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1980s Star Power

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  • #16
    Fisk at C?
    Carter at C?
    Murray at 1B?
    Sandberg at 2B?
    Trammell at SS?
    Smith at SS?
    Brett at 3B?
    Boggs at 3B?
    Raines in LF?
    Puckett in CF?
    Murphy in CF?
    Gwynn in RF?
    Winfield in RF?


    FOr me Carter, Murray, Trammell, Murphy, Gwynn, and Winfield are not really in the top ten. And a case could be made that neither is Raines, Puckett, and Sandberg.

    About the only locks are the three positions in which the list of greats is rather short. Third base, Shortstop, and Third base. If SS or C was stocked like first base or RF then Fisk or Smith would not be in the top ten, whereas a player like Honus Wagner or Alex Rodriguez would be.

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    • #17
      80s players in my top 15 by position:

      C-Fisk, Carter
      1B-Murray, Hernandez
      2B-Grich, Sandberg, Whitaker, Randolph
      3B-Schmidt, Brett, Boggs, Molitor, Evans, Cey
      SS-Yount, Ripken, Trammell, O.Smith
      LF-Henderson, Raines
      CF-Puckett, Murphy
      RF-Gwynn, Winfield, Parker

      EH, you don't have Tim Raines in the top 20 RF? He's clearly the second best leadoff man ever. I have him #5. How on earth could you leave him out?

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      • #18
        Originally posted by 538280
        EH, you don't have Tim Raines in the top 20 RF? He's clearly the second best leadoff man ever. I have him #5. How on earth could you leave him out?
        I was about to go on a rant about why I just don't get the whole Tim Raines thing in my previous post, but decided I was too tired. Now, however...

        For one, he was perpetually injured. Only had one 150 game season after age 26. Rickey Henderson was kind of the same way, but Henderson's massive counting numbers kind of make up for it. Raines, on the other hand, is only 68th in H and 46th in R. Not really what I'm looking for out of a top leadoff hitter.

        He stole a lot of bases in the 80's, but so did a lot of guys (Vince Coleman, Otis Nixon, Brett Butler, Tom Brown)... color me unimpressed.

        He did win a batting title, but was top 10 only 4 times. Again, not what I'm looking for in a leadoff hitter. Henderson had a similar problem, but at least he had some HR pop to make up for it.

        His most similar players are instructive (though, as always, have to throw out that caveat on the worthlessness of similarity scores)... Six of them are HoF'ers, but five of those are extremely poor choices, with Carey and Hooper at least having defense to fall back on, and Slaughter, Brock, and Clarke having no excuse.

        He was never truly a dominant player, and was finished as even a pretty good one by age 33. From a non-skill position, I gotta have at least peak OR longevity. He was all right at his peak, but, especially from a LF'er, I expect more from a guy playing in a weak league.
        "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

        Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

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        • #19
          Originally posted by digglahhh
          Off hand, I would probably hypothesize that the 80's is overlooked as an era because it didn't really have an identity. There was a wide assortment of talent. Many of the stars were well rounded players who weren't dominant in a single phase of the game. More Craig Biggios, less Manny Ramirezes, in terms of one our last exchanges, Chris.

          Brett, Yount, Hernandez, Henderson, Trammell, Molitor, Raines, Murphy, Strawberry, Davis and so forth. Most of these guys were high quality on both offense and defense, many of them ran.

          The Cards won games year after year with speed and defense, there was just a lot of variety in the era.

          I know you could make this argument about any era, really, but the 80's seem to be the epitome.
          This I think is an interesting point. I'm sure we've all heard how players who do many things well tend to be underrated, while specialists (players who only have one or two great skills and don't do many other things well) are overrated. Perhaps this can apply to eras too, and it could possibly explain why the 1980s as a decade and their stars have seemed to be historically overlooked and underrated?

          With pitching, I will probably agree that the 80s may have been lacking a bit on great career stars. The main ones who pitched lots in the 80s were Carlton, Blyleven, Clemens, Ryan, Stieb, J.Morris, Guidry, and Sutton (Stieb is probably one of the most underrated pitchers of all time). But, this doesn't mean pitching talent was necessarily low, because the 80s were a time of great peak pitching stars. Each season seemed to have one pitcher who exploded for a great year. Guys like Valenzuela, Welch, Viola, Gooden, Tudor, Sutcliffe, Righetti, Clancy, Saberhagen, L.Hoyt, and Stewart. Those guys were maybe only great for 5 or so years, but those 5 years when they were great for all of them were packed into the decade.

          Also, the 80s were an awesome era of great relief pitchers. They had Sutter, Quisenberry, L.Smith, Reardon, Eckersley, and Gossage, just to name the top few. In addition to them being top level stars, I think they might be also contributing to the seemingly unimpressive numbers posted by the starters in the decade. You know, the relief pitching was so good that it stole innings from the starters, making them look worse when really they weren't.

          I don't know, I'm just speculating here.

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          • #20
            1980's Players in my top 10 (Those Bolded are in my top 5:
            C-Ted Simmons(Was all but done by 1985, but still considered part 80s), Gary Carter
            2B-Ryne Sandberg
            3B-Mike Schmidt,3B-Wade Boggs,3B-Paul Molitor,3B-George Brett
            SS-Robin Yount
            , SS-Cal Ripken Jr.
            CF-Kirby Puckett
            RF-Tony Gwynn

            I'd agree with those above who have stated things regarding the quality of play being possibley the most level of any decade.
            Last edited by The Dude; 03-28-2006, 07:04 PM.
            AL East Champions: 1981 1982
            AL Pennant: 1982
            NL Central Champions: 2011
            NL Wild Card: 2008

            "It was like coming this close to your dreams and then watching them brush past you like a stranger in a crowd. At the time you don't think much of it; you know, we just don't recognize the significant moments of our lives while they're happening. Back then I thought, 'Well, there'll be other days.' I didn't realize that that was the only day." - Moonlight Graham

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Dudecar00
              3B-Paul Molitor
              Molitor's in your top 5? I have him 10th, which is higher than most people. He was certainly good for a long time, but he spent lots of time DHing, and his peak years are really lacking. No way how he belongs above Brett.

