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2019 REGULAR SEASON DISCUSSION THREAD

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Williams definitely.

I might argue that Alex Rodriguez has to be up there somewhere.  His stretch from 98-07 was as good as any ever.

And of course, Lou Gehrig.

I know that his years in Los Angeles has brought Pujols down, and if you could just use his St. Louis years, he would need to be up there.

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I believe this is not what you’re saying, but a lot of people do, and the problem with any “Ted Williams is the greatest hitter in history, if only he hadn’t missed those five years” is that he did miss those five years. Longevity and body of work is part of that calculation. Speculation is not.

There’s no question that Ted was one of the greatest hitters in history, and is arguably the greatest of his era (Stan Musial fans could fairly argue against that), but I don’t think we can say he’s the greatest of all time by assuming he would have been had he played those five years. 

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1 minute ago, chasfh said:

I believe this is not what you’re saying, but a lot of people do, and the problem with any “Ted Williams is the greatest hitter in history, if only he hadn’t missed those five years” is that he did miss those five years. Longevity and body of work is part of that calculation. Speculation is not.

There’s no question that Ted was one of the greatest hitters in history, and is arguably the greatest of his era (Stan Musial fans could fairly argue against that), but I don’t think we can say he’s the greatest of all time by assuming he would have been had he played those five years. 

Looking at the seasons on either side of his age 24 - 25 -26 seasons and he was on a historical pace - and one would think missing most of his age 33-34 seasons wouldn't mean as much - until you see at age 32 1.019 OPS and at age 35 a 1.148 OPS.   His age 41 season was comparable to Miguel Cabrera's peak 2013 season, that's how good he was even as he aged.

 

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13 minutes ago, chasfh said:

I believe this is not what you’re saying, but a lot of people do, and the problem with any “Ted Williams is the greatest hitter in history, if only he hadn’t missed those five years” is that he did miss those five years. Longevity and body of work is part of that calculation. Speculation is not.

There’s no question that Ted was one of the greatest hitters in history, and is arguably the greatest of his era (Stan Musial fans could fairly argue against that), but I don’t think we can say he’s the greatest of all time by assuming he would have been had he played those five years. 

I think speculation that Williams would have been great had he played during the war years is about the safest baseball speculation you can make.  I think you can make a case for him in the top 5 or even top 3.  

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In regards to underrated hitters I think Mark Mcgwire actually gets underrated.  Yes everybody remembers his 1998 season and him being a HR hitter but I think it gets lost just how good of hitter he actually was throughout his career.  He had an 8 year stretch where he never had a full season OPS under 1.05 .   

Between Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols(two guys many consider to be the top RH hitters of the past 30 or so years) their best season was an OPS+ of 194, Mcgwire beat that 5 times.   For his career he is 12th all time in RC+ and has the 2nd highest ISO of all time(behind Ruth of course).  BTW he did all of this with a career BABIP of .255.   I think you can make an argument that Mcgwire is one of the top 10-15 hitters of all time yet I don't think many people really talk about him like that.  

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52 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

I think speculation that Williams would have been great had he played during the war years is about the safest baseball speculation you can make.  I think you can make a case for him in the top 5 or even top 3.  

I agree with your first sentence. I don't agree it has any impact on the second sentence. If you want to make that case for Ted, you have to make it absent those years, because he was absent during those years.

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1 hour ago, LooseGoose said:

Looking at the seasons on either side of his age 24 - 25 -26 seasons and he was on a historical pace - and one would think missing most of his age 33-34 seasons wouldn't mean as much - until you see at age 32 1.019 OPS and at age 35 a 1.148 OPS.   His age 41 season was comparable to Miguel Cabrera's peak 2013 season, that's how good he was even as he aged.

 

TW.thumb.jpg.39051fd6c780d2cc4e6686af47b5d171.jpg

 

 

 

 

As much as I agree with you about his age 24-26 seasons, I don't believe he should be given phantom credit for those seasons as though he played them, because he didn't. It sucks that missing those three seasons cost him the chance to be the greatest hitter in history, but then again, it also sucks that not pitching after age 30 cost Sandy Koufax the chance to be the greatest pitcher in history, too.

I believe to be the greatest, you have to be both the best of your time and have among the longest careers to be the best at it. I believe both must apply.

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11 minutes ago, chasfh said:

As much as I agree with you about his age 24-26 seasons, I don't believe he should be given phantom credit for those seasons as though he played them, because he didn't. It sucks that missing those three seasons cost him the chance to be the greatest hitter in history, but then again, it also sucks that not pitching after age 30 cost Sandy Koufax the chance to be the greatest pitcher in history, too.

I believe to be the greatest, you have to be both the best of your time and have among the longest careers to be the best at it. I believe both must apply.

Well of course those are vastly different situations.  Williams was serving the country in 2 wars, Koufax retired. Williams career was much longer even allowing for the missing seasons.  

I believe you could make the argument to draft Ted Williams #1 in an all time players draft if one considered health & longevity, fielding ability, etc.  

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I'd take Babe Ruth #1 in that draft.

I brought up Koufax only to argue against the idea of giving phantom credit for seasons not played. Regardless of the reason the seasons were lost, they were lost, and I don't believe it's right or fair to give credit for what might have been, if for no other reason than we can assign any performance level we want for those seasons.

Besides, if we had to give credit for opportunities lost, I would still dispute whether Ted Williams would pass Babe Ruth on the all-time list, because we'd also have to give phantom credit to Babe Ruth for having been made to pitch rather than play every day for his age 20-23 seasons. That's about three full seasons worth of at bats he lost, too, same as Williams during WWII.

