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  • #76
    Nice post, Metal Ed. And I must admit you're quite knowledgeable. Your ideas are some that I toy around with sometimes. However, I have to agree with most of the others on this board that it's not fair to diminish the records of the greats pre-1950! Baseball has existed since 1876, and ALL of the greats from EVERY era should be honored! If I want to compare players from different eras, I won't rack my brain trying to figure out what would have happened IF? When comparing offense, the stat that settles it for me is Adjusted Production, or OPS+ as most people call it, which adjusts for era among other things. It may not be totally accurate, and there's no way of knowing for sure, but I look at Babe Ruth and he has the best player today, Barry Bonds, beat by 23 points, 207-184. Realistically, there is no one stat that can tell you 100% how players would do in different eras, but that is all we have available to us.
    I admit you bring up great points to consider. I admit Josh Gibson may have been equal to, or better than Ruth had he been given a chance. Damn, if people weren't so friggin' racist back then we could have found out. I know little about the Negro Leagues. I also know that those stats vary enormously depending on your source. Are the 800 HRs and .350 BA a myth? Even if they are real, consider the level of competition, which I don't believe was too far below the Major Leagues. If those numbers are real, hey Josh gives the Babe a run for his money, no doubt about that. But since we don't know his stats for sure, to rank him with the Major League greats is jumping to conclusions. We can only speculate.
    Red, it took me 16 years to get here. Play me, and you'll get the best I got.

    Comment


    • #77
      Picking two seasons more or less out of the air from very different eras, I've done a little analysis of BA. The two seasons are 1916 and 2001. I wasn't especially careful, so there's room for doubt, but I will be going over it in greater detail and for many other seasons. It's simply a matter of time.

      In the standard normal distribution (the bell-shaped curve), virtually all data lies within three standard deviations of the mean (99.74%) and quite a lot of the data within two standard deviations (95.44%). A standard deviation moves from the mean in either direction, so by saying that 95.44% of the data is within two standard deviations, that is saying within either two standard deviations above or below the mean.

      Stephen Jay Gould studied BA throughout history and found that the stdDev of BA's has been steadily declining over time, and provides a chart showing scatter plots. The scatter has been getting more and more narrow, with fewer large jumps in stdDev one way or the other. Gould uses this to argue that the quality of play has been increasing.

      Aggregate MLB BA's have been consistently around .260, with a few years here and there well below (.230s) and well above (.290s-.300s). But in general, the league average is typically somewhere between .250 and .270. MLB's overall BA since 1901, taken by every single hit and every single AB, is .262.

      Anyway, back to the two seasons in question. In 1916 roughly 60% of players hit worse than the league average. A BA of .386 is two stdDev above the mean.

      In 2001, roughly 50% of players hit worse than league average, and .332 is two stdDev above.

      I hope I haven't fudged the numbers here, and I welcome anyone to check them and report any inconsistencies to me. As I go along I'll be refining my methods.

      Comment


      • #78
        [QUOTE=Metal Ed]I know I'm not going to convince anybody about anything with this, but here goes.....

        Any debate over whether Ruth was the greatest ever is eventually going to boil down to how much more competitive one thinks the game is today as compared to Ruth's day. I know many of you already have strong opinions about this and couldn't give a **** what I think, but here it is anyway. For me, I find it impossible to believe that Ruth's game was as competitive as today's game. I have always believed that Ruth, Gehrig, Walter Johnson, Wagner, Cobb, etc., were very talented individuals who were able to exploit the relative lack of talent in their leagues to put up numbers that, when adjusted for era, have them standing further away from their peers than any modern player could ever hope to achieve. Simply put: the easiest way to appear great is to play against crappy competition.



        (.[/QUOTE

        Ed, i cant speak for others but I believe that most who rank Ruth so high have already factored in the fact that the level of competition overall back then was lower than today. I base my opinion on Ruth on the fact that his numbers still compare to the best ever, even players in the game right now. The fact that his competion was lower does not mean he could not put up those numbers, only means the gap would be smaller if the level was higher.

