one guy's the worst in the world and one guy's the best in the world at it? If somebody can get on base like Ruth and hit homers like Ruth, when would you ever possibly want him to bunt? With no outs and a runner on second in extra innings of a tie game at home? How often does that situation arise? The skills you're saying Ruth didn't have weren't skills that he even remotely needed ever. Sure, maybe they would have been worth two or three runs over the course of a year. But Ruth's hitting was worth much, much, much more than that.

                          Oh, and as far as running down balls... Ruth's range factor in the outfield (where he played mostly in rightfield, with its short porch and resultant fewer defensive opportunities for right fielders) hovered right around or above league average until 1929... when he started to get slower because of age. Sure, it happens.

                          Mr. Burgess, I've noticed that your last few posts to me seem to reflect a little... hostility. Please understand that I'm not trying to be antagonistic to you, or anything like that. Just trying to have a discussion here.
                          "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                          Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by william_burgess@usa.net

                            No hostility intended. I like to point out those skills which Babe was not world-class, because so many people here post as if he were so amazing at all matters baseball. I really question if they knew how limited on a ballfield he really was.

                            ElHalo:
                            Taken in isolation, these skills like getting down to first in a hurry to beat out a throw, or running down a long line drive between FR & CF, might not seem important to you, but taken in total, all these skills are what wins or loses games in the real world.

                            Bill Burgess
                            I'm pretty sure fans know that Babe wasn't Cobb on the basepaths or Speaker in the field. But he was MORE than proficient at hitting and pitching, and hitting a pitching are 95% of baseball.

                            And as for those skills losing or winning games in the real world... I guess that's why Babe's teams had such lousy winning percentages.

                            Is it nice if somebody can do those things? Sure. Do you care if they can't do them if they hit .380 with fifty homers and 140 RBI? No, not a lick.
                            "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                            Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by william_burgess@usa.net
                              (Bill - That 95% figure is just so wrong. The 1930 Phillies were a bruising offensive team and came in last, due to lousy pitching & defense.

                              RMB:
                              I think he's referring to that hitting is 95% of a BATTER's worth

                              The 1923-25 Tigers outhit & outscored the Yankees, yet came in behind them, due to poor pitching & god-awful defense.

                              RMB:
                              The 1925 Tigers did not come in behind the 1925 Yanks

                              Even with a minimum of offense, as the '08, & '63 Dodgers proved.

                              RMB:
                              If you're referring to the 1908 Tigers, they had more than a minimum of offense, as did the '63 Dodgers (3rd in adjusted BER & OPS)
                              Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
                              Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by william_burgess@usa.net
                                ElHalo,

                                But he was MORE than proficient at hitting and pitching, and "hitting a pitching are 95% of baseball.

                                Is it nice if somebody can do those things? Sure. Do you care if they can't do them if they hit .380 with fifty homers and 140 RBI? No, not a lick."

                                (Bill - That 95% figure is just so wrong. The 1930 Phillies were a bruising offensive team and came in last, due to lousy pitching & defense.

                                Get over your obsession with "hitting is 95% baseball", ElHalo. It's been disproved for over 140 yrs. of BB history. Both Bonds & A-Rod have been disproving your pet theory for 5 yrs. now. Superstars without the supporting cast don't win pennants.

                                Bill Burgess
                                It doesn't help that there was a typo in my original post, of course. It's supposed to say "hitting AND pitching are 95% of baseball." Of course you need good pitchers to win. In my opinion, good pitchers are more important than good hitters to winning ball games. Pitching wins ballgames, especially in the postseason.

                                But pitchers really are responsible, in my opinion, for about 90% of how many runs a team gives up. If you think defense is really all that important, then let's see you put Walter Johnson up in front of a defense for 80 games, and then put, oh, I don't know, Jason Jennings up in front of that same defense for 80 games. If defense is so important, shouldn't they both give up about the same number of runs? But of course they won't. Because pitching is what determines how many runs a team gives up, for the most part. Not how rangy their right fielder is. That's certainly a part of it, but not a a huge part.

                                Those 1930 Phillies (while not really a bruising offensive team... they finished 4th in the NL in runs) did so poorly because they had awful pitchers on their team... a team ERA of 7.69. And would you believe this? 14 different pitchers started a game for those 1930 Phillies.... and exactly one of them, Grover Cleveland Alexander, had a career ERA less than league average. And his ERA that year was 9.14! I don't care if you've got Tris Speaker, Richie Ashburn, and Roger Maris in the outfield, with Ozzie Smith, Brooks Robinson, Bill Mazeroski, and Don Mattingly in the infield, and Johnny Bench at the plate... with pitchers like that, you're not going to win a lot of ballgames.

                                And can one guy win a pennant by himself? Of course not, and I never meant to imply that they can. I'm just saying that if Babe Ruth was hurting his team so much by not being able to, uh, bunt, then they wouldn't be winning so many games, would they? Because five times a game, when they really needed Babe to lay down a drag bunt, they just wouldn't be getting what they need.

                                Is hitting 90% of baseball? Of course not. But it's certainly 90% of offense. And is pitching 90% of baseball? No, but it's certainly 90% of defense. If you've got a team full of Walter Johnsons pitching, and a team full of Ted Williams's hitting, do you really think you're going to lose that many ballgames? If fielding and baserunning were really what won ballgames, then guys like Ray Ordonez and Tony Womack would be having their doors knocked down by major league GM's, instead of bouncing around the minors.
                                "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                                Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

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