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Umpire

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Date: Jul 27, 2013
RE: The Greatest
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Comparing Musial's Homeruns and Pujols Homeruns without looking at the context of the era they played would provide a completely accurate picture.

The jury is still out on Pujols' legacy of greatness. He appears to be aging rapidly. It is always possible that he is actual older than thought as well. That has happened to other players. At his rate he is going to be a below average player in a hurry. His numbers this year are less than impressive. Being able to DH will possibly help his numbers.



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Luxury Box Season Ticket Holder

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Date: Jul 28, 2013
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I understand the whole era to era thing but lets say he just hits another hundred or so theirs only 8 guys ever to hit 600. Has to mean something. And is it fair to just look at homeruns in that light? What about average? League average in baseball has been trending down in general lately. (I have no clue how ether compares to league average but assume career wise they do ok) but that to fluctuated from generation to generation. Musial played in a time when hitting 380/400 was still elite but not uncommon. Today's game it's once every 6/8 years a guy hits 370.

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Umpire

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Wegernation wrote:
Musial played in a time when hitting 380/400 was still elite but not uncommon. Today's game it's once every 6/8 years a guy hits 370.

.380+ was not at all common during Musial's career.

During Musial's entire career only one player hit above .380. Ted Williams did it twice. The first season was Musial's late call up rookie year (1941) The next highest single season average after Williams is Musial's .376 in 1948. In the American League Mickey Mantle hit .365 in 1957 and in 1961 Norm Cash and his corked bat hit .361. In the NL only Musial (twice) and Harry Walker (.363 in 1947) are the only guys to break .360 during his career.

 

As far as Pujols...there is no way to know for certain what the future holds. Ken Griffey Jr. had an awesome 1st decade. He was a "lock" to break Hank Aaron's record...didn't happen. We'll all have to wait for Pujols career to finish up.

If you believe OPS+ is truly as cross era equalizer..Musial is at 159 for his career. Pujols is at 165. Can he maintain that? His career LA OPS+ as of today is 130. If Pujols has another decade like his first one he will be in the company of Babe Ruth. History is not on his side that he will be able to maintain that level of production.

Considering what has happened the last 10 years I don't believe 600 Homeruns has the same aura that it once did. There are a lot of recent names on there and many of them are under suspicion. that being said Pujols is in a tougher testing decade and hounding press. I do believe he can hit another 100-150 Homeruns. He should (barring testing issues) be a 1st ballot HOFer. I believe he'll deserve that.

 
  


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General Manager

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Date: Jul 28, 2013
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Nitrous, I have to respectfully disagree on some of the things you (and others) say about Pujols.

He no doubt is...or really right now "was"...a great player.  You and others here compare him to some of the true greats, players who could be considered in the "inner Circle" of greats.  I don't see it shaking out that way in the endgame.

This is all my opinion, so please feel free to chime in with any criticisms.......

Pujols has had so far a truly great career.  While not on the same level, I think of him RIGHT NOW as a good comparison to players like Don Mattingly, Mo Vaughn, Todd Helton, and Carlos Delgado...and I'll go as far as to put Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr in that statement as well.  Players who had the injury bug (or the removal of a "little bit extra") bite them at an age where career numbers should still be able to be put up at a pretty darned good rate.

Pujols "supposedly" is only 33 (turns 34 in January), and while his numbers on the surface this year are still decent (OPS+ of 116), they are a FAR FAR cry from the numbers he put up 3 years ago.  His last 3 years, while on the surface are tremendous, represent a steep decline.

Pujols is currently I believe on the DL, for a foot injury we all know is something he is going to have to deal with for probably the rest of his career.  He AT THIS POINT doesn't at all seem the type to be able to age well.  He so far this year has looked, well, old.  I recently read a stat about something as basic as going from 1st-to-3rd on hits, and this is something that Pujols just CANNOT do any more (where in the past, Pujols was one of the smartest baserunners of the last decade, even discounting steals).  Even on grounders to the infield, he looks like a guy playing on 1 1/2 legs if that.

