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Kaline or Yastrzemski?

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  • Kaline or Yastrzemski?

    Situation: It's draft day and you've got the first pick in a new league. Clearly Kaline and Yastrzemski are the two best players. Who would you want on your team and why?
    37
    Al Kaline (Mr. Tiger)
    37.84%
    14
    Carl Yastrzemski (Yaz)
    62.16%
    23
    ?

  • #2
    --Yaz peaked much higher and is an easy choice for me. Kaline gives you more good (soem really good) years, but never really dominated.

    Comment


    • #3
      I was actually really shocked when I hit the button and saw the results. To me it's Kaline by about ten miles. Just goes to show you, I guess.
      "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

      Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Both guys were helped by their home parks. But Yaz's splits are more dramatic, and his career was more fire and ice, which, in my opinion in this case, makes a consistent 9/10 player like Kaline more attractive.

        Kaline, home: .303/.386/.502
        Kaline, away: .292/.372/.458

        Yaz, home: .306/.405/.503
        Yaz, away: .264/.360/.422
        "Hall of Famer Whitey Ford now on the field... pleading with the crowd for, for some kind of sanity!"

        Comment


        • #5
          I went with Kaline, but could justhave easily voted for Yaz. Close.
          Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

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          • #6
            Kaline. I-Pod said it best.
            Johnson and now Goligoski gone.
            I hope that's all.

            Comment


            • #7
              I give the edge to Yaz.
              1968 and 1984, the greatest ever.

              Comment


              • #8
                Depends on where they are going to play their home games. If Fenway is the home park, I'll go with Yaz. If almost anywhere else I'll take Kaline.

                Yaz was a product of Fenway Park. Kaline was the more consistent player. I prefer consistency over scattered high peak.

                Take away Yaz' three great seasons and what do you have? A good but not great ballplayer.

                Yankees Fan Since 1957

                Comment


                • #9
                  --Yaz peak wasn't scattered. He was perhaps the best player in baseball in the back half of the 60s and, for my money, the best AL player of the entire decade. Kaline never approached those heights.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by leecemark
                    --Yaz peak wasn't scattered. He was perhaps the best player in baseball in the back half of the 60s and, for my money, the best AL player of the entire decade. Kaline never approached those heights.
                    I'll still never get the Yaz thing. In 67, 68, and 70 he was an absolutely tremendous player. But it was so far out of line with everything else that he did in the other 20 seasons of his career that I can't help but think that it was just a fluky Brady Anderson thing (without the steroid accusations, of course). That just wasn't the player he was.

                    Silly OPS+, but... best years:

                    Yaz: 195, 178, 171, 156, 148, 141, 139, 137, 126, 124, 121, 120, 120
                    Kaline: 176, 162, 162, 152, 152, 146, 145, 144, 143, 140, 139, 134, 130

                    Yaz is on top, but just to start with... he quickly falls behind, and just keeps falling further and further behind. 1967 and 1970 were great years, but take those away, and we're not even having this discussion remotely. Throw in the fact that Yaz, while reputedly a good defender, doesn't even remotely come close to Kaline, thought to be one of the best (if not the best) defensive corner outfielders of all time, and I really don't see anything resembling an argument for Yaz.
                    "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                    Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      --Yaz large edge in their best 4 years doesn't mean much, but Kaline's advantage outside their best years does? Outside of Yaz 3 "fluke" years he still managed to win; a batting title (and another 2nd place finish), two OBP titles, an OPS (and OPS+) title and led in runs, hits, SLG, doubles and Runs Created at least once. The other thing about that comparison is that Yaz was very durable, but some of Kaline's years - even when his rates were higher - were no truely as good because he had numerous injury problems and many of those seasons were shortened by them.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by leecemark
                        --Yaz large edge in their best 4 years doesn't mean much, but Kaline's advantage outside their best years does? Outside of Yaz 3 "fluke" years he still managed to win; a batting title (and another 2nd place finish), two OBP titles, an OPS (and OPS+) title and led in runs, hits, SLG, doubles and Runs Created at least once.
                        Yes, he did win a batting title... but with 14 homers and 68 RBI's. Very nice season, but not really an all time great type (or even "pretty good for average year from a HoF worthy player") type year for a left fielder. He did win an OPS title in 65, but his only competition was the "Not really an OPS type guy" Tony Oliva and the "It's not 1961, so I'm not particularly good" Norm Cash. Ordinarily, I don't look past a guy's peak to see what he did for the rest of his career. But three years is really too short a time span, especially with a break in between, to be able to say "Yes, THIS is how good this player was," rather than "Wow, he lucked out, didn't he?" Especially when he spent a solid 20 years proving that he was really a Paul O'Neill type player. Paullie O was fantastic in 94, but that's not how good he really was. He just got lucky. I think Yaz' luck streak just lasted a little longer than some other guys' did.

