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The Validity of 4256

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  • #16
    --Rose was not better than the league average player. He was near league average as a hitter - but that is poor for a firstbaseman. He couldn't run anymore and wasn't much of a defender. The total package may have been the worst regular player in the league. It isn't really fair to say he abused the position as manager though. He was doing what he was hired for. The Reds decided a sideshow act could sell more tickets than a good ballclub and made Rose the centerpeice of that marketing strategy. It wasn't ALL his fault that he was in the lineup, although a better man would have pulled out of that disgracefull deal.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by bob View Post
      Its normal for someone to want to hang on as long as possible when they approaching a very well known record, and i think the temptation increases alot if the record has stood for so long.
      Should he have stopped playing once he was a below average player and only hurting his teams on field performance? Probably.
      Do i blame him for carrying on? No. He still clearly enjoyed playing and cared about the records and his legacy. Its easy from a spectators POV to say you'd step down once your performance had dropped regardless of how close you were, but all of us dont get the chance to make that decision in real life.
      Plus, if the team management didn't want him playing - they would have seen to it to not have him play.

      Why should he (or any other player for that matter), stop when they begin to decline.

      As long as someone is willing to keep paying them, why should they stop? Should you make that decision? What if I felt YOU were gettting to old for your job and that you should quit because I said so? I have no say. As long as your company keeps paying you, you will continue to work until such time as YOU see fit. So why should it be any different for Rose. MOST people LOVED Rose going for the record. Even though it was NOT pretty. When it happened, it was a big thing.

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      • #18
        4189

        sigpic

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Scoops View Post
          I'll just say this: Yes he has the record, and it may be one of the least deserved records in all of sports.
          There's the rub!

          Great post, scoops.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Edgartohof View Post
            As long as someone is willing to keep paying them, why should they stop? Should you make that decision?
            Because he was the manager, which suggests an ethical consideration as to which personnel he uses, that personnel including himself.

            Of course, if he was given a mandate from team ownership to play himself and get the record, then, really, the franchise was the entity responsible for the dog-and-pony show.

            Either way, the record means little. Records are interesting insofar as they are acquired in the effort to win games. A franchise purposely acting anti-competitively in order to push a player to a record is perverting the concept of sporting records.
            "In the end it all comes down to talent. You can talk all you want about intangibles, I just don't know what that means. Talent makes winners, not intangibles. Can nice guys win? Sure, nice guys can win - if they're nice guys with a lot of talent. Nice guys with a little talent finish fourth and nice guys with no talent finish last." --Sandy Koufax

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            • #21
              After the 1981 season Rose seemed like he was going to play forever. He hit .325 and didn't appear to be slowing down. That was his last really good year. Over the next few years he was clearly not the player he used to be. But he still managed to get on base in 1984 and 1985 and he was a fairly productive player. If you are looking soley at his OPS+ he wasn't the worst first baseman in the league. In 1985 he had a higher OPS+ than 6 of the major league first baseman. He was below average but he was still productive enough to deserve playing time. He had no power in his old age but he still managed to get on base with a decent average and by walking more. But he overstayed his welcome in 1986 after he broke the record the year before.

              Rose lost about 70 hits in 1981 due to the player's strike. If that didn't happen he would have broken it a little sooner.

              A lot of players play past their prime and put up weak numbers in order to reach a milestone.

              Look at Bill Buckners stats the last 4 years of his career. He wanted to reach 3,000 hits. He posted OPS+ of 79, 73, 43, and 35 his last four years. Rod Carew was a no-power first baseman trying to reach 3,000 for the Angels. In 1984 and 1985 he posted OPS+ of 101 and 99 whie trying to join the 3,000 club. That's about what Pete did during the same two years (99 and 99).

              Obviously Ty Cobb had a better career than Rose and was a better player.

              I felt the same way when Emmitt Smith broke Walter Payton's all time rushing record a few years ago. Smith was clearly past his prime and was playing to break the record. More power to him. Records are meant to be broken. Walter is still the king in my opinion.

              Cobb doesn't lose any of his stature due to Rose breaking the record. Actually at the time, there was a renewed interest in Ty Cobb during the chase. His career got a lot of press. Rose learned a lot about Cobb and was very respectful of Cobb's accomplishments and his style of play.
              "Batting slumps? I never had one. When a guy hits .358, he doesn't have slumps."