        Most of Ruth's career numbers that have been surpassed are cumulative stats, stats based on a total number and surpassed by hitters who had hundreds and even thousands of more at bats than Ruth. When we look at stats based on a percentage Ruth is still at or near the top, more often than most others.

        Another point even if the level is higher today would Mac, Sosa or Bonds put up these numbers if not for the livlier ball, the lower strike zone, smaller parks and expansion that placed pitchers on teams in MLB, pitchers who would still be in the minors if not for all those teams, all those rosters that have to be filled. My point, todays hitters have some things going for them, it's not all in favor of Ruth, Gehrig, Cobb or other past greats. Both era's had some favvorable conditions.

        Comment


        • #79
          Originally posted by torez77
          Nice post, Metal Ed. And I must admit you're quite knowledgeable. Your ideas are some that I toy around with sometimes. However, I have to agree with most of the others on this board that it's not fair to diminish the records of the greats pre-1950! Baseball has existed since 1876, and ALL of the greats from EVERY era should be honored! If I want to compare players from different eras, I won't rack my brain trying to figure out what would have happened IF? When comparing offense, the stat that settles it for me is Adjusted Production, or OPS+ as most people call it, which adjusts for era among other things. It may not be totally accurate, and there's no way of knowing for sure, but I look at Babe Ruth and he has the best player today, Barry Bonds, beat by 23 points, 207-184.


          Okay, but that stat is only MEAN adjusted. It compares their numbers to the league MEAN. (In this case, the league mean is set at 100 - just like with IQ.)

          If you follow my argument, that is not a 100% valid comparison. Because, according to my argument, it should have been easier for Ruth to distance himself from the mean. Right? That stat doesn't tell us how easy or difficult it was to be 2.07x as good as the "average" player.

          It depends on how much better one thinks the "average" player is. If one thinks "only a little", then I lose. If one thinks "quite a bit", then I might be right.

          Let's use IQ as an example. An average IQ is 100. If one has an IQ of, say, 165, and is standing in a room full of average individuals, chances are, that person's mean adjusted IQ is 165/100 = 165. But if you put him at a Mensa meeting, his mean adjusted IQ is 165/150 = 110.

          This individual is just as smart no matter which room he stands in, right? But in the one case he has an IQ+ (hey, I just made up a stat!) of 165 and the other, 110.

          So, mean adjusted stats might be unfair - to modern players.

          I was accused of being unfair to the old timers- and, you know, I kind of was. I was unfairly penalizing them due to when they were born, the era they played in - things they had no control over. Yet, the use of mean adjusted stats might be doing the same thing to modern players - penalizing them for the era that they play in.

          Bill James says that "no one knows how steep the incline of history is." I don't know; no one does.

          At some point we're going to have to be unfair to SOMEBODY. We can use rate adjusted stats that are unfair to modern guys; or you can be a dick like me and just be unfair to the old timers on sheer principle.

          Maybe Ruth really WAS better than Aaron and my assumptions are wrong. But in an all-time draft, I, personally, would rather take my chances with a modern player. I could be guessing wrong and I could be guessing right; that's the nature of a draft.

          I'm rambling. Somebody write back and tell me what you think.

          Comment


          • #80
            Originally posted by [email protected]
            Metal Ed,

            Nice post. Of course, we all give a **** what you think. Just may not agree with you automaticly. Let's say all your points are fine. But that still leaves a big unanswered question in my mind.

            Let's say God chose to put 5 of the best overall ballplayers in to play before 1950. And they, predictably, killed their competition. Which we grant you, was softer, easier to dominate. Do we then eliminate them from our consideration as the best players, simply because their competition wasn't up to standards?

            Why do Wagner, Cobb, Ruth, W. Johnson need be skipped over because their peers were ****, by comparison to later eras? Just doesn't feel just or honest to me. Just because you're crushing ****** competition doesn't automaticly rule you out, does it? You're penalizing great players due to their time of birth, which was beyond their control. Same as with the Negro Leagues.

            Just because we all agree that they couldn't field a league as strong as the MLs, due to under financing, doesn't mean a few of their stars were not as good as the ML stars. Charleston, Mackay, Santop, Gibson, Lloyd, Joe Williams and Paige were generally recognized as MAJOR talents in the BB firmament, cursed to languish in BB hell, due to skin tone, beyond their control.

