Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
...And there Once was a Man Named Ruth...Funny Name for a Man, Ruth*
2007-09-07 05:57
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Where does Alex Rodriguez's season rank amongst the greatest single seasons ever by a Yankee hitter? Well, according to OPS+, if the season ended today, he'd rank #25. Rodriguez currently sports an OPS+ of 183 (he had an OPS+ of 167 in his last MVP season, 2005). If he drops to 180, he'll be in 30th place. Nothing but a bunch of guys name Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle and DiMaggio ahead of him on the list. But check out Bobby Murcer's 1971 season, and Paulio O's strike-shortened 1994 season, making to top 30.

* Okay, I know the headline is random as hell. It comes from Albert Brooks' first record, co-prodcued by Harry Shearer, "A Star is Bought." It's a concept-record. Albert wants to have a hit record, so he designed an album with cuts that could be played on every kind of radio station--he does a blues duet with Albert King, has a talk-show segment, even sings Bolero. Because of a falling out between Albert and Shearer the album has never been released on cd. Hopefully, it will be someday as it is a must for Albert fans, and, in some ways, is a radio version of the mockumentary "This is Spinal Tap."

Comments (100)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-09-07 06:29:01
1.   Yankee Fan In Boston
i was intrigued enough to do a quick search for "a star is bought" and found a zip file that appears to contain the entire album. (i am still downloading, so sound quality and comprehensiveness are unknown.)

here's the link:

thanks for the tip, alex.

2007-09-07 06:36:50
2.   weeping for brunnhilde
Hilarious, Alex, thanks!

Reminds me of a segment on This American Life I heard years back. They took a poll as to which kind of music people hated and then made a song to spec. Turns out, people really hate rap and they really hate opera, so the song featured a soprano rapping. It actually sounded pretty good, in an experimental, Yoko Ono sort of way.


2007-09-07 06:42:33
3.   NJYankee41
If you haven't seen it yet, has included minor league stats. was useful, but a bit of a mess so its nice to have it all on

Also, nomass has a nice write up on Andrew Brackman that puts his signing in perspective.

It really tells you something about the Yankee legacy when as good of a season as A-Rod is having, he doesn't break the top 20 in great seasons for the franchise. Wow!

2007-09-07 07:05:59
4.   williamnyy23
3 It also makes you really appreciate how scary a lineup with Ruth and Gehrig must have been. Imagine having to face two hitters back to back whose entire careers were as good or better than the season Arod is having now.

Finally, Lou Gehrig must be the most underrated hitter of all time. If not for Ruth's shadow, Gehrig would have probably gone down as the preeminent hitter of his era. Instead, he hardly gets mentioned in best hitter discussions.

2007-09-07 07:22:48
5.   dianagramr
I didn't start following baseball (the Yanks) till '72 (at age 9), so I don't have any recollection of the Murcer career year. But it sure did look nice on the back of his baseball card in '72.
2007-09-07 07:32:07
6.   weeping for brunnhilde
4 It's so true about Gehrig. He's just kind of like old reliable, Ruth and Gehrig.

But whereas most fans are more or less knowledgeable about Ruth's career, Gehrig's is actually a mystery.

Whenever people bring up his stats here, I still marvel that they were as good as they were.

He's actually not just insanely great, but epic.

2007-09-07 07:34:44
7.   Murray
4 Gehrig's problem from an historical perspective is that his accomplishments as a baseball player are dwarfed by the tragic circumstances of his death. And I'm not sure that's a bad thing. It's a story so incredible that you wouldn't believe it if it were presented as fiction.
2007-09-07 07:47:30
8.   OldYanksFan
I may be wrong, but I personally look at pre integration numbers as 'out of context'.
Aside from pre-minority, the era of Ruth/Gehrig also featured pitching and fielding that I have to believe were not comparable to todays athletes.

