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The Validity of 4256

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  • KHenry14
    replied
    I was thinking more of the 84-85 seasons Wags, where they went 70-92 and 89-72. Less so the later years when the likes of Sabo. Davis, O'Neill etc came on board and they got to be really good. I mean, the 85 team had Eddie Milner as the CF, how good could they be?

    BTW, Rose likes to go around and take credit for the 1990 championship, inferring that all those good players came up under his watch, and all Davey did was push the buttons. It's always about you, isn't it Pete?

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  • Honus Wagner Rules
    replied
    Originally posted by KHenry14 View Post
    As much as I detest and loathe Pete Rose as a person, I have to give him a bit of a pass on this one. As others have stated, Pete was brought back to bring attention back to the Reds, and to put people in the seats. He would have done that even if the record wasn't in the offing, but the fact that the record was imminent made it all the better. And to be honest, thos Reds teams of the mid 80's weren't good, and it would be five years before they would be. So keeping Esasky, Daniels etc. off the field in his pursuit of the record really didn't hurt the team much.
    I think those Reds teams were better than you remember, KH. From 1985-88 the Reds finished in second place four years in a row. The fell off to 5th place in 1989 which was when the whole Rose gambling story broke. Rose is banned and in 1990 the Reds win it all? Kind of makes you think what the Reds could have done in the late 1980's with a good manager.

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  • KHenry14
    replied
    As much as I detest and loathe Pete Rose as a person, I have to give him a bit of a pass on this one. As others have stated, Pete was brought back to bring attention back to the Reds, and to put people in the seats. He would have done that even if the record wasn't in the offing, but the fact that the record was imminent made it all the better. And to be honest, thos Reds teams of the mid 80's weren't good, and it would be five years before they would be. So keeping Esasky, Daniels etc. off the field in his pursuit of the record really didn't hurt the team much.

    But it's also true that Rose was obsessed with his stats, so this chance to go back to the Reds as a manager was a godsend to him. He was able to play himself without much scrutiny from the hometown press. It would have been much harder for him to continue on, even as a DH or as a 1B with those stats for some other team.

    So sure, under most circumstances playing a hitter at 1B with those stats would be a non-starter almost everywhere, it made sense in Cincy at that time.

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  • SteveJRogers
    replied
    Originally posted by Victory Faust View Post
    Great athletes are like that; Rose isn't the first guy to hang on too long. Look at Steve Carlton, etc.
    To be fair though, Carlton, like others (Willie Mays, etc) wasn't chasing history those last few years. He just didn't want to give up the game. No matter how "bad" (I don't know about Carlton, but there are those who defend Mays' Met years, even his 1973 World Series performance) it seems they are performing, it is hard to finally say "that's it, I'm done."

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  • Ubiquitous
    replied
    From Traderdave of BTF:


    Rose was hired in 84 to boost attendance both by his presence and the 4192 thing. Ownership didn't supply him with any other options at 1B because their goal was asses in the seats, period. Rose really was his own best option at 1B. (And "rancid corpse" is bit harsh for a 98 OPS+ in '85)

    Yes, there is no excuse for 1986, but Rose's '85 is another matter.

    I was in Cincy at the time following them closely, but I was a teenager depending on a hometown paper and Reds broadcasts for my info, so I was no sabrematician. But based on memeory and some BB-ref, here's what I'd say to the above:

    Perez was less durable thn Rose at that point, and could not have played nearly as many games. His role was as an occasional starter vs. lefties and knuckleballers (he always mashed knucklers and there a few in the league back then) and as a pinch hitter. He could not have been any more than an occasional sub for Rose.

    Parker had a monster year, MVP caliber, and was still widely viewed as a top rate outfielder because of his arm.

    It wasn't Rose's fault that Kal Daniels was kept down in the minors, it was the GM's (Bob Howsam IIRC). And in any case, Kal was not a first baseman.

    Eric Davis, the hero of my youth, should have had more PT in 85, but beacame a regular in 86. And again, he was no 1B either.

    Esasky din't really play 1B until Buddy Bell came over.


    The Reds ownership was interested in Pete as a gate draw. His job was to talk to the press and pencil himself in until 4192.

    Parker's range factor in '85 was 2.14 vs. lg avg 1.88. He wasn't the Dave parker of old in the field, who was overated anyway, but statue is too strong a word for his defense that year. And remember, whatever offensive gains resulted from putting parker at 1B, Rose's glove at that position would have been vastly superior.

    And I'm not sure I buy your pilloried-in-the-press angle either. I know why you say it; many black players got unfairly bad press in the Cincy media for a long time. Eric Davis, for one. But my recollection is that Parker was treated very well by the local media. Remember, Parker was a hometown player too. The Piitsburgh Drug scandal was discreetly understated in the local rags, and Parker was always presented as a leader. He was also an endless fountain of glib, witty copy, which goes far in any town's rag toward making a player's image. Though significant other race issues existed in the Cincy sports arena, hometown players of any ethnicity got treated well. Barry Larkin was lionized, Eric Davis was endlessly badmouthed. Methinks if Larkin and Parker had hailed from elsewhere, their treatment would have matched ED's. It stands to reason that Parker could have gotten through that pissing contest relatively unscathed and stayed in RF.