            I think your argument, while valid, lacks fairness.


            Bill Burgess
            Bill,

            You raise an interesting point. Does you argument apply to Sadaharu Oh as well? Oh played in much stronger and more organized leagues than Gibdon, Paige, Lloyd, etc. I get the feeling that the Japanese Leagues do not garner as much respect as the Negro Leagues among the good poeple here at Baseball Fever, although the Japanese Leagues were/are much stronger than the Negro Leagues. I am of the strong opinion that had Oh played in the majors he would have been a very good player perhaps even HoF caliber, which is a subject of great debate. I feel more confident in saying that Oh would have a "very good player". Anything stronger than that is a matter of speculation. However, If I were making my own rankings of the All-Time first baseman I would certainly put Oh in the top-10.
            Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

            Comment


            • #81
              [QUOTE=Yankees7]Metal ED, that is a well written argument. I personal feel that after watching baseball for over 50 yrs that the great ones could have played in anytime. QUOTE]


              Yankees7, I agree. I think that Ruth, Wagner, Cobb, etc., would have been great no matter when they played. But I don't think that they would have been the Ruth, Wagner, and Cobb of the record books. I think their numbers would have been somewhat closer to the league mean of the era if they had played, say, in 1970. Not to say that they wouldn't have been better than the league mean - I'm sure they would have - but I don't think to quite the same extent that they were in their respective era.

              I see you're a fan of the Mick. Great choice. Here's what the Mick had to say in his autobiography, in 1985. He uses no technical terms, but explains it so well:

              "I'm not one of those oldtimers who thinks baseball isn't as good as it used to be. I think it's probably as good or better than ever. These kids are so evenly matched no one stands out that far above the others. They are all six-foot-four or thereabouts and can run a hundred yards in ten seconds and throw the ball 100 miles an hour."

              Of course, that's an exaggeration of the size, strength and speed of today's players, but I think that what Mick was trying to say was that were more 100 mph throwers, more 6 foot + guys, more ten second 100 yard dash guys, etc., in the league in 1985 than when Mick himself was playing. I.e., that the talent level has risen with time - the league is more densely loaded with time. It's harder to be a superstar in a league full of superstars.

              Comment


              • #82
                Metal Ed,

                Your points are certainly valid... except one.

                Your fourth point in the previous post, that about medical science. Medicine, nutrition, and training are no doubt much, much better now today than they were 100 years ago. However, that's an endemic condition to today's overall baseball game, which changes the way the game is played independantly of any changes to the population itself. In other words... yes, players today are bigger and stronger than players 100 years ago. Yes, pitchers 100 years ago were at a decided advantage because of the legal spitball and the dark, dead balls that were used. Should we give credit to either group just because of that?

                Saying that today's players are bigger and stronger than yesterday's players is true, but doesn't really say anything. Giving today's guys credit for that is like saying that a 1.30 ERA put up in 1905 is just as good as a 1.30 ERA put up in 2005... the player has extranious conditions that allow them to excell in a particular way, that aren't related to their individual talent or the talent pool as a whole. They can't be given credit for that.
                "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                Comment


                • #83
                  Originally posted by therealnod
                  Picking two seasons more or less out of the air from very different eras, I've done a little analysis of BA. The two seasons are 1916 and 2001. I wasn't especially careful, so there's room for doubt, but I will be going over it in greater detail and for many other seasons. It's simply a matter of time.

                  In the standard normal distribution (the bell-shaped curve), virtually all data lies within three standard deviations of the mean (99.74%) and quite a lot of the data within two standard deviations (95.44%). A standard deviation moves from the mean in either direction, so by saying that 95.44% of the data is within two standard deviations, that is saying within either two standard deviations above or below the mean.

                  Stephen Jay Gould studied BA throughout history and found that the stdDev of BA's has been steadily declining over time, and provides a chart showing scatter plots. The scatter has been getting more and more narrow, with fewer large jumps in stdDev one way or the other. Gould uses this to argue that the quality of play has been increasing.

