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  • Heck, I cut everyone a lot of slack, not only Babe.

    Look at how much slack I cut Ty? Never stopped using the n word.

    Look at how much slack I cut Joe Jackson? Took $5K to throw the series, and then double-crossed them and played to win.

    Or McGraw? Probably ordered more brides of enemy players to throw games to his Giants, than any man outside of Chase.

    Hornsby? Rudest SOB outside of Cobb/McGraw.

    Anson? Raging racist who might have started the color ban.

    Rose doesn't bother me. Dick Allen/Al Belle don't bother me in the least.

    Barry Bonds? Sold out for glory. Lots of angst there, & yet I discount him and forgive him.

    Like I said, abuse is something I must have a high treshhold for. I cut all the jerks slack. Maybe there's something wrong with me.

    Bill

    Comment


    • Ok Mark.

      You never used to word "retard," so you're correct. Let me help you explain how I could be lead to feel that way and be offended.

      Originally posted by leecemark

      my conclusion is that he had some serious developmental issues.

      not a normally functioning adult.

      I think he was developmentally challenged.
      Dictionary...

      Retardation:

      lack of normal development of intellectual capacities

      slowness in development or progress

      Retarded:

      adj : relatively slow in mental or emotional or physical development

      -------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Originally posted by leecemark

      Many Ruth stories are the kind which may well have irritated or even enraged people when they happened, but got funny after the fact, much like parents are able to laugh at childhood misdeeds in retrspect.
      Can you name 5 such instances? I can only name 3 or 4 after all the research I've done on him.

      I think it's sad that you get sad about something like this. It's apparent that you have a distorted view of Babe the person. The fact that in his world, it was easier to apply a nickname to teammates, or to simply call people Doc, or Keed, or Pop, is lost on you. His world is difficult to comprehend because we're so far outside of it, but Mark, no matter where he went he was the center of a whirlwind. People here, people there, everybody wanting to be in his presence, and instead of acting like one of todays stuck up premadonna athletes, he was available. He took the time that you wouldn't expect of someone of his stature, of his ability. Who else would take their own time before the first World Series game in Chicago to drive out and visit a blind kid in the country. He didn't do it for press, in fact he probably made three times as many "appearances" without press as with press. He preferred they not be there.

      I'm getting off track here. I could literally spend two entire pages posting about the good he did out of genuine affection for people and children in general. But instead you want to focus on negatives. He wasn't perfect by any means, but who is. You fail to give him even the slightest break and consider what impact being at St. Mary's had on him. To expect him to "outgrow" being uninhibited and "outgrow" living life to the fullest; well that shows you don't understand it's impact or him the person.

      Waite Hoyt:

      "While I can easily recognize this (crudities) and admit it freely, yet there was buried in Ruth humanitarianism beyone belief, and intelligence he was never given credit for, a childish desire to be over-virile, living up to credits given his home run power - and yet a need for intimate affection and respect, and a feverish desire to play baseball, perform, act and live a life he didn't and couldn't take time to understand."

      Creamer:

      Along with an abiding interest in Ruth the hero, Ruth the outsize man, I found in the people who knew him, most of whom are elderly now, a warm affection. You would ask about Ruth, and the first thing they would do, remembering, looking off into the past, would be to smile.

      Bob Shawkey:

      People sometimes got mad at him, but I never heard of anybody who didn't like Babe Ruth."

      Creamer:

      I told this to Jim Russell at lunch and said that I had found the same sense of affection in all the oldtimers I talked to. Many of them had been specific- sometimes startlingly specific - in discussing the details of the things Ruth had done: the fights, the drinking, the eating, the girl chasing, the arrogance, his "indigestion" in 1925, his hypochondria late in his career, his bitterness and almost maudlin self-pity when he could not get the jobs he wanted in baseball after he was through as a player, the disastrous mistakes he made; but through it all there was a flow, a warmth, a delight as they talked about Ruth. He had been fun to be around. They liked him.

      Creamer:

      "A considerable part of his headline-making propensity was the result of his extraordinary visibility. He could not hide. Ruth incognito was a contradiction in terms. Even in that era before television and mass circulation picture magazines, everyone knew and recognized Ruth's huge, round, flat-nosed, wide-mouthed face, his hulking body, his beaming grin, his unhappy pout. Wherever he went, the Babe was on public display, and few, if any, of his peccadillos went unnoticed."

