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Is cal ripkens streak underrated?

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  • Is cal ripkens streak underrated?

    While I think that it was also overrated to some extend the context of the modern situation IMO even makes it more amazing.

    well of course 2 or 3 missed games would have not made any difference in his value (but in his perception!) but today you are considered a marathon man if you play 155. It is absolutely normal that guys with 145 games win MVP awards. Anytime a star doesn't get an off da for a month people are worried that he will burn out.

    that makes ten years without an off day even more amazing.

    of course 150 games sound a lot. but compared to a full season this will be more than 100 games in 10 years. that is a ton of value the 150 games player loses (more than half a season or probably a lot of WAR).
    I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

  • #2
    On thing I thought was odd was that Ripken DID struggle at times, but he didn't just get worse and worse late in seasons and as the streak went on, he sometimes struggled early in the year and then had a better second half. I have studied sports medicine and exercise physiology academically and practically and it raises questions for me: is burn out about fatigue, or do players just need to re-set from time to time. The Russians found that their athletes did NOT "re-set" their neuromuscular system when they took days off-they re-set their system when they INCLUDED less intense days in between. For example they found that after an intense training day by an elite weight lifter, 1 light and 1 medium intensity training day would re-set natural resting frequencies in their nerves, but 2 days of total rest would NOT. When an athlete was overworked however, they would self compensate, and go into a natural cycle of ups and downs in daily performance. In other words, Ripken could be in game 162 of the 10th year of a streak and physiologically be at the top of his game. He would however cycle through ups and downs.

    Anyway, it is stunning that an entire organization did not need to bring up another guy who could play shortstop over a 15 year period. He may have performed better overall with some days off, but would the team have netted more if they had a merely serviceable shortstop play 8 times a year?

    also keep in mind that newer metrics show that Ripken was one of the greatest defensive players in hiistory. His fielding from '83-'95 was astounding and consistent even if he went into batting slumps.
    Last edited by brett; 05-07-2012, 12:58 PM.

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    • #3
      Ripkens streak was great. A great all around guy. Great for baseball. He would be a great commissioner. If it was a post for an honest man who loved baseball. He's better off sticking with his baseball camps, doing something tangible for the game.
      "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.”

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      • #4
        It's an incredible achievement...at the same time it is an extremely selfish one. This is one record where a player's individual record is made a priority at the expense of the team's best interest.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Joltin' Joe View Post
          It's an incredible achievement...at the same time it is an extremely selfish one. This is one record where a player's individual record is made a priority at the expense of the team's best interest.
          I suppose I see your theory. It is hard to fault having a HoF player in the lineup everyday, I think. :twocents:
          "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.”

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          • #6
            Originally posted by bluesky5 View Post
            I suppose I see your theory. It is hard to fault having a HoF player in the lineup everyday, I think. :twocents:
            Both Gehrig and Ripken were in the lineup on days where they should not have.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Joltin' Joe View Post
              Both Gehrig and Ripken were in the lineup on days where they should not have.
              I don't think Gehrig hurt his team too much being in the lineup every day, at least not until 1939, when he was dying.
              They call me Mr. Baseball. Not because of my love for the game; because of all the stitches in my head.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
                I don't think Gehrig hurt his team too much being in the lineup every day, at least not until 1939, when he was dying.
                He definitely played when he should not have. He played through many injuries, illness, pains, etc just to keep the streak alive. He was beaned twice during the streak but he continued to play. There were games where he could barely crawl but would play one inning just so he could keep the streak alive.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Joltin' Joe View Post
                  He definitely played when he should not have. He played through many injuries, illness, pains, etc just to keep the streak alive. He was beaned twice during the streak but he continued to play. There were games where he could barely crawl but would play one inning just so he could keep the streak alive.
                  Doesn't playing one innning diminish Gehrig's record? Did Ripken ever do that in order to keep his streak alive?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lpeters199 View Post
                    Doesn't playing one innning diminish Gehrig's record? Did Ripken ever do that in order to keep his streak alive?
                    Yes. In this game he only played in the top of the 1st inning.
                    http://www.baseball-reference.com/bo...98908070.shtml

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lpeters199 View Post
                      Doesn't playing one innning diminish Gehrig's record? Did Ripken ever do that in order to keep his streak alive?
                      Maybe you could say that as a technicality, one player Ripken playing every inning, Lou did not.
                      There were some games where he played an inning and out.

                      But Lou late in his career played much more than he needed to, speaking of full games, surprised he did not take one at bat more times late in his career after an at bat to keep the streak alive.