                        For a perfect example of what I mean, take a look at Dolf Luque's career. Adolfo's an all time favorite of mine,but just look at him. The guy spent twenty years showing that he was a good, solid pitcher... and had two years where he was Lefty Grove. Which part of his career do you think is more indicitive of where his talent level really lies... 1923 and 1925, or everywhere else?
                        The other thing about that comparison is that Yaz was very durable, but some of Kaline's years - even when his rates were higher - were no truely as good because he had numerous injury problems and many of those seasons were shortened by them.
                        This I'll grant you; that's definitely a knock on Kaline.
                        "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                        Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ElHalo
                          I'll still never get the Yaz thing. In 67, 68, and 70 he was an absolutely tremendous player. But it was so far out of line with everything else that he did in the other 20 seasons of his career that I can't help but think that it was just a fluky Brady Anderson thing (without the steroid accusations, of course). That just wasn't the player he was.

                          Silly OPS+, but... best years:

                          Yaz: 195, 178, 171, 156, 148, 141, 139, 137, 126, 124, 121, 120, 120
                          Kaline: 176, 162, 162, 152, 152, 146, 145, 144, 143, 140, 139, 134, 130

                          Yaz is on top, but just to start with... he quickly falls behind, and just keeps falling further and further behind. 1967 and 1970 were great years, but take those away, and we're not even having this discussion remotely. Throw in the fact that Yaz, while reputedly a good defender, doesn't even remotely come close to Kaline, thought to be one of the best (if not the best) defensive corner outfielders of all time, and I really don't see anything resembling an argument for Yaz.
                          ElHalo, for once I agree with you 100%!!! Which of us should be more worried???

                          Yankees Fan Since 1957

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by leecemark
                            --Yaz peak wasn't scattered. He was perhaps the best player in baseball in the back half of the 60s and, for my money, the best AL player of the entire decade. Kaline never approached those heights.
                            You are correct, Mark. I should have said 'limited' rather than scattered. He had three, only three, very exceptional years. As well, he had numerous so-so years that just don't capture my ideal of a great player.
                            This, taken in conjunction with the fact that he was a product of Fenway Park are why I consider Yaz to be only 5th AL all-time LF.
                            I place Williams, Henderson, Simmons, and Jackson ahead of Yaz. In the NL you can add in Musial, Bonds, Delahanty, Stargell, and maybe Raines ahead of Yaz.

                            Was he good? Of course. Was he very good? Absolutely. Was he great? Nope. Is he a HOF'er? Absolutely, of course, but he's thrid tier HOF.

                            Yankees Fan Since 1957

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              --I'd describe Yaz like this; he was a great player at his peak AND he had a great career - but he wasn't great for much of that career. His career pattern is very unique. Almost everybody else (no other example really springs to mind) who had as awesome a peak as Yaz either had a long slow decline or had their career end rather abruptly. Yaz went from superstar to just pretty good in mid-career and then stayed at about that same level for over a decade.

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