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Greatest Baserunner of All Time? A completely new take...

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  • #91
    Originally posted by SHOELESSJOE3 View Post
    As Yankee fan taking in many games when Rickey played for them, I can tell you he gave all the appearance of...........If I feel like going all out on this day, I'll do it, if not I won't.

    The idea, the notion that he was playing for the team, not risking getting thrown out going for the exra base, that one won't fly. Although one of the best there were many times when it was all about Rickey, not the team.
    Great post, Joe. I agree...and we both watched Rickey for god knows how many games....

    Again, Manny Ramirez is resounding in my brain!!!!

    Comment


    • #92
      Typical stat donk/"internet troll" poster riposte:

      "BEING on third from a stretching a double into a triple and BEING on third from a double and a steal are the SAME. BEING on second from a stretching a single into a double and BEING on second from a walk / single and a steal are the SAME."

      Originally posted by bluesky5 View Post

      NO. THEY. ARE. NOT. By simple terminology we can see that a double is one base more than a single. -- A steal requires the possibility of a 1. pick-off and a caught stealing. 2. The batter has to either lay off the pitch or 3. swing to protect Rick, costing himself a strike, 4. or try to hit the ball on the ground behind the runner. 5. He can hit a hard liner or 6. ground the ball right to a fielder for a double play (if we talk stretching singles instead of doubles) 7. He may foul the ball off thus creating a strike for himself and 8. giving away the runners intent thus making it 9. easier to throw him out next pitch. That's CS, pick-off, DP's, strike, giving away strategy in exchange for what? A SB. Which is the same? As being in scoring position/3rd for the first pitch? Giving the batter a chance to swing more freely and hit to both sides of the diamond, hit a sac fly to score a run. The best thing that comes out of that is the batter gets the ball in a hole somewhere and Rickey moves 1st-3rd, maybe home, great. But he could have been on 2nd and given the batter a better chance to get a hit and not cost him a strike. If he is on third and made a run out of a fly ball out. This is baseball.
      This post should be canonized. It may be THE archetypal "anti internet/spreadsheet fan" post. "I played baseball and actually understand it, as it is played, versus, "I look at stats ex post facto, and pontificate based on those stats, which tell only a fraction of the story."

      Could you please recruit some of your buds, who actually PLAYED BASEBALL, to come here and post? Bring some reality and parity to this denizen?

      Thanks in advance!!

      Comment


      • #93
        Originally posted by SHOELESSJOE3 View Post
        Lets face it, there wre times whn Rickey just decided to not go for the extra base when it looked like he could.
        I know what 'Im going to hear........who am I to tell Rickey how to run the bases.
        There were times even with the young Rickey when some were critical of his base running, did not appear to be going all out. He was times, appeared to be loafing and I agree.
        I guess it comes down down to perspective. Throughout his career, Rickey had his supporters and detractors. I saw Ricky play a lot in the 1980's. He was an exciting and productive player. He did loaf on the field as well. I saw that, too. As far back as 1984, his own manager tried to get Rickey to run less in certain situations. From Sports Illustrated May 7, 1984.

        Henderson's Dilemma
        In 1983 the A's Rickey Henderson hit .292 with 103 walks and had 108 stolen bases in 127 attempts. But now, manager Steve Bows wants Henderson to make some changes in his game, and Henderson doesn't like it.

        "They're asking a guy to do everything," Henderson says. "I just don't understand it, a ballplayer of my caliber who's been doing great."

        What Boros wants from Henderson is fewer steals of third base with none out or two out, and more pop from his bat. He thinks Henderson, a well-built 195-pounder, should be more conscious of "turning" on fastballs when the count is in his favor. "Perhaps," Boros says, "he shouldn't think as much about walks. I believe Rickey has the ability to hit 20 homers and drive in 70 runs and steal 100 bases."

        "I think [changing] takes away from our team," Henderson replies, "and I don't think I can help our ball club better than the way I was doing it."
        And Rickey did rub teammates the wrong way as well. From Sports Illustrated Baseball Preview on the NY Yankees (April 15, 1985):

        Fleet of foot, sure, but that's only one aspect of new pinstriper Rickey Henderson. The rap sheet says he has a poor attitude and scores low in that all-important category called team play. "I don't think he played as hard as he could last year," says former Oakland teammate Dwayne Murphy.

        Now Henderson is in New York, where the press magnifies the most trivial wrong and where the owner uses the daily papers to express his daily wrath. As another former teammate, Boston's Tony Armas, puts it, "He's gonna find out how to play the game. He's got to be serious."