              Comment


              • #22
                I subtract very little, if anything from the designated hitter, especially if they're a great DH (Really, only three of them. Molitor, Martinez, and Thomas. Ortiz has had some of the greatest DH seasons, but lets wait a few more years). Molitor and Brett are so close together statistically wise, I don't see how you can really break them apart. It's my Milwaukee bias that has Molitor ahead of Brett, don't mind that.
                Last edited by The Dude; 03-29-2006, 05:40 AM.
                AL East Champions: 1981 1982
                AL Pennant: 1982
                NL Central Champions: 2011
                NL Wild Card: 2008

                "It was like coming this close to your dreams and then watching them brush past you like a stranger in a crowd. At the time you don't think much of it; you know, we just don't recognize the significant moments of our lives while they're happening. Back then I thought, 'Well, there'll be other days.' I didn't realize that that was the only day." - Moonlight Graham

                Comment


                • #23
                  --You might be able to argue Molitor was almost as good a hitter as Brett (although I'd disagree), but ranking him ahead of Brett at 3B just isn't realistic. Molitor played less than 800 games at 3B and wasn't especially good at it. Brett was a career 3B and a good defender there for most of that time.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by leecemark
                    --You might be able to argue Molitor was almost as good a hitter as Brett (although I'd disagree), but ranking him ahead of Brett at 3B just isn't realistic. Molitor played less than 800 games at 3B and wasn't especially good at it. Brett was a career 3B and a good defender there for most of that time.
                    Agreed. The DH has to assessed to Molitor's detriment. What kind of career would Molitor have had if not for the DH?

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Dudecar00
                      I subtract very little, if anything from the designated hitter, especially if they're a great DH (Really, only three of them. Molitor, Martinez, and Thomas. Ortiz has had some of the greatest DH seasons, but lets wait a few more years). Molitor and Brett are so close together statistically wise, I don't see how you can really break them apart. It's my Milwaukee bias that has Molitor ahead of Brett, don't mind that.
                      How could you not subtract for the DH. It...

                      1.Hurt his fielding value tremendously (playing half a career with no defensive value whatsoever)
                      2.Lengthened his career beyond natural boundaries
                      3.Probably helped his hitting because that's all he had to concentrate on.

                      If you want to argue about Molitor as a pure hitter, then I agree you don't have to subtract for the DH, but when ranking players, it has to be taken into consideration.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by 538280
                        How could you not subtract for the DH. It...

                        1.Hurt his fielding value tremendously (playing half a career with no defensive value whatsoever)
                        Granted (although I stick by my premise of no defensive value at all being better than Chuck Knoblauch or Manny Ramirez).
                        2.Lengthened his career beyond natural boundaries
                        3.Probably helped his hitting because that's all he had to concentrate on.
                        Aren't both of these very, very good things? We don't penalize modern pitchers because they were able to extend their careers through Tommy John surgery... why should we penalize modern hitters because they were able to extend their careers through DH'ing?
                        "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                        Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          --I don't discount a player if he occasionally rests by DHIng or plays there for a couple years at the end of his career. However if a player would not have been in the lineup without the DH that has to count against him, particularly when comparing him against all of history. Molitor was so injury prone prior to moving to DH that he would never have come anywhere near 3,000 hits or the Hall of Fame. He would be remembered, to the extent he would be remembered at all, as a very talented player whose career was derailed by injury.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by leecemark
                            --I don't discount a player if he occasionally rests by DHIng or plays there for a couple years at the end of his career. However if a player would not have been in the lineup without the DH that has to count against him, particularly when comparing him against all of history. Molitor was so injury prone prior to moving to DH that he would never have come anywhere near 3,000 hits or the Hall of Fame. He would be remembered, to the extent he would be remembered at all, as a very talented player whose career was derailed by injury.
                            This is true. However, it probably shouldn't matter.

                            Think of it this way: Randy Johnson had surgery on September 12, 1996, to repair a protutruding disc in his back. It took him four months of rehabilitation to return for the 1997 season.

                            Much like Molitor would have drifted out of the league if he'd been born forty years earlier, Randy's career would have been over if he'd been born forty years earlier.

                            Should we therefore discount everything Randy's done since 1997? Just because he never would have been able to do it if he'd played in an earlier era?
                            "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                            Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Some people penalize players for sticking around too long and not performing well for there team, so we're supposed to penalize players who stick around long and perform excellent for their team? I guarantee you that if Brett or Boggs would have terrible luck in the field, but they could still hit like they did when they were fielding, they would have gone to the DH as well. It's no players fault there's a position for them on the field where they only have to hit.
                              Last edited by The Dude; 03-29-2006, 07:01 PM.
                              AL East Champions: 1981 1982
                              AL Pennant: 1982
                              NL Central Champions: 2011
                              NL Wild Card: 2008

                              "It was like coming this close to your dreams and then watching them brush past you like a stranger in a crowd. At the time you don't think much of it; you know, we just don't recognize the significant moments of our lives while they're happening. Back then I thought, 'Well, there'll be other days.' I didn't realize that that was the only day." - Moonlight Graham

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                This is hilarious. HWR, or somebody here recently, mentioned this former poster and his disdain for 1980s MLB. I just bumped into this old timey thread and had to laugh.
                                "It ain't braggin' if you can do it." Dizzy Dean

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