      Creamer:

      "Ruth's tendency to get into trouble, particularly during his first decade in the majors, gave rise to a fairly widespread opinion that he was subnormal mentally (Ban Johnson said he had the mind of a fifteen year old) or else was so primative that he could not accept a moral code. 'He was an animal,' Dugan said. 'He ate a hat once. He did. A straw hat. Took a bite out of it and ate it.'

      But Ernie Shore said, 'You have to remember, he had grown up in the Catholic reformatory. When they let him out it was like turning a wild animal out of a cage. He wanted to go everyplace and see everything and do everything.'

      'Ruth recognized the difference between right and wrong,' Frick said. 'What he did not recognize, or could not accept, was the right of society to tell him what he should do, or not do.'

      He had a perceptive understanding of things in certain areas and, in his own way, a refreshing sense of taste. When he met Red Grange after the Illinois football hero turned professional in the middle of the 1920's, Ruth said to him 'Kid, don't ever forget two things I'm going to tell you. One, don't believe everything that's written about you. Two, don't pick up too many checks.'

      He liked seeing children the best. He enjoyed them. He was comfortable with them. 'He's just a big kid' was a common description of him, and perhaps the only time he was truly at ease was when he was with children. With them there were no rules, no authority, no need to apologize, to explain, to explode, to drink, to f*ck, to prove himself over and over. Without thinking about it, he knew who they were and they knew who he was. They got along. Like a child, he did not like to wait or plan for the right moment. He did not like to wait for anything. 'It might rain tomorrow,' he would say.

      He did things impulsively, the way a child does. Children are emotionally neutral to things that deeply affect adults. Without malice, they casually hurt the feelings of a close friend. Without love, they do an act of exceptional thoughtfulness for a casual acquaintence."
      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-21-2006, 01:12 PM.

      Comment


      • --Sultan, it seems we are both saying pretty much the same thing. Babe Ruth was an overgrown child. If you see that as a positive, more power to you. I see him as a great player despite his emotional and intellectual issues.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by leecemark
          --Sultan, it seems we are both saying pretty much the same thing. Babe Ruth was an overgrown child. If you see that as a positive, more power to you. I see him as a great player despite his emotional and intellectual issues.
          Well, we aren't saying the same thing because we don't view this in the same manner. You choose to focus on the negative. I don't necessarily see it as all positives; I see his flaws, but I choose to view it realistically and taking everything into account to understand him as a person.

          By the way, you never answered how many stories you could name about him doing things that enraged people. You should admit that you were only referring to a couple instances which you chose to focus on, and those don't define him as a bad person. That those instances, which were later laughed about, were taken as they should have been; with a grain of salt knowing who it was done by. Those guys understood him better than we ever could and they had no problem him, yet nearly 100 years later we're gonna play keyboard psychologist and have skewed blanket views of him? Makes little sense.

          If you were going to move Mays ahead of him for legitamate reasons, then more power to you, but I can't understand using some of the reasons you gave. Being an overgrown child, not remembering names, not being a good teammate, not being a team leader, etc. He was a good teammate, he did instill confidence on his team, he was at the healm of many pennant winners; they didn't win inspite of him, they won in part because of him and him making those around him raise their level of play.

          Comment


          • Randy,

            I feel for you, my friend. I really do. Of all the members here, you and I alone have a deeply passionate connection to a player. I should add Wesley Frick now. And formerly, Pete truly loved Mickey Mantle.

            I don't think Mark or Ubi or others have it in for Babe. I don't think they care that deeply on a personal level. It sounds as if we are all simply trying to measure Babe, (or Ty, or Honus or Teddy) as best we can, based on our readings.

            I seldom take it personally when members say the old clich├ęs about Cobb. Members start threads on who was the most disliked player, the biggest a**hle, etc. I just let it go. There is no need, when someone tries to measure Babe Ruth accurately, in increments, to feel as if someone offended your wife/girlfriend. No one spit on anyone.

            Mark raises Willie over Babe, I raise Babe over Willie. It's all good. I have never heard anyone imply that Babe was a bad guy. We pretty much all agree that Babe was a good guy, who may have been a little immature. Or a lot child-like in his innocent, undeveloped personality.