    . . . I just say that management's enabling was a stronger force than Rose's pencil on the lineup card. He was hired expressly to play himself and pass Cobb. He wasn't hired becasue he was a viable option at 1B. Indeed, the Reds traded away the reasonably adequate Dan Driessen to the Expos just weeks before Rose came over. It is not hard to believe these deals were linked. Rose's job was to be PETE ROSE, in every respect. It is obvious he was playing for the record. He would have signed with the Bald Knob Ark. ########### if that would have gotten him to 4192. But he went to Cincinnati BECAUSE the Reds wanted him foer a specific reason. Even if he'd wanted to bench himself, it's doubtful ownership would have permitted it.

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  • Ubiquitous
    replied
    From the excellent poster Chris Dial from BTF:
    Davis in 1985 wasn't anything worth swapping into the lineup - certainly not necessarily over Nick Esasky or Gary Redus. I've heard this for about a decade, and Rose didn't do anything the vast majority of managers wouldn't have.

    Davis' OBP was .287, 60 points below Milner (who was just 30, and pretty good for a CF), and Davis struck out 30% of the time. Now up here on Mt. Judgmental, we kjnow that's not all there is, but Ks still mattered to managers back then.

    Even given Milner (who stole a ton of bases) doesn't start, Esasky starts over Davis, so the point isn't very strong.

    Suggesting it was Rose's fault in 1984 is 100% ignorance since he didn't take over until nearly September.

    In 1984, Davis was hitting 202/311/360 until the Reds made Rose manager. Under Rose's tutelage, Davis hit .267/338/667.

    Rose knew what he was doing. So he started Davis to open 1985, even though he hated going qwith rookies. I mean, at opening day, ED was the f'in man. He rewarded Rose by hitting .152/.188/.364. A whopping 540 OPS.

    So he got benched. "Oh, give the rookie a chance". Hey, Rose expects to win, and ED was striking at at a 40% clip. That's just not looked upon favorably in 1985. Rose froze him out as a ph during May, sending him down until Sept. When Davis was benched, Milner came in and was hitting .303. So, no big surprise it was handled in the way it was, and it's bogus to say Rose was anti-kds. Davis *had* the job, and stunk up the joint.

    As I pointed oput - he gave Davis first dibs, and Davis was terrible in 1985. In 1986, he still got the job.

    These criticisms are really expecting WAY too much from ANY manager. Daniels was a rookie and got 200+ PAs. Larkin as well (170 PAs). And Daniels got the PT in 87-88. Larkin got the starting slot the following year - so that's pretty quick. There aren't many rookie SS getting the nod at 22. And Concepcion outhit Larkin in 1987.

    And in 1986, Tracy Jones got 86 ABs in 46 games, and hit well.

    How many more PAs do you think Daniels should have gotten?

    Rose's usage was suboptimal, but there's no good evidence that he wholly sabotaged some kids careers. And having Rose on the field playing was good for a couple of wins just due to his leadership.

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  • Ubiquitous
    replied
    From the excellent poster Walt Davis over at BTF:

    his age 39 season wasn't particularly good -- end of the line or just a down year? Well, he put up a 119 OPS+ with a 391 OBP at age 40 -- whaddya know, the old man's not done yet. His age 41 season was again not good -- but Rose didn't manage the Phils so he didn't put himself in for 162 games. The Phils trotted him out for 151 games at age 42 which was a complete disaster. And yes, at that point, most vets would probably have retired or not been able to get a job. But then he was a mere 10 hits shy of 4,000 and Rose is hardly the first vet to get a last chance at a big milestone.

    So the Expos give him a shot. Now that was just weird -- why the Expos? He was pretty terrible with them so they ship him to Cincy where he did quite well in limited time. And for that season he put up a 99 OPS+. Scoff all you want, but every season in baseball history (probably) you can find starting 1B putting up a 99 OPS+ or worse. And the next season, at age 44, he again put up a 99 OPS+ with a 395 OBP.

    That's one thing I always give Rose credit for -- he never stopped taking his walks. In the season he broke Cobbs record he had 107 hits and 86 walks. He was obsessed with breaking the record but that annoying SOB still wouldn't swing at pitches outside the zone.

    Rose was clearly a below-average 1B from ages 39-44 but, except for his age 42 season, he was a starting quality or just short of starting quality 1B. For the seasons 1984-1985 (combined), for players with at least 50% of their games at 1B and at least 400 PA total across both seasons, Rose ranked 27th in OPS+ (ahead of Hargrove, David Green, Chambliss, and just behind Garvey, Carew, Buckner, Tabler, and Cooper). He ranked 6th in OBP with a 378 just ahead of Mattingly. And he was 19th in WAR runs batting (with an unimpressive 8), ahead of Cooper, Carew, Garvey, Hargrove, Buckner, Francona, Bergman, Chambliss (-6), Green (-7) and Gerald Perry (-8).

