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  • Sorry for the multiple posts, I just now got done reading this entire thing, and responded as I went. Very interesting gentleman.

    ahhhh, Billy Boy,

    Such valiant effort put forward. I only cringe because in elevating your man Mr. Cobb to such great heights, you're required to discount George Herman's accomplishments. Must it come at such a high price Bill?

    You're a knowledgable baseball mind Bill, you surely realize that Ruth's overall value was greater than home run hitting alone. Some portray him as a Killebrew or Reggie Jackson type hitter, when he was nothing of the sort. He was the perfect blend of power and average. Consistently making solid contact while exhibiting the bat control of a smaller slap hitter. He could go the other way with the best of 'em, and while he struck out a lot for that era, his K rate per 162 is modest compared to other sluggers.

    Ty and Babe both brought different gifts to the party. The question becomes which are more valuable, and that is something that will never be answered given the era differences, and style differences.

    Someone earlier also referred to Ruth and the equal of Ted Williams in the field. Anyone care to claim/explain this? It's absolutely false, unless you were comparing Ruth post 1928 to Williams. Otherwise, its absurd.

    Comment


    • Randy,

      Let me chat a little about The Babe. I do like him, despite what my posts sometimes sound like. I liked him as a kid, and it was only in the later decades when Bill James and sabermetricians started promoting Babe as the greatest ever that I started to sound otherwise.

      I only try to minimize a player if I feel he is being raised too high. When I arrived on Fever in Oct., 2003, I actually thought that this was SABR. I arrived with a chip on my shoulder, and became known as the anti-Ruth. I ranked him between 10-13th all time position player. But that was due to my immaturity.

      Since then, I think I've come a long way. I now rank Babe 5th all-time, after Ty, Honus, Mays, and Bonds. Some may think I'm being really unfair to Babe, but I think I'm not.

      I've tried to make up for my former immaturity by posting pro-Babe posts. I did a nice mini-bio on Babe on the Babe Ruth Thread. I tried to show many rarely seen factoids on him. Hope you catch it. I call it Babe: A Personal Glimpse.

      I also posted other pro-Babe posts on that thread. So, I have tried to make up for my former writings. I don't want to knock Babe anymore. I like him and now try to show his abilities. For example, I think he was denied many homers when they didn't count game winning homers, which didn't require a HR to win the game in the 9th inning. I also pointed out that he would have hit over 40 HRs in 1919, if he'd played anywhere but Fenway, and played the full season. His road HR rate proved that clearly.

      So, I have changed my tone where Babe is concerned. But I just happen to value Ty Cobb above all others. Hint: He was my Dad's greatest player and Dad told me stories as a child. I read his book in 1961 and have been hooked ever since. But that didn't turn me against the Babe.

      Bill
      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-21-2005, 09:34 PM.

      Comment


      • Wow, I can't believe someone such as yourself would rank him FIFTH? Behind Bonds is inexcusable, at least Mays, Cobb, Wagner could make a case.
        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-01-2005, 03:39 PM.

        Comment


        • Randy,

          I live in the San Francisco bay area, and watch Barry a lot. He's my favorite active player. I just can't deal with his steroid cheating, even knowing he is a level or two beyond what he could have done without them.

          Like Marion Jones, Flojo. But I'm only human, Randy, and I readily admit, I have subjective prejudices. I'm not trying to be prejudiced, but probably am, despite myself.

          I used to rank Oscar Charleston above Babe, but since we have no evidence to that, I couldn't in good consciouse, leave it that way.

          Bill Burgess
          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-21-2005, 10:02 PM.

          Comment


          • This is a revelation. I would never imagine a Cobb enthusiast would admire what Bonds stands for on and off the field. Hmm, two ends of the spectrum. When Cobb first got to the Tigers, a teammate told him about a cheating system they had, for stealing the catchers signs. A person in the centerfield scoreboard would flash a certain number or somethin when it was either a fastball or offspeed pitch. This was common practice on the team, and they fully expected the young Cobb to go along. But he didn't want the extra help. He just wanted to go out there are do his best on his own. Maybe you know the details of that story, but I remember reading it from his book.

            You've seen all the stats, so it wouldn't do me any good to rattle off how much better Ruth is than Bonds, but I discount anything he did after 2000 anyway. Silly me

            It seems you give little value to Ruth's pitching, and to the numbers he was able to post despite his few career AB. He had nearly 4,000 fewer AB than Aaron for example. 4000 divided by 500 AB, multiplied by his average number of homers... ahhh screw it. Take care Bill
            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-01-2005, 03:39 PM.

            Comment


            • Randy,

              Not all of my baseball opinions are necessarily logical. I do rate Babe a better hitter than Barry Bonds. I rank Babe the mightiest slugger ever. The hardest hitter, most loved character, most powerful drawing card, most famous celebrity, etc.