                  Aggregate MLB BA's have been consistently around .260, with a few years here and there well below (.230s) and well above (.290s-.300s). But in general, the league average is typically somewhere between .250 and .270. MLB's overall BA since 1901, taken by every single hit and every single AB, is .262.

                  Anyway, back to the two seasons in question. In 1916 roughly 60% of players hit worse than the league average. A BA of .386 is two stdDev above the mean.

                  In 2001, roughly 50% of players hit worse than league average, and .332 is two stdDev above.

                  I hope I haven't fudged the numbers here, and I welcome anyone to check them and report any inconsistencies to me. As I go along I'll be refining my methods.


                  What strikes me is that while the decrease in STD of batting averages finally levelled off around 1940 for the AL (around 1920 for the NL), team winning percentage STD's STILL haven't levelled off. Despite free agency, revenue gaps, etc. Something's going on, if you ask me.

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    Originally posted by Metal Ed
                    Okay, but that stat is only MEAN adjusted. It compares their numbers to the league MEAN. (In this case, the league mean is set at 100 - just like with IQ.)

                    If you follow my argument, that is not a 100% valid comparison. Because, according to my argument, it should have been easier for Ruth to distance himself from the mean. Right? That stat doesn't tell us how easy or difficult it was to be 2.07x as good as the "average" player.

                    It depends on how much better one thinks the "average" player is. If one thinks "only a little", then I lose. If one thinks "quite a bit", then I might be right.

                    Let's use IQ as an example. An average IQ is 100. If one has an IQ of, say, 165, and is standing in a room full of average individuals, chances are, that person's mean adjusted IQ is 165/100 = 165. But if you put him at a Mensa meeting, his mean adjusted IQ is 165/150 = 110.

                    This individual is just as smart no matter which room he stands in, right? But in the one case he has an IQ+ (hey, I just made up a stat!) of 165 and the other, 110.

                    So, mean adjusted stats might be unfair - to modern players.

                    I was accused of being unfair to the old timers- and, you know, I kind of was. I was unfairly penalizing them due to when they were born, the era they played in - things they had no control over. Yet, the use of mean adjusted stats might be doing the same thing to modern players - penalizing them for the era that they play in.

                    Bill James says that "no one knows how steep the incline of history is." I don't know; no one does.

                    At some point we're going to have to be unfair to SOMEBODY. We can use rate adjusted stats that are unfair to modern guys; or you can be a dick like me and just be unfair to the old timers on sheer principle.

                    Maybe Ruth really WAS better than Aaron and my assumptions are wrong. But in an all-time draft, I, personally, would rather take my chances with a modern player. I could be guessing wrong and I could be guessing right; that's the nature of a draft.

                    I'm rambling. Somebody write back and tell me what you think.
                    Yeah, you may be right. Those adjusted stats may be unfair to the modern players. But you know what? ShoelessJoe3 brought up a great point. If Ruth had been born at the same time today's major leaguers were, if he had access to modern medicine, smaller strike zone, smaller parks, and even "the juice", would he have outperformed today's players? Perhaps. I'd wager it wouldn't be by the same distance he outperformed his actual decade, the 20's, because no one in baseball history has come close to dominating that way. It is much more balanced now, so realistically you can't say anybody, including Ruth had he played today, would've dominated their competition that way.
                    The same goes for Bonds. If he was born in the late 1890's like Ruth was and played in the 20's, would he have access to all the features of today's game? Certainly not! How would he have done? We can't definitely say he would have dominated the competition like Ruth did! Ruth is the ONLY player in history to have dominated that way, and that is what actually happened! I agree with ShoelessJoe3 when he says that we can't compare early to modern players by just putting them in a time machine and automatically transporting them to past and future eras! The best way is to assume they would have been born in the opposite players' era.
                    Red, it took me 16 years to get here. Play me, and you'll get the best I got.