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53 minutes ago, chasfh said:

As much as I agree with you about his age 24-26 seasons, I don't believe he should be given phantom credit for those seasons as though he played them, because he didn't. It sucks that missing those three seasons cost him the chance to be the greatest hitter in history, but then again, it also sucks that not pitching after age 30 cost Sandy Koufax the chance to be the greatest pitcher in history, too.

I believe to be the greatest, you have to be both the best of your time and have among the longest careers to be the best at it. I believe both must apply.

I agree with your second paragraph, but I think wars should be an exception.  Staying healthy is a skill, so I am not going to extrapolate what someone would have done if they stayed healthy.  Serving in a war is very different thing.  That is something completely out a player's control and most eras have not been exposed that that situation.  I believe you have to attempt to estimate what a player would have done in his war years in these kinds of comparisons.  

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2 hours ago, LooseGoose said:

I hadn't really thought on that one in a while.  You could add Ted Williams to that discussion, especially if you allow for the time he missed while in the service (the majority of 5 seasons).   Aaron of course.   Maybe Hornsby and Musial.  

I've always felt Frank Robinson was underrated but he probably doesn't belong in that discussion.

 

Glad you mentioned Williams, he's definitely up there.

I also agree Robinson is underrated but isn't quite at the level as some of the before mentioned guys

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42 minutes ago, chasfh said:

I'd take Babe Ruth #1 in that draft.

I brought up Koufax only to argue against the idea of giving phantom credit for seasons not played. Regardless of the reason the seasons were lost, they were lost, and I don't believe it's right or fair to give credit for what might have been, if for no other reason than we can assign any performance level we want for those seasons.

Besides, if we had to give credit for opportunities lost, I would still dispute whether Ted Williams would pass Babe Ruth on the all-time list, because we'd also have to give phantom credit to Babe Ruth for having been made to pitch rather than play every day for his age 20-23 seasons. That's about three full seasons worth of at bats he lost, too, same as Williams during WWII.

Ruth should be the undisputed #1 of all time.  Not only did he miss at bats as a pitcher, but he was also a great pitcher which adds a lot to his overall value.   

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I'd go Ruth, Bonds, Williams, Mays and Mantle in the top 5.   Mantle may be a little controversial considering his career but his 7 or 8 year prime was so good I couldn't pass on him.   Mantle led the league in offensive WAR 9 times during a time when some of the greatest players of all time were playing like the aforementioned Williams and Mays to go along with guys like Musial, Aaron, Snider, Robinson among a host of others.      

 

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Where do rate Pujols? Might end up with 700 HR, 2200 RBI 3000+ hits, 2 WS, multiple MVP

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17 minutes ago, leflore said:

Where do rate Pujols? Might end up with 700 HR, 2200 RBI 3000+ hits, 2 WS, multiple MVP

A bit above Miggy. A bit below the Aaron's and Robinson's. The only difference is the era's involved. 

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Pujols is a tale of two players.

His St. Louis years would easily rank him top 5 all time but those pesky Angels years.

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Good news though.  Rogers drew a walk and made contact in 1 out of his 3 other ABs.

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Jody Mercer has hit safely in 17 out of his last 20 games (current 6 game hitting streak).

27-73 for a .369 average.  The guy has been playing better than anyone on the team for the last 2 months.

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this tidbit from the News today:

Quote

You saw we were in the shift and they kept flipping balls through," Gardenhire said. "That was mostly because, when you are playing the shift you're supposed to throw it inside so they hit it into the shift. But he just missed out and over the plate."

The Tigers eventually adjusted, keeping two infielders on each side of second base, but the damage had been done." 

"Those guys are really good hitters over there," Gardenhire said. "They see that hole and there's an RBI out there, they're not afraid to punch one through the hole. That's what they do. They're good enough hitters over there, they can do those things

In the their 2nd inning, all the Twin's RBI came with balls hit into  spaces vacated by the shift. Three lefties went to left, Cruz went to right.

So haven't we heard all along that Turnbull's sinker moves so much he *never* knows where it's going? Why would you predicate your defense on a pitcher commanding thirds of the zone when he's had trouble hitting it at all recently? Applying analytics badly is probably worse than not having it at all.

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Do we have enough information to know much about Babe Ruth’s fielding abilities aside from numbers of errors and fielding percentage?  Not that it particularly matters in him remaining the greatest player ever. 

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8 hours ago, bobrob2004 said:

In another 10-15 years, we will probably be putting Trout in the top 5.  

If he puts up another 5 years like he has I'd probably put him in my top 5 or he'd atleast be very close.  I'd take a 10-12 year peak like him over a lesser player that played longer.  That's why I have Mantle in my top 5 right now.  If Trout puts up another 10 years like he has then he should definitely be in everybody's top 5. 

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22 hours ago, chasfh said:

Without taking a position on this, it is true that Ichiro can be both the most overrated player in history, and worth the price of admission and very enjoyable to watch.

In theory it is true.  In practice, Derek Jeter takes the cake.

I will say this, though.  Bottom of the 9th and need to manufacture one run, I'd take Suzuki leading off with Jeter hitting next.

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8 hours ago, bobrob2004 said:

In another 10-15 years, we will probably be putting Trout in the top 5.  

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It might not take 10-15 years.

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One of the most underrated offensive players of all time: Mike Piazza.

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