            Few think Babe was ever mean, like Ty could be. My guy could be such a ******* it was unbelievable. He could also be fair. He'd walk over to the enemy dugout and tell them that if no one blocked him off a base, it'd all be alright. But he could also be savage under other circumstances. Just like Babe could be mean to Leo Durocher and Miller Huggins. When Huggins died, his sister was bitter and said that Babe had taken 5 years off her brother's life. She was wrong, of course, and just venting her grief. That's understood.

            But this is only baseball chat, and we're all friends, or at least colleagues.

            Bill

            Comment


            • Originally posted by [email protected]
              I don't know why others loved Babe, but I certainly do know why I love him. ... And I felt this way since the 1950's. I only got into this problem because the post 1970's BB community raised him over Ty.
              Bill
              I find it hard to pick just one "top player" but my top three would still be the top vote-getters in that very first HOF election: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner all got over 95% of those votes. The other two elected that year were decent players as well -- Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson.

              Call me "old-fashioned" but I still rank Cobb-Ruth-Wagner as the best players ever -- ahead of Ted Williams or Willie Mays or Hank Aaron or ...
              Luke

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Appling
                I find it hard to pick just one "top player" but my top three would still be the top vote-getters in that very first HOF election: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner all got over 95% of those votes. The other two elected that year were decent players as well -- Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson.

                Call me "old-fashioned" but I still rank Cobb-Ruth-Wagner as the best players ever -- ahead of Ted Williams or Willie Mays or Hank Aaron or ...
                Roger that, old friend.

                Bill

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948
                  Chris,

                  Valiant effort. That's an uphill struggle, but you seemed to tweak stats and make certain questionable adjustments that would at least bring Schmidt within sniffing distance.
                  I have a lot of things to get back on. My computer has had some problems and hasn't been working since yesterday afternoon, so I've missed this whole thread since my Schmidt post.

                  Anyway, in response to your comments, Sultan. Schmidt is quite clearly the better baserunner than Ruth. Schmidt WAS very fast in his younger days, one of the fastest in the league, and although Ruth was no doubt pretty fast I don't think he was ever the fastest in the league.

                  I don't think Ruth was a particularly smart baserunner either. There is absolutely no reason to think this is true looking at the statistical record. You mention how Ruth was agressive, but I think that may be a negative thing, and it may explain why his SB% are so bad. The Baseball Page calls Ruth very reckless on the basepaths, while Baseball Library notes Schmidt for being a very intelligent baserunner.

                  Why are Ruth's SB%s meaningless? When you're stealing bases at a 51% clip, you're just not giving your team any value. In fact, stealing bases at that percentage has a negative run value.

                  Third base is not an easy position either. It has gotten easier, mostly because bunting is dissapearing as a common strategy, but it does require a very strong arm (you need to have a rocket to dive on a ground ball to your right and still throw out the runner, and you need to be able to throw from your knees as well). Great reaction time is also a must, and a great 3B like Schmidt often helps the shortstops by ranging to balls on his left as well. The fielding edge between Schmidt and Ruth is a huge one.
                  Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-21-2006, 03:23 PM.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by 538280
                    Anyway, in response to your comments, Sultan. Schmidt is quite clearly the better baserunner than Ruth. Schmidt WAS very fast in his younger days, one of the fastest in the league, and although Ruth was no doubt pretty fast I don't think he was ever the fastest in the league.
                    Quite clearly the better baserunner? Babe was not the fastest in the league, and neither was Schmidt. Again, you're continuing to show your age and actual baseball experience level when you equate "speed" with baserunning ability. Two separate issues Chris. Albert Pujols is a great baserunner right now, but he's not as fast as Babe as in his younger days, and according to you not as fast as Schmidt either. Doesn't mean he's not a great baserunner.

                    I don't think Ruth was a particularly smart baserunner either. There is absolutely no reason to think this is true looking at the statistical record. You mention how Ruth was agressive, but I think that may be a negative thing, and it may explain why his SB% are so bad. The Baseball Page calls Ruth very reckless on the basepaths, while Baseball Library notes Schmidt for being a very intelligent baserunner.