                    Comment


                    • #85
                      >>>Your fourth point in the previous post, that about medical science. Medicine, nutrition, and training are no doubt much, much better now today than they were 100 years ago. However, that's an endemic condition to today's overall baseball game, which changes the way the game is played independantly of any changes to the population itself. In other words... yes, players today are bigger and stronger than players 100 years ago. Yes, pitchers 100 years ago were at a decided advantage because of the legal spitball and the dark, dead balls that were used. Should we give credit to either group just because of that?


                      I fear you may be misrepresenting my argument. I raised the point about medical science in regard to saving the careers of top talents that would have otherwise been lost forever to injury. My point was that, in saving these careers, medical science probably helps to keep the talent pool stronger, and that, in combination with the racial, geographic, and selection factors that I mentioned, this makes the league more dense with talent than before.

                      I was NOT using improved medical science to point to the bigger, stronger players it breeds, which you seem to be implying that I did. After all, isn't this a factor that benefits ALL the players of the modern era, across the board? Wouldn't Ruth and Wagner be bigger and stronger, if they played today? Or Walter Johnson and Lefty Grove, for that matter? I'm sure they would be.

                      All the weight training in the world won't teach you how to throw 95 mph. It's a "god"-given talent; it's something you're born with. And it is a rare trait. Not too many people have it. Trying to find, say, 50 or 70 guys who can do that - in order to populate your baseball league with hard throwers - will be much easier done when we have a very large population to search through, rather than a small one; when we have an extensive scouting system to identify them and a farm system to consolidate them, rather than seat-of-the-pants management; and when a talented thrower can be given a brand new arm if his ligaments blow up, rather than sebnding him back to the mines when it does.
                      Last edited by Metal Ed; 02-21-2005, 10:41 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #86
                        Originally posted by torez77
                        Yeah, you may be right. Those adjusted stats may be unfair to the modern players. But you know what? ShoelessJoe3 brought up a great point. If Ruth had been born at the same time today's major leaguers were, if he had access to modern medicine, smaller strike zone, smaller parks, and even "the juice", would he have outperformed today's players? Perhaps. I'd wager it wouldn't be by the same distance he outperformed his actual decade, the 20's, because no one in baseball history has come close to dominating that way. It is much more balanced now, so realistically you can't say anybody, including Ruth had he played today, would've dominated their competition that way.
                        The same goes for Bonds. If he was born in the late 1890's like Ruth was and played in the 20's, would he have access to all the features of today's game? Certainly not! How would he have done? We can't definitely say he would have dominated the competition like Ruth did! Ruth is the ONLY player in history to have dominated that way, and that is what actually happened! I agree with ShoelessJoe3 when he says that we can't compare early to modern players by just putting them in a time machine and automatically transporting them to past and future eras! The best way is to assume they would have been born in the opposite players' era.
                        Ruth did indeed dominate like no one before. I think you could make a strong argument that Bonds is now dominating as much, if not more than Ruth ever did. He certainly is with his rate stats.
                        I mean it really comes down to them two when you get down to it.
                        I'm not sure anyone has really digested what Bonds has done in the last 4 years, and how unlikley it was to even consider someone doing what he did since 2001.
                        I just don't think any of us stat heads ever thought we'd see anybody distance themselves from the league as Bonds has done since '01.
                        Who here thought that the record for OBP, SLG, OPS, OPS+, would not only be broken, but in some cases oblitrated in our lifetime (raise your hand)
                        I was reading somewhere that if Bonds had 0 hits in 2004 he would still have an OBP of close to .400.
                        Steroids or no steriods, he's doing what nobody else is doing.
                        Canseco, or was it Caminiti who said that 80% of MLB ae or have taken steroids. If thats so, than I'd say Bonds is playing on a level playing field(well almost)
                        I'm not sure who said it(i think metalhead), but Bonds was indeed the best player in baseball prior to 2001(his alleged foray into roids). I'd say he was the best from 1990- (sorry Jr.)

                        Comment


                        • #87
                          Dethroning the Sultan of Swat

                          Babe Ruth is the most revered player in the history of baseball. Ruth dominated as a hitter and once had more home runs than any other team in baseball. His career was monstrous and he stands second All-Time in home runs, tenth in batting average, second in on-base percentage, first in slugging, second in runs batted in, and third in runs. In addition he was an outstanding pitcher at the beginning of his career. He is the greatest player ever to have played, but not the greatest hitter. The greatest hitter ever to have worn a major league uniform is Ted Williams.