              Rogers Hornsby, 1961

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Bench 5 View Post
                A lot of players play past their prime and put up weak numbers in order to reach a milestone.
                Those players aren't managers and writing themselves into the lineup when they have no business being in the lineup.

                It is always a farce when a team acts anti-competitively (makes themselves worse) in order to push a player to a record or milestone. The most recent example was the Houston Astros forcing Craig Biggio into the lineup just to get him to 3000 hits, even though he didn't merit being in the lineup. Pete Rose was just the most absurd example of it.
                "In the end it all comes down to talent. You can talk all you want about intangibles, I just don't know what that means. Talent makes winners, not intangibles. Can nice guys win? Sure, nice guys can win - if they're nice guys with a lot of talent. Nice guys with a little talent finish fourth and nice guys with no talent finish last." --Sandy Koufax

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Minstrel View Post
                  Those players aren't managers and writing themselves into the lineup when they have no business being in the lineup.

                  It is always a farce when a team acts anti-competitively (makes themselves worse) in order to push a player to a record or milestone. The most recent example was the Houston Astros forcing Craig Biggio into the lineup just to get him to 3000 hits, even though he didn't merit being in the lineup. Pete Rose was just the most absurd example of it.
                  So, you think the Reds traded for Rose in '84 because he was an answer to making their lineup better? He was brought in to put butts in the seats. And, any manager that wants to be one for long (and Pete did) does what he is told by management....if that means continually writing your name in the lineup, that is what you do.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by baseballPAP View Post
                    So, you think the Reds traded for Rose in '84 because he was an answer to making their lineup better? He was brought in to put butts in the seats. And, any manager that wants to be one for long (and Pete did) does what he is told by management....if that means continually writing your name in the lineup, that is what you do.
                    This possibility I addressed in a previous post:

                    Of course, if he was given a mandate from team ownership to play himself and get the record, then, really, the franchise was the entity responsible for the dog-and-pony show.

                    Either way, the record means little. Records are interesting insofar as they are acquired in the effort to win games. A franchise purposely acting anti-competitively in order to push a player to a record is perverting the concept of sporting records.


                    Either Rose acted disgracefully or the Reds franchise did. One could argue that both did.
                    "In the end it all comes down to talent. You can talk all you want about intangibles, I just don't know what that means. Talent makes winners, not intangibles. Can nice guys win? Sure, nice guys can win - if they're nice guys with a lot of talent. Nice guys with a little talent finish fourth and nice guys with no talent finish last." --Sandy Koufax

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                    • #25
                      in '85 and '86 his OBP for the Reds was .430 and .395

                      he scored 69 runs in 501 AB

                      not Rickey Hendsrson levels, but not at the "disgraceful" level either.

                      DREW

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by parlo View Post
                        The quintessential compiler.
                        I can't categorize 10 seasons of 200+ hits as a "compiler". That's alot of seasons with alot of hits.

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                        • #27
                          The funny thing is, the reason Pete Rose was going for the all-time hits record was for his 'legacy'. He believed that getting that record would form the centerpiece of his legacy. And his personal ego required no less.

                          But in retrospect, the way he went about it has hurt the very thing he was trying to promote. How ironic. Poetic Justice? He is now perceived as having compromised his integrity and his competitive will to win.

                          He obviously cost his team some games by playing himself ahead of his better players. How competitive is that? Pete's 'competitiveness' was applied only to his personal glory, not his team's. Normally, they go hand in hand. But in this unusual circumstance, they conflcted.

                          Sure, there was blame to go around. The Reds' management signed on to the circus. It reminds me of when Barry Bonds went for the all-time HR record, when all the insiders knew he was a compromised 'juiced' performer.

                          Today, only us hard-core fans know how Pete abused the game, and maybe a few old-time Reds' fans who remember him and what he did at the end.

                          But the casual, mainstream fans would barely suspect this stuff. Just as they cheered Bonds and Rose and needed an excuse to have a party. What's the old saying? Ignorance is bliss?

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                          • #28
                            Who is to say what's the "right" thing to do? If you would've polled Reds fans back then, what do you think the overwhelming majority of them would've said was "right"?

                            And I bet if you had given Pete Rose a lie detector test, with a gun to his head and a bazooka pointed straight at his crotch, he would've honestly told you that he felt putting himself in the lineup gave the Reds the best chance to win. Great athletes are like that; Rose isn't the first guy to hang on too long. Look at Steve Carlton, etc.