                    Why are Ruth's SB%s meaningless? When you're stealing bases at a 51% clip, you're just not giving your team any value. In fact, stealing bases at that percentage has a negative run value.
                    You continue to bring up SB% as if it means something. It's a minor detail, a sidenote to Ruth's career. It means nothing when talking about his greatness.

                    You have no reason to think he was a great runner based on his statistical record? What record might that be? His runs scored? Nah that can't be it. His extra base hits? Nah, that can't be it. Oh, we're back to SB % which has NOTHING TO DO with actual baserunning. It was not his role. He did not work on the art of stealing bases. You should read that again. It was not his role. He did not work on the art of stealing bases.

                    Do you know how many of those caught stealings were on hit and runs that the batter swung through? Do we know how many of those were pickoffs? Not sure your "statistics" will tell you that. Once again, you don't want to consider any truth, but rather just go by one CS number.

                    I am being realistic about this. I mentioned in an earlier post that his aggressiveness at times was his worst enemy, but it also it was made him an exceptional baserunner DESPITE not having blazing speed. His instincts in the field and on the bases were tremendous, his decision making was stellar, he did not hesitate, he just reacted naturally. That is how he could go first to third as well as speedy little centerfielders because he was an overall great baserunner.

                    The baseball page can say whatever they want, it doesn't prove anything. Do you really believe everything you read on every website. Gee, wonder how much studying they did of Ruth. Apparently not enough.

                    Third base is not an easy position either. It has gotten easier, mostly because bunting is dissapearing as a common strategy, but it does require a very strong arm (you need to have a rocket to dive on a ground ball to your right and still throw out the runner, and you need to be able to throw from your knees as well). Great reaction time is also a must, and a great 3B like Schmidt often helps the shortstops by ranging to balls on his left as well. The fielding edge between Schmidt and Ruth is a huge one.
                    I played third and short up through high school. Third base is not as hard a position as you make it out to be. A strong arm is not required, it's a bonus that comes in handy maybe once every 10 games at the most. It's all about reactions, not footspeed, although you're taught to take anything you can from the shortstop. It's not a tough position, especially now with bunts being nonexistent. The fielding edge is not huge imo.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by SHOELESSJOE3
                      Still a big gap between Ruth and the league and Schmidt and the league, Ruth still far ahead. We keep hearing about the home runs and Ruth being so far ahead of the league because he was the forerunner of the long ballers. OK I'll give you that one but look at Ruth's and Schmidts batting average versus the league average.

                      Ruth-------.342
                      League----.288 Ruth + 54 over the league
                      Position---.299 Ruth + 43 over position

                      Schmidt----.267
                      League---.264 Schmidt + 3 over the league
                      Position--.264 Schmidt + 3 over the league

                      Not even close. Especially when you consider Ruth swinging from the heels and most of his competition was made up of contact hitters, going the plate with one thought in mind make contact, shorten up with two strikes, don't strike out. Even with Ruth's long balling and the leagues making contact he] separates himself from the rest of the league in batting average by such a wide margin, Schmidt barely over the league average] SHOELESSJOE3
                      Yeah, we all know Ruth was much better compared to league. No doubt he was. But, Ruth was playing an offensive position. The league averages for an RFer in his prime (1920-1929) were .321/.379/.469, while Ruth was at .355/.485/.740 (numbers courtesy of The Diamond Appraised). That's less separtion that he has to the league. His relative line compared to other RFers is 111/128/158.

                      Then I ran the same thing with Schmidt using the year by year positional averages since 1972 at Baseball Prospectus. I used Schmidt's prime years 1974-1983. Schmidt ended up with a relative line compared to other 3Bmen of 101/116/144. The BA isn't good but the OBP and SLG are both great, and the SLG is only 14 points behind Ruth (14 points of rel. SLG is a lot closer than 12 points of rel. OBP).

                      But Ruth has an artificial advantage because he was the only one going for HRs. According to again The Diamond Appraised, the average RFer in the same amount of playing time as Ruth 1920-1929 would have hit 87 home runs. Ruth hit 467. That's just a crazy advantage (437%) over the average (311 points of slugging percentage) and that is the only time in history when anyone could possibly have a dispartiy like that, because the game was in transition. There's no way he would have had that differentiation in Schmidt's era. It was just impossible. Make Ruth hit the average number of HRs and his slugging percentage is .429, below average.