When did RP come into play? I have read stories of pitchers who threw a DH. Can ARod get 10 ABs in 18 innings against the same guy? There are many, many differences in the quality at attitude of players from 60 years ago, as well as ballparks and other factors. I just think in comparing these 2 groups, we are comparing apples to oranges.

With that said, it warms my heart to see that Mickey had the 5 best years (post 1947) and ARod would be 6th. Further, it's been 45 years between Mantle and ARod.

I would love to see those number, post 1947 for all players in both leagues and see where both Mickey and ARod stand compared to all of MLB. Mays? Williams? Stan the Man? How does ARod compare to the best of MLB?

2007-09-07 07:50:18
9.   JL25and3
0 Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure gave rise to a short-lived Saturday morning cartoon show. I remember it only because of the discovery made by one of them: "That Babe Ruth babe was a dude, dude."
2007-09-07 07:52:07
10.   JL25and3
8 45 years between Mantle and Rodriguez? That's not possible. If that were true, then I'd be...oh, yeah. Never mind.
2007-09-07 07:53:49
11.   JoeInRI
5 If my math is right you and I are about the same age. I remember reading an article back in '72 or '73(in Baseball Digest, I think) about Murcer, Cesar Cedeno and someone else being the top candidates to win the Triple Crown.
2007-09-07 07:55:05
12.   NJYankee41
4 I agree. But just imagine how good Ruth must have been if teams were still willing to walk him with Gehrig up next. Bonds' wlak totals are impressive, but lets be honest Ray Durham isn't much protection.

Lou Gehrig is definitly a top 5 all-time hitter IMHO. I may only put Ruth, Williams and Cobb ahead of him in offense alone.

The Yanks have had the best player in history (Ruth), the best 1st baseman (Gehrig), arguably the best catcher (Yogi) and the best closer (Mo). Not to mention 2 of the best centerfielders ever. And if A-Rod stays long-term maybe we can say the Yanks had the best 3rd baseman ever.

Its such a rich history that is loads of fun to read about.

2007-09-07 07:55:06
13.   Sliced Bread
Gotta check out that Brooks record.
He's one of my comedic heroes, right up there with Woody, Pryor, & Bugs.
I initially thought the title was a Coen Bros. reference, knowing your connection to "the Dudes," Alex.

re: the list - wasn't it after Murcer's '71 season that Ted Williams predicted he'd be the next player to hit the Triple Crown?
No easy feat that Triple Crown, but if anybody could do it again, I guess it would be our third baseman -- but it would have to be on a down year for batting average I suppose.

2007-09-07 07:56:46
14.   Sliced Bread
13 comment #13 was brought to you by...

The Third Baseman.

2007-09-07 07:59:53
15.   ChrisS
From Jayson Stark:

One AL executive says he's starting to feel sorry for Phil Hughes -- because he may never be able to match all the hype that was laid on him before he arrived in New York.

"I think he's going to wind up being a No. 3 starter, and that's not bad," the exec says. "But people were led to believe he'd be more than that. It's going to be really hard for him to ever live up to all his expectations."

Poor kid. I can't figure out the need to tear him down.

People weren't led to believe anything, the facts speak for themselves:

276 IP / 311 K / 66 BB / 2.09 ERA / 0.86 WHIP

He only gave up 6 homeruns in 276 innings in the minors. Six!

And just for FYI, Clay Bucholz (minors):
288 IP / 356 K / 77 BB / 2.45 ERA / 1.00 WHIP

and 21 HRs.

But Clay threw a no-no, dontchaknow.

I know, all things considered, a pitching prospect can light up the minors and then lose it (Rick Ankiel), but Phil's minor league numbers are phenomenal, and adjusted for his age, even better. It's hard to base an opinion, like that of the unnamed AL executive, and lend it credence, by basing it on Phil's first few starts following multiple injuries to the same leg (while discounting his exceptional minor league numbers).

If Phil doesn't turn into a staff ace overnight or even next season, it's not the end of the world. But there's no reason for people to start running around saying, "well, he's not that good anyway."