                          Numbers are an integral part of baseball. They can be used to argue for or against a player. In this case numbers can help to make a case for Williams as the superior hitter to Ruth. But numbers also can be debated depending on the era, league, and other factors. Ted Williams is the greatest hitter ever because of incredible statistics, revolutionary patience and discipline, and lost seasons due to service in the military.

                          Williams has some of the best statistics ever in the primary hitting categories of batting average, home runs, and runs batted in. He is Top 15 in all three and a two-time Triple Crown winner. His .327 average, 31home runs, and 130 runs batted in in his rookie season started his career off with a bang and Rookie of the Year honors. In his third year Williams hit .406. No player has hit .400 in the 63 years since, the longest drought in Major League Baseball history. Equally remarkable was his on-base percentage record of .553 and a slugging percentage of .735, meaning he reached base more than 55 percent of the time he stepped up to the plate and collected .735 bases in each at-bat.

                          After many more ferocious seasons at the plate, outside of extensive military service in World War II and the Korean War that led to shortened play or none at all, Williams had an unforgettable season in 1957. At the age of 38 he batted .388, had an on-base percentage of .526, and had outstanding power as he hit 38 home runs and slugged .731. Second in batting average was Mickey Mantle, age 25. Both the .500 on-base percentage and the .700 slugging plateau are extremely rare accomplishments. He continued to astound until his retirement at age 41 following a highly productive season.

                          He finished his career with 521 home runs, a .634 slugging percentage, and 1,839 runs batted in, and 2,021 walks. His stats that best Ruth are his .344 batting average to Ruth?s .342 average, major league record .482 on-base percentage to Ruth?s .474, and his 709 strikeouts to Ruth?s 1,330.

                          Williams set a new standard for plate discipline, precision, and excellence. He had incredible vision and was able to tell if the plate was a few inches out of place. Though he was a lanky man as his nickname ?The Splendid Splinter? confirms, his patience to judges pitched, hit the ones he could, and take the ones he couldn?t made him a standout power hitter and a legendary accumulator of bases on balls. Since his era there has been an increased attention paid to patience and drawing walks, though few can match or even approach him in that regard and have his power.

                          Both Ruth and Williams played in interesting times. Ruth revolutionized the game in the 1920s with unprecedented home run totals. Both played before integration, but Williams stayed consistently excellent after baseball?s color barrier was finally broken. But perhaps most significant were Williams? seasons of 1943-45 and 1952-53 in which he served in the US Military. He registered only 101 at-bats in these 5 prime seasons. If he had played he would have added much to his already fantastic career totals and would have approached Ruth?s career home run mark of 714. Ruth also had seasons with few at-bats while he was pitching, but since his excellence there makes him the nearly-unanimous top player ever, he didn?t lose that much.

                          These comparisons and similarities ironically are between the slender, gruff Williams and Ruth, beloved in his time like few other Americans and a portly man toward his later playing days. Debate and arguing over baseball?s greatest players will continue for as long as they are remembered, and few would have it any other way. Players such as Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, the controversial Barry Bonds, and more are viable choices as the best or second-best players ever due to an overwhelming regard for Ruth and Williams? strong case.
                          (fantasy football)
                          JM: Only did that for a couple of years and then we had a conspiracy so it kind of turned me sour. Our league's commissioner, Lew Ford(notes) at the time, was doing some shady things that ... I'd rather not talk about [laughs].
                          DB: Isn't he in Japan right now?
                          JM: I don't know where Lou is right now. He's probably fleeing the authorities [laughs].