Pujols has 492 homers currently.  Many of us fans thought guys like Griffey and A-Rod had a darned good chance to beat Aaron's record.  Neither of them look they are going to come close (Griffey missed by about 120, A-Rod right now is over 100 behind and looks like a suspension is his in the near future, not to mention the guy has Bo Jackson's hip in his body).

Do I think Pujols gets to 600?  Honestly, I do not, not at the rate his body is breaking down.  Yes it is "only" 25 homers a year for the next 4 years.  A-Rod has hit 64 over the last 4 years (30, 16, 18, 0).  Griffey's last FIVE years produced only 94.  Do I think his career so far has earned him the right to be elected to the HOF?...yes, but to be included in the "Inner Circle" if his career continues down this steep precipice?   Not a chance.

 



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VP of Operations

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Date: Jul 28, 2013
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Agreed (referring to NO's post). Assuming he's clean, Pujols should be a first-ballot guy.

I do believe the 500 home run mark -- for clean sluggers -- is still a Hall-worthy accomplishment.

It's just the needleheads have done their best (their worst?) to make it look like it's not a big thing.  Six of the 14 on your list have serious testing issues.  How many legit modern (1980-present) sluggers have reached 500?

Griffey? Eddie Murray? Thome and Frank Thomas (to the best of our knowledge)? Every one of the remaining 500+ home runs guys who started their careers after 1980 is suspect.

That sounds about right, given the way the game has changed over the years. I mean, look at the '50's-'60's. Out of those two decades, we got Aaron, Mays, Mantle, Frank Robinson, Killebrew, McCovey, Banks, and Mathews. All those names, it a partial-Deadball Era, no less.

From '70-'90, we got two guys: Jackson and Schmidt. Look at who didn't make it: Dale Murphy, Fred McGriff, Willie Stargell, Dawson, just to name a few.

The 500 home run mark is not de-legitimized. Just the means some players have used to achieve it.



-- Edited by seajaw on Sunday 28th of July 2013 02:02:55 PM

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VP of Operations

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Maybe the way we get around the greatness issue is go to the core of Hall requirements: the 10-year rule.  Anyone who puts together a 10-year package of worthy stats gets in, no matter what happens the rest of the way.

Find guys who performed at a Hall level for an entire decade.

After all, extenuating circumstances have been used to get some favored few in who maintained elite status for fewer years.  Koufax was truly a HoF candidate based solely on his final five seasons.

Yet, we quibble about a 10-year arc of greatness.  Even Junior's arc of true greatness (as opposed to the hype) was barely more than 10 years (1990-2000).

After that, he was an aging, often-injured slugger, recapturing occasional moments of glory between trips to the DL.  Harsh?  Yes.  But true.  And with a sorry ending, sleeping on a couch back in the clubhouse when manager Don Wakamatsu needed him to pinch hit.

Would you base a Hall of Fame candidacy on seasonal averages of .271/22/66?  No.  Yet, those were the real numbers (not pro-rated) Junior put up, from 2002-2007.

By the end of that run, Junior was a shadow of his former self, not even able to run down balls in center field any more.  He had two great years ('2005, '07), out of those six.  And in the second one, he was strictly a corner outfielder.

The Hall of Fame does not play "What if...?"

Okay, much of the wear-and-tear that brought Junior down was the terrible pounding on that Kingdome astroturf.  It hurt guys like Buhner, too.

That arc of true greatness is rarely more than 10 years, except for the truly elite players.  Many have 8-10 "Hall" seasons, then a bunch of really good seasons, and maybe a few more solid campaigns.  That may be Albert Pujols.

Doesn't mean he's not a great player.  He's just not Stan, Willie, Mickey, Henry, Ted, Babe, Rogers or Lou (and maybe a few others).  It's not a bad thing to be Hank Greenberg or Jimmie Foxx.