2007-09-07 08:01:18
16.   Mattpat11
I know most people will disagree with me, but I think one of the big factors in this year's season for Alex is his ability to keep his mouth shut. The previous few years every time he turned around he managed to say something unfathomably stupid that did little but alienate his own fanbase.

This year, his two big "controversial" moments have been strippergate, which Yankee fans largely don't care about, and Howie Clarke, where he is almost universally supported.

2007 A-Rod has no "I played brilliantly" I"m working out while everyone else is taking their kids to school" "Maybe they hate me because I'm biracial"

He's a far more likable guy that he has been in any of his three previous years here, and I think fan reaction has shown that, which in turn has helped him react.

2007-09-07 08:06:04
17.   Mattpat11
I'm watching a Yankee classic from last year and Kay is blowing Farnsworth
2007-09-07 08:07:02
18.   Sliced Bread
15 ESPN is on a mission to tear down our kids, and build up Boston's. Simple as that. Some may disagree but Keith Law did a hatchet job on Phil.
Watch what happens after Joba gives up a run. They'll dog him like Michael Vick.

ESPN is as dead to me as communism. Won't touch their site with a ten foot pole, and when I have to watch, I do so with the sound down.

2007-09-07 08:10:04
19.   tommyl
12 A-Rod is unlikely to be the best 3rd basemen ever (nor the best SS). Cliff had a great article about this awhile back:

I highly suggest reading it. Its phenomenal.

2007-09-07 08:12:01
20.   Mattpat11
18 Anyone that employs Steve Berthiaume and Peter Gammons of the last dozen years really shouldn't be taken seriously
2007-09-07 08:12:23
21.   tommyl
15 I just don't care what Stark or anyone else writes, you just play the games. Hughes is who he is and no amount of Stark of Heyman is going to change that.

As for ESPN, I think they aren't so much as evil as they just pander to the lowest common denominator, which is, most people outside of NYC hate the Yankees. So they give them what they want. Whatever, any show that has "Who's Now?" on it I can't get upset about. They're too stupid to take seriously.

2007-09-07 08:14:56
22.   Sliced Bread
18 oh, and I'll listen to Kay's show, but other than that... na zdrovie, bastards!
2007-09-07 08:15:08
23.   weeping for brunnhilde
16 I do think it's fairly obvious that Alex is relaxed up at the bat much more than in previous seasons. Far fewer overanxious ab this year, so I'm inclined to agree with you.
2007-09-07 08:19:32
24.   Chyll Will
16 Wait, I agree with you. My whole thing last year was "Hit, throw, catch, eat, eff-off, etc-etc," and now he's doing so, it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. As for the hindquarters in the media, who give a crap besides them (their obvious function notwithstanding)?
2007-09-07 08:24:27
25.   Mattpat11
24 I'm one of the few people that didn't put 100 percent of the blame on the media for Alex's problems last year. At some point, he had to start thinking before he spoke. And it looks like he did this year.
2007-09-07 08:26:42
26.   ChrisS
21 Indeed.

I also just looked at Phil's ML numbers on the season - and how they project for a 162 game season - and outside of his ERA (though his WHIP is kinda high, but it is lower than that of Pettitte, Felix Hernanadez, and similar to Matsuzaka and CMW) the peripherals all point to a solid young pitcher: hits=IP.

I think he'll adapt to ML hitters faster than some people think.

And, if not for a pulled hammy, Phil could have beaten Clay to getting a no-no in his second career start by about 4 months.

2007-09-07 08:27:02
27.   Sliced Bread
re: the third baseman's "cool dude in a loose mood" '07 body language. Could it be that he just doesn't give a spit about NY anymore? His bags are packed, and ready to go - 'cept for one last MVP trophy, and mebbe the ring he's been looking for?

I hate to be the resident downer about A-Rod, but I really think he's outta here, and this is all just his magical history tour.

We shall see. But I'll be very surprised, and very happy if he stays.