    Now Rose's defense was pretty awful but in full WAR (just 1.2), he was 25th and still ahead of Carew, Bergman, Chambliss, Green, Francona, Buckner, Perry, etc.

    I'm sorry but the claim that Rose was hurting his teams in 1984-85 is simply untrue. He was on the border between starting quality and top bench hitter. Now some of that was a certain level of collective insanity of playing crappy 1B (this was the era of Enos Cabell, starting 1B after all) and the fact that a number of good 1B were getting old at the same time. But 84-85 was little different than today -- Rose's 1.2 WAR would rank 27th for 2009-10, between Gaby Sanchez (who's had just one season) and Jorge Cantu and 1.1 more WAR than Garrett Jones (the type of player you might get if you didn't play Rose).

    I have little doubt that Rose kept playing and putting his name in the lineup when he could out of greed and obsession with breaking Cobb's record. But he wasn't nearly as inept as people portray it and he wasn't so obsessed that he started swinging at everything just to get a hit.
    Another common part of the discussion, which I can't seem to find right now, is that the Reds brought in Rose to do this. This was why they made him a player-manager.




    Rose played a longer season but he also played against an integrated league and a better league. Every record is created in favorable conditions. Nobody breaks a record while trying to jump through a 100 mph wind.

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  • Honus Wagner Rules
    replied
    "Records" are just numbers that record events. It is a fact that Pete Rose has the most hits in major league history. But that no more proves that Rose is the greatest "hitter" ever than Babe Ruth's .690 career slugging percentage proves Ruth is the greatest "slugger" ever.

    Leave a comment:


  • SHOELESSJOE3
    replied
    Randy, I was wondering if you were still alive, drop by more often.
    Chris can you post that Dimaggio letter on the board.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bill Burgess
    replied
    Do my eyes deceive? Is it? Could it be? Art thou my old buddy, Randy? Welcome home, my brother! Great to see you once again, even if briefly.

    Your old brother and friend. How the hell are you?

    Leave a comment:


  • Sultan_1895-1948
    replied
    Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post
    Brett mentioned the possibility of A-Rod having the all-time hit record by the time he retired. It made me think of the current record holder and how he came to amass that number of hits...

    Pete Rose's record is specious in my mind for a few reasons.

    1. Pete Rose had 13 seasons where he played more than 154 games, which was the max Cobb could have played. That's 104 extra games Rose played in that Cobb never could have played in.

    2. Rose had 173 hits after his team's game 154 alone. I went back season by season to calculate this using Retrosheet.

    -Another way of looking at it was that it took Rose about 2,500 more PA to break that record- and by virtue of the 162 game schedule had almost 200 more career games available.

    3. During his last 4 years, Rose was a. 256 hitter with a .305 slugging and 2 homeruns in his final 1748 PA!!! This is a guy who couldn't run, couldn't hit, couldn't hit for power, couldn't field, and was out there solely because he kept himself in the lineup to break the record in a shameless manner. Trying to hit singles and only singles to pad his totals.

    I saw an interview with Rose in 1979 after he had broken Cobb's record for 200 hit seasons (10). He self-absorption was omnipresent- he knew his exact totals in hits, runs, doubles, and even times on base. He knew his standing amongst the all timers in National League history, even then.

    After he broke the record in Sept. 85', he boasted that he would go on to break Cobb's all time record for runs scored, too.

    People talk about the number of extra PA's/games Aaron had to break Ruth's record. Well, Aaron was still a very good hitter during his last 4 years- and didn't keep himself in the lineup as player-manager to break the record.

    What does everyone feel about this record in light of these facts?
    For me it is just a number. A longevity number. There is productive longevity and what Rose was. A good hitter who limped to the finish line. Nobody will dispute that Cobb was a better hitter than Rose. Just like nobody will dispute that Ruth is a far greater HR hitter than Aaron despite his nearly 4,000 more at bats. IT IS UP TO US, TO PUT RECORDS AND NUMBERS INTO PERSPECTIVE. Something as simple as Rose being a switch hitter playing on astroturf, or yes, the extra PA. There is also something to be said for being the record setter. Nothing to shoot for. It is human nature to let up, to some degree, when you are so far ahead of the pack. Ruth, Cobb, Walter, Cy....players of the past had no idea what their numbers might mean years down the road. Having something to shoot for, and someone to push you, is the essence of competition. Some records of old were achieved without having either.

    ps. Chris,

    Send me a PM and paste that DiMaggio letter regarding his hitting streak. Told my brother I'd email it to him

    Leave a comment:


  • sturg1dj
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Beady
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Victory Faust
    replied
    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.

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  • Bill Burgess
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:

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