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Luxury Box Season Ticket Holder

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Date: Jul 28, 2013
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Yea I noticed only Williams hit over 380 after I posted that. The point I was trying to make (poorly done though) was that just as homerun rates do, averages change decade to decade as well and should be held to the same standard. Like I said earlier just playing devils advocate for some good baseball talk. (Puljols/Stan) I really am pulling for a rebound for puljols and for him to get to 600.
On the steroid issue that's a tough call to just give the statement of after 1980 but I 100% get it. My view is innocent until proven guilty. I feel you really do have to have one approach or the other. My issue with that is (not you guys I'm sure) a lot of people only go after the sluggers. You never hear jeter accused or Rivera (rightfully so) but the home run guys always get questioned. Curt Schilling said on espn a week ago "steroids make an average player good a good player great and a great player a hall of famer" so I try not to judge unless we know for sure

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General Manager

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seajaw wrote:



Doesn't mean he's not a great player.  He's just not Stan, Willie, Mickey, Henry, Ted, Babe, Rogers or Lou (and maybe a few others).  It's not a bad thing to be Hank Greenberg or Jimmie Foxx.


 Actually, Foxx would be almost a PERFECT comp for Pujols....started early (Foxx came up at 17, but didn't really garner AB's until he turned 20), had a tremendous power career that ended at 33, played until he was 37.  According to baseball-reference, the most similar player to Foxx from the ages of 24-32 is..................Albert Pujols.

As great as Foxx was, it took HIM a few years on the ballot before he got in.  Yes, at that time the ballot was stacked, no doubt.  But have you looked at the upcoming ballots over the next, say 10 years or so?



__________________

"NACSTER'S HISTORICAL REPLAY"

34 REPLAYS IN THE BOOKS!

1876-1883

1896-1900

1906

1916-1917

1921, 1929

1936-1937

1943, 1946

1956-1963

1976

1986

1991, 1996

37,117 regular season games through 34 replays!

 

 



VP of Operations

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Date: Jul 28, 2013
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Wegernation wrote:

Yea I noticed only Williams hit over 380 after I posted that. The point I was trying to make (poorly done though) was that just as homerun rates do, averages change decade to decade as well and should be held to the same standard. Like I said earlier just playing devils advocate for some good baseball talk. (Puljols/Stan) I really am pulling for a rebound for puljols and for him to get to 600.
On the steroid issue that's a tough call to just give the statement of after 1980 but I 100% get it. My view is innocent until proven guilty. I feel you really do have to have one approach or the other. My issue with that is (not you guys I'm sure) a lot of people only go after the sluggers. You never hear jeter accused or Rivera (rightfully so) but the home run guys always get questioned. Curt Schilling said on espn a week ago "steroids make an average player good a good player great and a great player a hall of famer" so I try not to judge unless we know for sure


Very valid point, regarding Jeter and Rivera (and likely a lot of other guys).

Ironically, I think it shows just how much we really want to believe in our heroes, rather than want to tear them down.

Everyone says today's fans and media are just looking for a bad-news story, so we can heap abuse.  I don't think that's the case.  I think we will give them all the leeway they need to bury themselves.

We didn't cause the fall from grace of players like Bonds, Sosa, Palmeiro, Clemens.  And we certainly gave Big Mac all the love again, when he came back to coach in St. Louis.  We desperately want to cheer the next Willie Mays, or Hank Aaron, and we feel cheated when we find out that they are not all that.

Be great, be clean, and you will be loved.

Be great, admit that you did cheat and beg forgiveness, and we forgive.

Cheat, lie and say "Screw you," and we will go after you.

On the subject of what steroids do for you (or against you), how many five-and-dime singles hitter juiced, then collapsed, because their loopers and bloopers carried farther, into the gloves of waiting outfielders? 



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Luxury Box Season Ticket Holder

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I honestly wonder how many of the "all time greats had a decade straight of hof play. I'm headed over to bbr to check it out I'm a little intrigued. Also what qualifys as hof play? Especially a guy like Stan (player type)? He doesn't have the traditional power of a Ruth or Foxx, nor the position eligibility (2b,ss,C) where power is more easily over looked. For instance 310 17 85/90 does that really qualify as a hof type season? Or should their be a benchmark for guys who don't hit for as much power like 315 /320 ?( I know 5/10 points doesn't sound like a lot but I bet it shortens the list a lot). Also injuries how much weight do you put into that? Like what if during this 10 year span 1 or 2 years you just missed significant time? Not saying arod/puljols body breaking down constantly ( still got hope for al) but a freak injury or two in your prime? I'm gonna look some stuff up ill be back to share