                            If Rose was hurting the team that badly, it was up to Marge Schott or the GM to get rid of him.

                            That said, I do think the record has some taint to it. But at the end of the day, it's a fact that Pete Rose had more base hits than anyone who ever played MLB. It is what it is. We all know the context, but I don't get that upset about it. I get more upset about the way Bonds acheived his records.

                            Everything has to be taken in context. You could make the argument that many of the Yankees' championships are tainted because they had an unfair financial advantage prior to the advent of the amateur draft. That's the great thing about baseball: Each of us gets to pick and choose how much weight we want to lend to certain events. There are no right or wrong answers with these kind of questions.
                            "Hey Mr. McGraw! Can I pitch to-day?"

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Victory Faust View Post
                              Who is to say what's the "right" thing to do? If you would've polled Reds fans back then, what do you think the overwhelming majority of them would've said was "right"?

                              And I bet if you had given Pete Rose a lie detector test, with a gun to his head and a bazooka pointed straight at his crotch, he would've honestly told you that he felt putting himself in the lineup gave the Reds the best chance to win. Great athletes are like that; Rose isn't the first guy to hang on too long. Look at Steve Carlton, etc.

                              If Rose was hurting the team that badly, it was up to Marge Schott or the GM to get rid of him.
                              I arrived in Cincinnati in September of 1984 and was privileged to be there for the whole thing. I agree with everything VF said, except that we need to make clear that the Reds' management hired Rose to do exactly what he did. I'm sure they didn't need the gun and the bazooka to convince him to go for the record, but if he had announced his retirement, in December, 1984, they would have been dismayed and disappointed.

                              I can't see criticizing Rose for wanting to play, and wanting to achieve -- that's what made him Rose. If there's any blame to go around, the front office and Schott deserve the lion's share of it.

                              Considering the record he was chasing, considering the inimitable character who held it, considering the not entirely imitable character of Rose himself, considering above all the intimate bond between Rose and the city of Cincinnati, something perhaps unique in American sports -- it is certainly the most fun I've ever had in baseball, and I was in the New York area for most of the Miracle Mets' amazing summer of 1969. The aftermath to Rose's record left a very sour taste in the mouth, of course, but even so, the run to the record remains an experience I wouldn't trade for the world.

                              The Reds played over their head in 1985, which is yet another reason the season was so much fun, but they weren't that good and never made a really strong run at the division title -- the race looks closer than it really was, because Los Angeles coasted into first place and their 5 1/2 game final lead was the smallest it had been in months. Cincinnati would not have done significantly better if they had taken a very smart player with a .395 OBP out of the lineup and replaced him with somebody from their not exceptionally impressive bench. It is certainly understandable if some of Rose's players were frustrated, but with all due respect, they were journeymen who wouldn't have made a lot of difference in the race. Esasky, in particular, was a first baseman who had to masquerade as an outfielder to get playing time because Rose was in his way, but the fact is, Esasky actually did get a lot of playing time -- more in 1985 than in almost any other season of his career. Gary Redus was a mediocre fielder and fair hitter; Daniels and O'Neill were a couple of years away from prime time.

                              It also should be understood that when it became apparent the bloom was off the rose, so to speak, in 1986, Pete benched himself and essentially retired long before the season ended. He started half a dozen games after July 21 and made his last appearance in mid August. I remember a radio interview in which he made it very clear he was retiring, in fact was virtually retired, but he wasn't going to announce it formally because he wanted to dodge the fuss that would have ensued.

                              And let's be clear about one final thing. It doesn't matter how you feel about the career hits record and the way he broke it -- you can talk about what Rose did to befoul his own legacy without any need to bring 4,256 into the conversation at all.
                              “Money, money, money; that is the article I am looking after now more than anything else. It is the only thing that will shape my course (‘religion is nowhere’).” - Ross Barnes

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Victory Faust View Post
                                And I bet if you had given Pete Rose a lie detector test, with a gun to his head and a bazooka pointed straight at his crotch, he would've honestly told you that he felt putting himself in the lineup gave the Reds the best chance to win.
                                That is probably true since he also probably had money on the games as well.
                                "Batting stats and pitching stats do not indicate the quality of play, merely which part of that struggle is dominant at the moment."

                                -Bill James

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