        Yankee manager Yogi Berra dismisses the jabs at Henderson, saying he'll judge for himself. "I don't hold with gossip about a player. He comes to us fresh," says Berra. Still, the 26-year-old Henderson should heed the advice of senior Yankee Willie Randolph, whom he supplants as the leadoff hitter: "You can't be thin-skinned and play on this team."
        In 1985 Rickey had a monster season. Either he or George Brett should have own the AL MVP, not Don Mattingly. Rickey did crazy things that season like this. From Sports Illustrated, July 8th, 1985.

        How hot is hot? In the case of 26-year-old Rickey Henderson, hot is so hot he's melting the game's parameters. Ninety feet is not enough distance between bases. Four balls, three strikes seems unfair to pitchers. Henderson, in fact, is staging the hottest offensive show in recent baseball history.

        Despite missing half of spring training and the first 10 games of the season with a sprained left ankle, he was leading the American League in batting (.354), runs (61) and stolen bases (36 in 38 attempts) at week's end. Only four players have won this hit-and-run Triple Crown: Billy Hamilton of the 1891 Phillies, Ty Cobb of the 1909, 1911 and 1915 Tigers, George Sisler of the 1927 St. Louis Browns and Snuffy Stirnweiss of the 1945 Yankees. Batting leadoff, Henderson is also second in on-base percentage (.438) and, incredibly, second in slugging (.550). Asked about his play, Milwaukee DH Ted Simmons mutters: "MVP."

        In the 11 Yankee games between June 17 and June 28, Henderson had a .548 average, a .615 on-base percentage, scored 16 runs and stole 15 bases. Not coincidentally, the Yankees won eight of the 11 games and climbed into third, 6 games behind the East Division-leading Blue Jays. "When Rickey hits, we win," says Yankee first baseman Don Mattingly. "It's as simple as that."

        When then-scout, now- manager Billy Martin persuaded Yankee owner George Steinbrenner to acquire Henderson from Oakland and sign him to a five-year, $8.6 million contract last December, the clincher to his argument was that Henderson could be the most exciting Yankee since Mickey Mantle. It appears that Martin wasn't exaggerating. Henderson's versatile hitting and exciting running—both on the bases and in the field—have had the fans jumping and shouting. The 5'10", 180-pounder hits from an extreme crouch and uncoils at the plate like a jack-in-the-box. On the bases he reaches high gear in a few short steps. And he's ranging all over centerfield to track down flies and outrun his occasional misjudgments.
        And here is a great article on Henderson and Tim Raines from SI, July 28, 1986.

        http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...5066/index.htm

        While Rickey loved to to rack up lots of stolen bases, Raines had another perspective.

        "If I went out just to steal, I could steal 150 or 170 bases," says Raines. "But I don't steal bases for myself. I'm a situational base runner. When I was young, I could always hit, and that's the way I look at myself."

        Raines takes his hitting very seriously. With a .302 career average, he finished third in the NL at .320 last year, and this season he is third at .334. "I looked to Joe Morgan as my idol," he says of the great second baseman, "mainly because of my size and the fact that I then was an in-fielder. And Joe Morgan could hit." When Raines played at Denver in 1980, he kept a George Brett picture over his locker, and his devotion to the Charlie Lau school of hitting is evident in his stance—on his toes in a crouch, bat straight back. "There's absolutely no way one can pitch to him," says Expo reliever Jeff Reardon.

        Raines's real goal is to lead the league in hitting. "I think I can get into the .360-.370 area," he says.
        I saw Raines a lot in the 80's as well. He was as a good a base stealer as Rickey. I have no doubt Raines could have stolen 130 bases in a season if he really tried. Sans the 1981 strike, Raines may have broken Brock's single season record before Rickey did.
        Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 03-01-2012, 03:08 PM.
        Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

        Comment


        • #94
          Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post

          I guess this is endemic (pandemic) to dealing with internet/spreadsheet baseball fans who don't understand or care about the game on a personal, visceral, experiential level. And probably never played it seriously, so...that figures, we suppose...
          Please, mister, I'll be good; just stop beating me about the head and shoulders with your resume.
          Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

          Comment


          • #95
            Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
            I guess it comes down down to perspective.
            IMHO, that was certainly the "post of the year" here, Adam (granted, I was away for over a month, but regardless, that was outstanding).

            Comment


            • #96
              Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post


              IMHO, that was certainly the "post of the year" here, Adam (granted, I was away for over a month, but regardless, that was outstanding).
              Thanks for the compliment, Chris. You "historical" guys (you, SHOELESSJOE, many others...) inspire to do more and more historical baseball research. What I don't understand is how did Billy Martin deal with Rickey's loafing? Martin was an old school, hard nosed, baseball man as one can get. And he compared Rickey to Micky Mantle???? Whoa?

              As an aside recently I've been reading tons of old Sports Illustrated baseball articles. The SI Vault is AWESOME. Especially when you go back further in time, Sports Illustrated had tremendous baseball coverage.
              Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 03-01-2012, 03:29 PM.
              Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

              Comment


              • #97
                Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                What I don't understand is how did Billy Martin deal with Rickey's loafing?
                For starters, Martin gave Rickey the green light whenever he got on the bases, esp in 82'.