                      If Ruth played in Schmidt's era, and didn't have the advantage of others hitting with a different approach, his rel. SLG may be lower than Schmidt's. His rel. OBP may be about the same too because the pitchers wouldn't be so terrified of pitching to him.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by 538280

                        But Ruth has an artificial advantage because he was the only one going for HRs. According to again The Diamond Appraised, the average RFer in the same amount of playing time as Ruth 1920-1929 would have hit 87 home runs. Ruth hit 467. That's just a crazy advantage (437%) over the average (311 points of slugging percentage) and that is the only time in history when anyone could possibly have a dispartiy like that, because the game was in transition. There's no way he would have had that differentiation in Schmidt's era. It was just impossible. Make Ruth hit the average number of HRs and his slugging percentage is .429, below average.
                        This is laughable. He was the only one going for home runs. As if others could have done what he did had they only tried. lol, gimme a break Chris. Were they only throwing the clean white balls to Ruth too. When the others came up, they switched out the ball? Others simply realized they couldn't do what he was doing, plain and simple. For them, it was a choice. Either power or average. For Ruth, he could do both. And you punish him for that? Wow, the lengths you will go. And bringing up his position as a right fielder, as an "offensive" position and saying "well if he hit the avg number of homers for a right fielder of the time.." Unbelievable. You're a smart kid, but you're really reaching. Doesn't matter what others did at their positions, it matters what HE DID when he was at the plate.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by 538280
                          If Ruth played in Schmidt's era, and didn't have the advantage of others hitting with a different approach, his rel. SLG may be lower than Schmidt's. His rel. OBP may be about the same too because the pitchers wouldn't be so terrified of pitching to him.
                          While this is true, and I'm glad I was able to show the members this profound truth, we must also always balance this out by mentioning that Babe's Rel. BA would have soared, because he wouldn't have had the sea of contact hitters, like Cobb, Speaker, Heilmann, Collins, Manush, Simmons, Cochrane to over-inflate the collective league BA.

                          I imagine Babe's Rel. SA would have come down to still first ever, but his Relative BA would have climbed to maybe top 15th, from its present 29th.

                          Bill

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by [email protected]
                            While this is true, and I'm glad I was able to show the members this profound truth, we must also always balance this out by mentioning that Babe's Rel. BA would have soared, because he wouldn't have had the sea of contact hitters, like Cobb, Speaker, Heilmann, Collins, Manush, Simmons, Cochrane to over-inflate the collective league BA.

                            I imagine Babe's Rel. SA would have come down to still first ever, but his Relative BA would have climbed to maybe top 15th, from its present 29th.

                            Bill
                            Completely agree. Logic tells us that if more were "trying" for the HR that Babe's relative power numbers wouldn't be what they currently are.

                            1. Just how much the gap would close is speculation. Certainly would remain higher than Schmidt's which Chris said it wouldn't have been.

                            2. The fact that others would have been taking the same approach as him, tells us his relative BA would have increased, likely more than his relative SA would have decreased.

                            3. Chris stated the pitchers would no longer be as afraid to pitch to Ruth, if others were trying for the homer. False. It would have no bearing on how they approached Ruth, he'd be doing his thing no matter what. He always got the opposing pitchers best stuff because with a few other hitters they could "coast." If they weren't able to "coast" at anytime, then they would be more mentally and physically worn down when Babe did come up, so his numbers might have actually increased if anything.

                            Comment


                            • --Bill is absolutely right when he says I don't have the passion for any player that he has for Cobb or Sultan has for Ruth. I really can't even begin to comprehend how anybody can get such a close personal tie to any ballplayer, nuch less one they never even saw play. They were great baseball players, but there are alot of men more worthy of being heros if you need one.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by leecemark
                                --Bill is absolutely right when he says I don't have the passion for any player that he has for Cobb or Sultan has for Ruth. I really can't even begin to comprehend how anybody can get such a close personal tie to any ballplayer, nuch less one they never even saw play. They were great baseball players, but there are alot of men more worthy of being heros if you need one.
                                No hard feelings Mark. I know you weren't intending to call Ruth a retard, it just came off that way. You simply meant that he lacked social graces, and the sophistication of most. Of course, most didn't go through what he did as a child, and then have the spotlight shine so bright for so long. On the surface, they were merely baseball players, you're correct.

                                Comment

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