              I only rate Barry over Babe due to overall play. Factoring in his superior defense/running. Babe for hitting, Barry for overall play. But I also realize Barry has unfair advantages, in his strize zone, juiced ball, expansion pitchers.

              Which is why I rank Mays over Bonds. Not all of my rankings are defensible. Like Sisler over Gehrig. Just can't be justified with numbers at all. Or my ranking Buck Ewing in my Top 10 all-time players. Or Bill Lange in my Top 100.

              Bill Burgess

              Comment


              • Before Balco:

                Bonds could field great, had a weak but accurate arm, could not hit for average (depending on your definition), had average power, and could run very well.

                Up to 2000 (debatable how far to go back), these skills and his play were enough to place him among the top 30 players of all time easily.

                After Balco:

                Cannot run well at all, which renders his walks nearly meaningless. His arm is weaker than ever, and a bit less accurate, his fielding is below average at best in recent years, he hits for great average, and hits for great power.

                His 2001 on seasons have vaulted him among the greats somehow? Should he be having these seasons? Shouldn't he be declining in ability and testosterone like every other player before him? I only ask.


                Bill, I understand you saying that Ruth was the greatest "slugger." All of the drawing card, and icon, and hero stuff is wonderful to me, those are other factors that make him a great character in baseball history. But he was so much more than that on the ballfield. More than merely a slugger.

                Its almost as if a picture has been painted of him as a blob who just stood there and hit big home runs. Like a lefty Cecil Fielder or something. My lord, if we could travel back in time, I'd drag you back to 1918-1928, so you could see how much of a complete ballplayer Ruth was. He might not have been a complete player for as long as Mays, Cobb, or Wagner due to his off-field habits, but he could do it all bro.

                I gotta feeling that when I went to program that time machine though, that you would quickly reach over and press 1911 without me knowing I wouldn't mind that too much.
                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-01-2005, 03:40 PM.

                Comment


                • Randy,

                  I understand how you feel about Babe. I feel the same about Ty, so I do grasp this.

                  Since you love Babe so well, I posted a nice thing for you on Historical Articles, about Christy loving Babe. Check it out. Just up your alley.

                  Also, a page back in our archives, on the Babe Ruth thread, I have posted nice posts in #52, 48, 49, and 86. I hope you saw them. They are my way of loving Babe.

                  Bill

                  Comment


                  • I saw that, thank you. I was pleased to see the earlier one about Matty commenting on Ruth's fielding ability. It frustrates me that most have such a narrow view of his abilities.

                    Maybe its because his SB% was so horrible, that most think he wasn't swift of foot, but he was. Certainly no Cobb, Mays, Wagner, Mantle, etc. But in his early years he was just a notch below those guys. Gehrig also has a horrible SB%, but was as quick from home to third as one could be. SB's shouldn't be a measure of baserunning ability, fielding ability, or actual speed.

                    Ruth wasn't expected to steal, and never worked on the art. His game was much more simple, relying on natural ability. Still, 50 steals in his first four years with the Yanks isn't bad.

                    You shouldn't feel any need to post pro-Ruth things if you don't feel that way. If you have gradually developed a genuine grasp for what he was though, then its all good. Its nice to see.

                    As far as the Bonds thing goes, we'll just part ways right there and leave it as it is. Its a sad situation.
                    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-01-2005, 03:40 PM.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948
                      Before Balco:

                      Bonds could field great, had a weak but accurate arm, could not hit for average (depending on your definition), had average power, and could run very well.

                      Up to 2000 (debatable how far to go back), these skills and his play were enough to place him among the top 30 players of all time easily.
                      I agree with everything except this. I think 494HR in 15seas and 7456AB for 32.93per seas and 6.6% as AVERAGE POWER? He also batted .300 or better seven times through 2000, although his career was .289.
                      Johnson and now Goligoski gone.
                      I hope that's all.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948
                        You shouldn't feel any need to post pro-Ruth things if you don't feel that way. If you have gradually developed a genuine grasp for what he was though, then its all good. Its nice to see.
                        No, no, no. I always felt Babe Ruth played well. And I always liked him from my childhood. The only thing which made me post so cynically, was when I came back to the game around the mid 80's, and everyone was accepting he was the greatest ever. That made me upset. Totally pissed off.

                        But now, I'm hopefully leveling off, and reaching a deeper level. I suspect that Bill James ranking Ty at 5th place, makes me want to "equalize" on HIS favorite player. I hope I'm not doing that, but it just may be remotely possible. Who knows what lurks in our deep recesses.