                          Comment


                          • #88
                            Originally posted by WillieMaysHayes
                            Ruth did indeed dominate like no one before. I think you could make a strong argument that Bonds is now dominating as much, if not more than Ruth ever did. He certainly is with his rate stats.
                            I mean it really comes down to them two when you get down to it.
                            I'm not sure anyone has really digested what Bonds has done in the last 4 years, and how unlikley it was to even consider someone doing what he did since 2001.
                            I just don't think any of us stat heads ever thought we'd see anybody distance themselves from the league as Bonds has done since '01.
                            Who here thought that the record for OBP, SLG, OPS, OPS+, would not only be broken, but in some cases oblitrated in our lifetime (raise your hand)
                            I was reading somewhere that if Bonds had 0 hits in 2004 he would still have an OBP of close to .400.
                            Steroids or no steriods, he's doing what nobody else is doing.
                            Canseco, or was it Caminiti who said that 80% of MLB ae or have taken steroids. If thats so, than I'd say Bonds is playing on a level playing field(well almost)
                            I'm not sure who said it(i think metalhead), but Bonds was indeed the best player in baseball prior to 2001(his alleged foray into roids). I'd say he was the best from 1990- (sorry Jr.)
                            OK, we'll do Ruth vs. Bonds:

                            Career BA - Ruth .342, Bonds .300
                            AB/HR - Ruth 11.76, Bonds 12.94
                            SLG% - Ruth .690, Bonds .611
                            Career HRs - Ruth 714, Bonds 703 - despite Ruth having 700 less ABs
                            Career RBIs - Ruth 2213, Bonds 1843 - Bonds has 700 more ABs and more to come!
                            Career Hits - Ruth 2873, Bonds 2730 - Ditto
                            Career Runs - Ruth 2174, Bonds 2070 - Ditto
                            Career OPS+ - Ruth 207, Bonds 184 - this sums it all up - career wise, not just Bonds' last 4 years

                            Granted, since 2001 Bonds has the most incredible 4-year OPS+ ever, better than Ruth ever had. Much of this is due to his overload in BBs, thanks to his ridiculous number of IBBs. 2001 is Bonds' only season over 50 HRs. It's clear Ruth is better with the bat. Ruth still leads Bonds in Hits, HRs, RBIs, 3Bs, and Runs despite 213 less games and 700 less ABs.

                            Now, let's compare how each dominated their respective league:

                            Times led league in HRs: Ruth 11, Bonds 1
                            Times led league in RBIs: Ruth 6, Bonds 0
                            Times led league in BBs: Ruth 11, Bonds 7
                            Times led league in OBP: Ruth 10, Bonds 5
                            Times led league in SLG: Ruth 12, Bonds 6
                            Times led league in Rs: Ruth 8, Bonds 0
                            Times led league in OPS+: Ruth 11, Bonds 7

                            Sorry, Bonds didn't dominate his league the way Ruth dominated his. Most of Bonds' leading the league comes from his last 4 years, and no, you can't disregard the steroid factor. All signs point to him using them. Funny how he wasn't close to the level he's at now when he was much younger and probably pre-steroids.

                            Bottom line, Ruth has Bonds beat career-wise and still will when Bonds' career is over.
                            Last edited by torez77; 02-21-2005, 03:05 PM.
                            Red, it took me 16 years to get here. Play me, and you'll get the best I got.

                            Comment


                            • #89
                              Originally posted by torez77
                              OK, we'll do Ruth vs. Bonds:

                              Career BA - Ruth .342, Bonds .300
                              AB/HR - Ruth 11.76, Bonds 12.94
                              SLG% - Ruth .690, Bonds .611
                              Career HRs - Ruth 714, Bonds 703 - despite Ruth having 700 less ABs
                              Career RBIs - Ruth 2213, Bonds 1843 - Bonds has 700 more ABs and more to come!
                              Career Hits - Ruth 2873, Bonds 2730 - Ditto
                              Career Runs - Ruth 2174, Bonds 2070 - Ditto
                              Career OPS+ - Ruth 207, Bonds 184 - this sums it all up - career wise, not just Bonds' last 4 years

                              Granted, since 2001 Bonds has the most incredible 4-year OPS+ ever, better than Ruth ever had. Much of this is due to his overload in BBs, thanks to his ridiculous number of IBBs. 2001 is Bonds' only season over 50 HRs. It's clear Ruth is better with the bat. Ruth still leads Bonds in Hits, HRs, RBIs, 3Bs, and Runs despite 213 less games and 700 less ABs.