( I just wanted to point out how on baseball reference the vote for greatest all time #1 is Stan the man, but even better bonds was 164 I think lol come on that's just silly)

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Umpire

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Date: Jul 28, 2013
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Speaking of Pujols injury this is not good at all...season over?

http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/mlb/story/_/id/9516293/albert-pujols-los-angeles-angels-put-dl



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VP of Operations

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Wegernation wrote:

I honestly wonder how many of the "all time greats had a decade straight of hof play. I'm headed over to bbr to check it out I'm a little intrigued. Also what qualifys as hof play? Especially a guy like Stan (player type)? He doesn't have the traditional power of a Ruth or Foxx, nor the position eligibility (2b,ss,C) where power is more easily over looked. For instance 310 17 85/90 does that really qualify as a hof type season? Or should their be a benchmark for guys who don't hit for as much power like 315 /320 ?( I know 5/10 points doesn't sound like a lot but I bet it shortens the list a lot). Also injuries how much weight do you put into that? Like what if during this 10 year span 1 or 2 years you just missed significant time? Not saying arod/puljols body breaking down constantly ( still got hope for al) but a freak injury or two in your prime? I'm gonna look some stuff up ill be back to share

( I just wanted to point out how on baseball reference the vote for greatest all time #1 is Stan the man, but even better bonds was 164 I think lol come on that's just silly)


Stan had plenty of power: 475 career homers, six seasons of 30+, and two more years in which he hit 29 and 27.

But Musial also had great extra-base power overall (power being much more than just home run totals, naturally).

Fun fact, about Musial: his favorite victim was a southpaw.  He hit 17 homers off Warren Spahn!

The 164 ranking for Bonds is silly.  He's much greater than that, just based on his pre-PED career track.  I think it's blowback.  But that blowback is also deserved.

This has really expanded into a fascinating discussion.  Thanks to everyone who has made it so.



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Luxury Box Season Ticket Holder

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Stan had good power but with the number of years he played that's roughly 20 a season. Which is good, but he played traditional power positions and when comparing to other all time great hitters I have to believe that's on the low side that's all I meant by that. A guy like Aaron a 295 year he can still rely on the power for run production to still have a great year. And not that 295 is bad but for a 330 career hitter like Stan that would be a down year.

I did some digging through the top 10 on bbr I'm gonna do one later for steroid era guys if you have any names you want me to check out ontop of that let me know. This is what I came up with looking for at least 10 year periods of top production. I did a loose guideline with consideration for different types of hitters. But lets just say by looking at each guys career stats it was obvious which years would be used.

10) George Brett - was consistent 290/300 hitter but his big years were spread out (76 79 80 85 88 90)
9) Speaker 10-17 20-27 18,19 were just down years for him avg runs and obp wise otherwise your looking at a 17 year stretch
8) Mays 54-65 and 66 was board line great as well
7)Foxx 29-40 he was awesome
6)Hornsby 20-28 but 26 was a bad year looking at the rest of the years he put up during that time. Still hit .317 that year
5) Cobb 07-25 every year was awesome
4) Ruth 19-33
3)Aaron 55-65 66 I'm not counting even though he hit 44hr and drove in 127 because he hit only 279. That's a good year but not great 67 68 were good again but 69 was down again
2) Williams every year was great by him truly amazing. He was injured in 53 54 and had the 3 years of service but his only bad year was towards the end in 59
1)Stan the man 43-58 does anyone know why his counting numbers dropped in 58 his runs and rbis were down dispute hitting 333??


Pretty cool they all hit the 10 year mark except Brett and Hornsby. Hornsby's 8 were ridiculous though


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Umpire

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In 1958 the Cardinals scored the fewest runs of any season during Musial's career.

For Hornsby you can not forget 1929. He had a dominant year and led the league in slugging and OPS

 



-- Edited by Nitrous Oxide on Sunday 28th of July 2013 05:11:22 PM

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Luxury Box Season Ticket Holder

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Was prob just an oversight on Hornsby when transferring numbers over tab to tab or it may have been just significantly worse than the seasons in that stretch it was all soley done by eye test on his numbers in the given year not compared to the league. I'd have to look at it again to be sure

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