                        I hope you like my most recent Babe work. And the Barry situation IS sad. And I am very conflicted.

                        Bill Burgess

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948
                          Before Balco:

                          Bonds had a weak but accurate arm, could not hit for average (depending on your definition), had average power.

                          Up to 2000 (debatable how far to go back), these skills and his play were enough to place him among the top 30 players of all time easily.
                          You claim Bonds was this mediocre then you place him top 30 alltime?

                          <After Balco:
                          Cannot run well at all, which renders his walks nearly meaningless.>

                          Yeah, continuously scoring 100+ a year with crappy teammates is meaningless

                          <My lord, if we could travel back in time, I'd drag you back to 1918-1928, so you could see how much of a complete ballplayer Ruth was. He might not have been a complete player for as long as Mays, Cobb, or Wagner due to his off-field habits, but he could do it all bro.>

                          I'd like to know how you "know" he was complete post-1923
                          Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
                          Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

                          Comment


                          • RUTHMAYBOND :


                            You claim Bonds was this mediocre then you place him top 30 alltime?

                            That is correct. He did everything well, but nothing extraordinarily great.


                            Yeah, continuously scoring 100+ a year with crappy teammates is meaningless

                            This shouldn't be debatable. He's lost more than a couple steps since 2001. His walks are not totally meaningless, hence my term "NEARLY." I just think he'd serve his team better by expanding the strike zone at times, using his natural hitting ability to drive the ball to all fields. Rather than walking to first, where he cannot steal, and cannot go first to third on a regular basis like he used to. I'm saying, that if I'm paying a guy 20 million a year, and he's my best hitter, I want him to swing the bat. There are several pitches on the outside black that he lets go, and they get called balls. Credit him for taking advantage of the small strike zone, which seems to shrink even more for him. With his talent though, he could afford to not strictly be a dead pull hitter.


                            I'd like to know how you "know" he was complete post-1923

                            Honestly man, I've seen every piece of footage, read nearly ever word written, talked to old timers, and used my own baseball knowledge to draw my own conclusions.

                            I don't expect to convince you of this through typing words, it just doesn't work like that. Sometimes stats don't tell you everything. His assists numbers don't tell you everything. His pitching record doesn't tell you everything. His fielding percentage doesn't tell you everything. His stolen base numbers surely don't tell you everything.
                            But yes, Ruth was a complete player who could do everything on a ballfield. Like I said, it was only for a short time. He turned himself into a 3 tool player (throw,average,power) in his later years by living the fast life. Theres nobody to blame for that but himself. And I'm never into crediting Ruth with things he didn't possess. Lord knows he doesn't need the help.


                            CHISOX:

                            Bonds had "average" power compared to what he became from 2000 - present. He didn't hit his 100th HR until he was 26 years old. Hit 35+ HR only 5 times up until 2000, slugged .650+ only once before 2000.

                            Batting average: maybe our definitions differ, but he hit .315+ only ONE time before 2001, and under .300 EIGHT times before 2001.

                            He was a completely different player, thats all I was sayin'.

                            Comment


                            • Randy,

                              I'm going to give you an assist here. I hardly ever do this, but I'm going to make an exception in your case. You will enjoy these.

                              Tris Speaker:
                              1928 - "I have been asked my opinion of great outfielders I have known. By outfielders I mean solely the ability to play the position quite apart from batting or base running talent. I will say, without hesitation, that Babe Ruth is one of the half dozen greatest outfielders I ever saw.

                              This is aside from his slugging ability, which is unrivaled, and his base running ability which is much greater than is commonly supposed. Purely as an outfielder, Babe will rank among the game's greatest. He was not always so.
                              When he first shifted from the pitching slab to the outfield, he did not seem to take his work seriously. His thoughts were mainly devoted to his batting. No doubt they still are. But for all that, Babe has become a great outfielder. He covers a lot of ground, primarily because he plays the batter correctly.
                              He has a sure pair of hands, a wonderful throwing arm and he always knows exactly what to do with the ball when he gets it. (Baseball Magazine, October, 1928)

                              John B. Foster:
                              1938 - "Ruth could make marvelous catches of fly balls that were as spectacular in their cleverness as made by any outfielder playing ball. Especially was this true of those long high flies which, to a slower man, it would have been impossible to get under." (Spalding Official Baseball Guide, 1938, put out in early 1938)

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by [email protected]
                                John B. Foster:
                                1938 - "Ruth could make marvelous catches of fly balls that were as spectacular in their cleverness as made by any outfielder playing ball. Especially was this true of those long high flies which, to a slower man, it would have been impossible to get under." (Spalding Official Baseball Guide, 1938, put out in early 1938)
                                How hard is it to get under long HIGH flies?
                                Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
                                Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

                                Comment

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