                Second, Rickey was somewhat akin to a surrogate son to Billy.

                Billy Martin and Rickey

                Comment


                • #98
                  Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post
                  For starters, Martin gave Rickey the green light whenever he got on the bases, esp in 82'.

                  Second, Rickey was somewhat akin to a surrogate son to Billy.

                  Billy Martin and Rickey
                  Did Martin really tell Fred Stanley to be thrown out intentionally so Ricky can steal a base? That is so lame.
                  Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Yea csh19792001 I don't really know and didn't realize or think about how certain nuances may have escaped people. I sometimes wish I understood stats more, but, and if I may quote the 1993 classic Dazed and Confused, "What we need is some good old worthwhile visceral experience." Makes all the difference in the world.
                    "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by drstrangelove View Post
                      First, as far as scoring runs are concerned, which is what most of us (not all of us) use to judge the talent and contributions of a player....yes, being on second from a 2 base error, a walk and a steal, a HB plus a balk, a stretched single into a double.....are all the same. You are on second....how you got there does not matter.

                      Second, you have a lot of scenarios that explain why being on first and trying to steal second are not good. I'm not going to say that some of it does not have some truth in it. But, it was not comprehensive. You have missed the fact that pitchers throw more fastballs when a good base stealer is on base, that pitchers lose concentration and rhythm while great baserunners are on base, that inflelders are more out of position when a great base runner is on base, that pitchouts can give the batter a free "ball" in the count, etc. No one knows what your scenarios or mine work out to in the long run. But....there are teams and players that have been stealing bases since the 1800's. Are we to conclude that some people in this thread now believe that all the base stealing of the last 130 years was stupid?

                      Third, I posted what other players and managers who ACTUALLY play and manage in the major leagues. Apparently they think great baserunners should steal bases. Apparently, if it HURT the team, then train loads of MLB managers would be telling us that, but instead there are people stealing bases in baseball all the time.

                      Fourth, the jist of my posts are not that taking an extra base on a hit is bad. It's that taking an extra base is done in many ways as a baserunner. I used Musial as an example (because he played a super long career, was recognized as a smart / agressive runner, and had tons of doubles and triples, but obviously lacked foot speed.) The stats show that Henderson took FIVE TIMES as many bases running as Musial took. Unless you think that taking second on a single, creates 5x as many runs as walking and stealing second, then it's clear who was the better baserunner.
                      Musial and Henderson are not similar. If Henderson ran the bases like Stan Musial, whoa. No one is saying base stealing is stupid. Where did that come from? It's not about whether base stealing is better than taking the extra base, it's only about steals because they are the reason a guy is not giving 100%. It's not 2B, 3B v. SB.
                      "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

                      Comment


                      • Greatpost @ 93. Thanks for taking the time.
                        I'm not really a Rickey fan but that first half of 1985 he was out of this world.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post
                          Well, welcome back, Savoy.....or whichever screen name you're spewing from at the moment.

                          Tell all of us how "Ubiquitous" "comprehensively debunked" and explained away Rickey's pathetic triples rate.
                          Chris, it would be much appreciated if you can make your arguments without spreading so much vitriol toward other members. No need to be so antagonisitc. And, accusations against other members of this sort are not cool. Present your proof to an admin if you have any. Leave it at that, please.
                          Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
                          Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
                          Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
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                          Robin Bill Ernie JEDI

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by PVNICK View Post
                            Greatpost @ 93. Thanks for taking the time.
                            I'm not really a Rickey fan but that first half of 1985 he was out of this world.
                            Here is how Rickey, Brett, and Mattingly did up to August 5th and after August 5th.

                            Code:
                            .           G	PA   R	  H   2B 3B  HR	 RBI BB	IBB SO	GDP SB CS  BA   OBP  SLG    OPS	
                            Rickey     90	408  92  122  18  4  17	 47  53  1  35	 5  50  4 .349 .434 .569  1.002
                            Brett      97  	417  64  121  23  4  15	 67  67 23  28	 8   6  1 .350 .453 .569  1.023	
                            Mattingly  102	462  56  131  33  3  16	 87  35  5  24	12   2  2 .318 .362 .529  .891
                            It was all Rickey and Brett through early August. Then Rickey struggled down the stretch and Matting got unbelievably hot, racked up a huge RBI total and won the 1985 AL MVP Award.
                            Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 03-05-2012, 01:35 PM.
                            Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post
                              Boy, you sure said it all with those few words.

                              The pathetic thing is those who don't even care HOW things happened, just what the statistical ledger states happened- the cold, hard data. Vis-a-vis your ostensible ethos about baseball, why even bother watching games? Why does it matter how a guy got to second? Why do things like hustle matter? Why should everything qualitative be important!? Eschew it all!!