                              Now, let's compare how each dominated their respective league:

                              Times led league in HRs: Ruth 11, Bonds 1
                              Times led league in RBIs: Ruth 6, Bonds 0
                              Times led league in BBs: Ruth 11, Bonds 7
                              Times led league in OBP: Ruth 10, Bonds 5
                              Times led league in SLG: Ruth 12, Bonds 6
                              Times led league in Rs: Ruth 8, Bonds 0
                              Times led league in OPS+: Ruth 11, Bonds 7

                              Sorry, Bonds didn't dominate his league the way Ruth dominated his. Most of Bonds' leading the league comes from his last 4 years, and no, you can't disregard the steroid factor. All signs point to him using them. Funny how he wasn't close to the level he's at now when he was much younger and probably pre-steroids.

                              Bottom line, Ruth has Bonds beat career-wise and still will when Bonds' career is over.
                              Of course Bonds couldn't dominate like Ruth did. Bonds had to go up against more sluggers and more teams. Actually Bonds has led in HRs twice, 1993 and 2001. Also Bonds has finished 2nd or 3rd six other times which is more impressive since Ruth only had to out-homer players on eight teams while Bonds has had to outhomer players on 12-16 teams during his career. It's a lot easier to lead an 8-team league in HRs than it is to lead a 16-team league in HRs I would think. I'm not necessarily saying that Bonds is equal or better than Ruth but just using a Black Ink test doesn't take into account the number of teams and the level of play between eras. Also, why do we only compare them as hitters and not as players, defense and base running included? Given all that though, Ruth is ahead of Bonds because Ruth was a pretty good pitcher. But as players Bonds is ahead of Williams for sure (before BALCO at least).
                              Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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                              • #90
                                At regular intervals, we chat about the improvements in general play with each suceeding decades. And while most of us can subscribe to this theory, I like to insert my own personal wrinkle.

                                My wrinkle is, that the top end of elite players, does NOT improve, but remains relatively constant and stable. Why doesn't the changes in bigger, faster, stronger bodies apply to the most elite players, you might ask? Good question. And one which needs an answer.

                                The answer is that the very best players are almost never the biggest, fastest, strongest. The best there ever was, (Cobb, Wagner, Ruth, Jackson, Johnson), from the early days, were a very long way from the biggest, fastest, strongest.

                                Cobb could be beaten in a 100 yd. dash by probably 2 guys on every team. Cobb could trot 10. flat, but so could lots of other guys. Ruth could slam a ball farther than anyone else, but I'd wager a cream soda that he couldn't bench press more than a third of the guys in the league. So like Tiger Woods, he wasn't doing it on pure strength, but technique, coordination, hand-eye sync, reflexes, etc. In other words, baseball talent. Skill.

                                Ty, Honus were fast and all 3 were strong. But there was real strong, fast, and big guys who got turned away at spring training camps every spring.

                                Baseball talent needs good physical guys, but that is only the starting point. Most guys just come in and punch a time clock. Never wear themselves out in practice. They strive to cover their flaws when they should be focused on correcting and elimination them. Stand a Canseco next to a Spahn, Ford, Koufax, and Canseco looks like god. If we could have put a Cobb brain into his skull, we'd have a Behemoth who'd stride and conquer.

                                If bigger, stronger, faster were all that was required, then the best would have been Canseco, McCovey, Stargell, Richie Allen, Albert Belle. Mantle had one of the best bodies, like Canseco, and look how much was made of glass. But it did let him star for as long as it lasted. But Mantle was more than body. He was talent and skill. Helps to have both. But Mick still couldn't hit as far as Ruth! Why? Technique. Ruth had a gift. Rarest of rare gifts. Shame he didn't protect it.

                                So this is why the best never improve from 1910-2005. The worst to averege do improve. Journeymen have gotten lots better. But it takes more than better genes to play ball. The top 100 probably has less than 10 guys over 6'3. And there is a very good reason for that.

                                Bill Burgess
                                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 02-21-2005, 05:58 PM.

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