                      Some numbers from late in the 1938 season, I think at this time that disease was already taking a toll on him, the next season 1939 he played only 8 games. Sept. of 1938 to April of 1939 was only a span of a span of 7 months and in April of 1939 he was done.

                      Sept. 1938 Three double headers near the end of the season.
                      Sept. 18 DH played both games every inning
                      Sept. 25 DH both games every inning.
                      Sept. 29 played all of game 1. Game 2 no at bats played on inning.
                      Game 152-153-154-[155 DH]-156-157 played every inning. A bit surprised he did play all those innings, late in season.

                      1937All Sept.
                      18 DH -19-20 -21 off-22-23-24-25-26-27 off-28-0ne at bat game two -29 one at bat game two-30 one at bat game two

                      1936 late season not a kid anymore and the Yanks finished first by 19 1/2 games. To me, this shows Lou's dedication, late season, team running away from the pack and he puts in all those innings. Could have played an inning or two and out and still kept the streak alive
                      1936 all Sept.
                      Sept 5 DH
                      Sept.6 DH
                      Sept.7 DH
                      Sept. 8 off day.
                      Sept. 9 DH
                      Sept. 11
                      Sept. 12
                      Sept. 13 DH
                      Sept. 14 off
                      Sept. 15
                      He played every inning of every game. Sept. 5 to Sept.9, five days, 4 DH's and one day off. Also played every inning in all of those single games.
                      Not going to diminish either, both Lou and Cal did it in their time under different conditions and I won't take anything away from Lou for not play every inning. It was common for teams back then to play 20 plus doubleheaders in those times, that continued in to the 1950s-60's.
                      Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 05-07-2012, 08:55 PM.

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                      • #12
                        over rated by a mile

                        if a guy plays 155 games a year and gets some rest that's probably better than 162 and no rest

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Joltin' Joe View Post
                          He definitely played when he should not have. He played through many injuries, illness, pains, etc just to keep the streak alive. He was beaned twice during the streak but he continued to play. There were games where he could barely crawl but would play one inning just so he could keep the streak alive.
                          And how did that impact the Yankees? Would they have won more championships if Gehrig was rested once in a while?
                          They call me Mr. Baseball. Not because of my love for the game; because of all the stitches in my head.

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                          • #14
                            I'm just always going to wonder if Cal's bizarre career progression had something to do with the streak. He looked like he was going to be an elite hitter with his fine '83 and '84 seasons, then slowly slid down to a just a bit above average hitter. Breaks out with his best season at age 31, then back to kind of average with the bat. He was a fine shortstop in his prime, which made him a valuable player even as an average hitter. The streak is a impressive feat of toughness and will, I just don't know if there was a price to it that wasn't worth paying.
                            "If I drink whiskey, I'll never get worms!" - Hack Wilson

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
                              And how did that impact the Yankees? Would they have won more championships if Gehrig was rested once in a while?
                              There is no way to know but playing when you are not remotely close to being in optimal condition when a better replacement player is available is not good for the game. Also resting when necessary is not only benefitial but essential. This type of streak also puts undue demand and pressure on the field manager to feel obligated to play a player even when he is not fit to play. In another words, an individual record is being made a priority over the good of the team or the field manager's better judgement. I really can't speak for Ripken but I have read lots of books about Gehrig and it is pretty clear to me that he played when a replacement player would have been the better option or he could have used the badly needed rest.

                              An opposite example of this is when the field manager Brenly told Randy Johnson that he was going to bypass him on his last start because he wanted him fully rested before the post season; and Johnson fully respected and concurred with the decision. Of course we all know a huge record was on the line and the way Johnson had been pitching, it would most likely resulted in the record being broken, but it was not to be. But it was the right decision as we know what happened as we Yankee fans painfully know.

                              The toll that the body takes and the pains and the injuries that plague a player during the grueling 154/162 game season is staggering. Some people are talking like Gehrig was fresh as the daisy for every single on of those 2,130 games, this is simply not true. He played through injuries, great pains, and immense fatigue; he was close to being a cripple in some occasions. One poster in another thread even compared the streak to him not missing a day of work in his life; with all due respect to that poster, to compare an ordinary job to playing at the elite level in a 154 game MLB schedule shows total lack of understanding on how grueling and demanding the game really is.

                              No disrespect for Lou, he is one of my alltime fave players. As I said, the achievement itself is incredible. That being said, I still think it is a selfish record and the field manager should never have to feel obligated to sway his decision on such a individual record.
                              Last edited by Joltin' Joe; 05-08-2012, 07:06 AM.

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