                              Just look at boxscores! Why would people actually need to see guys to play to see HOW things happened!!?? How tragically myopic. You are missing more than you'll ever know by being so horribly reductive in your analytical, linear, two dimensional approach.

                              I guess this is endemic (pandemic) to dealing with internet/spreadsheet baseball fans who don't understand or care about the game on a personal, visceral, experiential level. And probably never played it seriously, so...that figures, we suppose...

                              Quotes about Rickey Henderson:

                              Joe Morgan: "(Rickey) ran the bases unbelievably well. You (Rickey) are in my opinion one of the top 5 greatest players of all time." (From Joe Morgan's Radio show broadcast 9/8/11.)

                              Tony LaRussa: "Carney (Lansford) pops behind first base, Ricky tags up and scores. Nobody scores (on that.) He makes a Rickey run. We call them Rickey runs because he makes runs no one can make." You Tube Tony LaRussa on Rickey Henderson.

                              Carlton Fisk: "Well, he's the all-time greatest runner. Base runner." Carlton Fisk on You Tube talks about Rickey Henderson.

                              Gary Carter: "He was a master at reading the pitcher."

                              Bill James: "Without exaggerating one inch, you could find fifty Hall of Famers who, all taken together, don't own as many important records, as Rickey Henderson."

                              My favorite quote:

                              Bill James: "If you could split him in two, you'd have two Hall of Famers."


                              Lou Pineilla (who everyone knows simply did not like Rickey personally). "Believe it or not, he's on my list. Rickey Henderson knows baseball as well as anybody I know." He knows when to run, when not to run, when to crouch to draw a walk or crouch to prepare his patented recoil that can launch a home run into the left-field seats. As for defense, "who knows when to run on him, the way he charges the ball?" Piniella said. "He knows when to cut the ball off, when to play deeper.

                              "I tell you what. Rickey, he knows how to manage himself on the field. He doesn't manage the rest of the players, he manages himself."

                              Don Mattingly: "I remember him," Mattingly said yesterday, "being able to be in the on-deck circle, talking, yakking with the fans, playing around, then go up and be able to turn it on and hit a bullet somewhere. I was amazed at that because I've never been able to do that. I can play a little bit, but not the way he does it. It seems the more he talks to people, the better he swings the bat. It kind of turns his game up a notch."

                              Paul Molitor "Rickey is a player other players watch," said Paul Molitor, one of Henderson's new teammates with the Toronto Blue Jays. "For me, as a fellow leadoff hitter, it was always a challenge to do for my team what he did for his. When we played them, it was up to me to try to raise my game a little bit."





                              I'll keep adding to the quotes above...feel free at any time to grab a couple (or all of them) and explain how the above people are wrong.
                              Last edited by drstrangelove; 03-02-2012, 02:23 PM.
                              "It's better to look good, than be good."

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by bluesky5 View Post
                                Musial and Henderson are not similar. If Henderson ran the bases like Stan Musial, whoa. No one is saying base stealing is stupid. Where did that come from? It's not about whether base stealing is better than taking the extra base, it's only about steals because they are the reason a guy is not giving 100%. It's not 2B, 3B v. SB.
                                There are posts in this thread indicating that taking an extra base proves you are a great baserunner, but stealing an extra base does not. There are posts in this thread indicating that stealing an extra base does not count unless you also run all out on hits. In other words, taking extra baes on hits is more valuable than stealing extra bases.

                                Facts to back this up? None
                                Facts to disprove this? Baseruns, Linear weights, RC, WAR, win shares, ML managers, ML players, ML hall of famers


                                But I am getting the picture.....you are not the greatest at something unless you give 100% all the time. Is that it?

                                So, Mantle used to drink....Ruth ate tons of hot dogs, smoked cigars and drank...Williams ignored defense...Mays stopped stealing bases so McCovey would not be walked....stopped hitting homers in 1954 because Durocher asked him to....

                                That changes their accomplishments? That reduces their accomplishments? That makes other hitters with less accomplishments better?

                                We can't look at what players did on the field to see their worth. We have to know why they did what they did? Or we have to know they did it 100% or they are excluded?


                                I have yet to see anyone demonstrate how Musial created more than 20% of the runs that Henderson did by running, but I have seen many people call Musial a better runner (in this thread.) I have posted quotes from many baseball greats calling Henderson a great runner, but I have seen no one refute even one of the quotes.

                                If the argument is that it does not matter who wins games or scores the most runs, that it doesn't matter what you do, but how you do it, then, this thread should be re-titled from

                                The Greated Baserunner of All Time to

                                Our Favorite Baserunner of All time.
                                Last edited by drstrangelove; 03-02-2012, 12:24 PM.
                                "It's better to look good, than be good."

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