2007-09-07 08:31:56
28.   kylepetterson
12 "Not to mention 2 of the best centerfielders ever"

Johnny Damon is great and all, but really? One of the 2 best? I would at least put Giuseppe Paolo DiMaggio Jr. and Mickey Charles Mantle in front of him. That would at least make him one of the 3 best. And that's just for the Yankees. Plus I think you're forgetting that Terrence Long played 2 games in center last year. Seriously guys, brush up on your history. I'm not around as much as I used to be so I can't babysit.

2007-09-07 08:32:01
29.   Yankee Fan In Boston
27 he has to stay, sliced.

he just has to.

...doesn't he?

i think they will find a way to give him all that he wants.

the notion of auctioning off every last piece of the current stadium popped into my head yesterday. that would fund his contract and then some. they'd just need to take a financial hit next year.

2007-09-07 08:33:03
30.   kylepetterson
28 Wow, that kyle guy is kind of a jerk.
2007-09-07 08:35:20
31.   Yankee Fan In Boston
30 so true... so true...
2007-09-07 08:38:53
32.   kylepetterson
31 and you're in Boston, so you're like some sort of jerk expert...
2007-09-07 08:39:01
33.   Yankee Fan In Boston
28 oh yeah... don't forget kenny lofton.

2007-09-07 08:40:30
34.   tommyl
30 Wait, Juan Pierre isn't the greatest CF in history?
2007-09-07 08:41:12
35.   Sliced Bread
29 we have another couple months to discuss, but here's where I'm at:

- I think he belongs here.
- but I don't think his wife agrees with me.
- I don't think it's going to come down to money.
- but I don't think Scott Boras agrees with me.
- I see Anaheim offering him enough money, a kinder, gentler press corps, a So. Cal. lifestyle including house on a cliff in Laguna Nigel, where wifey poo can shop in Newport, and play queen of the O.C.
- I see the Cubs offering him something like part ownership in the club to end his career there.

but again, we shall see. The Yanks certainly have a ton to offer, I just hope he wants to stay.

Saw him and wifey poo on TV the other night, at their luncheon the other day. All he would say is "We're here now... we'll see." He's still saying all the right things, but he definitely seemed less commital than ever about staying in NY.

2007-09-07 08:41:25
36.   AbbyNormal821
17 "I'm watching a Yankee classic from last year and Kay is blowing Farnsworth "

....uh, WHAT???

2007-09-07 08:41:26
37.   Yankee Fan In Boston
32 i should have a PhD, sir. i'm writing this at a harvard library. you can only imagine the jerks i encounter on a daily basis (and i assure you that your imagination would not meet the staggering numbers that would be required to be anywhere near accurate).
2007-09-07 08:42:30
38.   Chyll Will
29 Balance your spirit, my friend. If he stays, it will fulfill your desires (and fuel a run on lottery tickets like you've never seen). If not, accept it as karma, and the next time a super-duper paratrooper like A-Rod drops into our lineup during our lifetime, embrace him and spit on anyone that boos for the hell of it.

For what it's worth, I think he stays, but I won't be angry (at him) if he goes.

2007-09-07 08:43:21
39.   tommyl
37 I can imagine. I went to a Harvard Crimson (their newspaper) party in college. That was enough for life.
2007-09-07 08:43:58
40.   Yankee Fan In Boston
35 i covered my ears and hummed "yakkity sax" as i read that post, unfortunately i had reached the end before i realized that my actions were futile and why.
2007-09-07 08:46:04
41.   Yankee Fan In Boston
39 sounds like a blast, tommyl.

my sympathies. ugh.

2007-09-07 08:46:45
42.   Mattpat11
35 I certainly hope Mrs. Rod doesn't think there are less floozies in SoCal.
2007-09-07 08:48:11
43.   Chyll Will
36 I know, the things that pass for "classic" these days on YESemax... >;)
2007-09-07 08:48:51
44.   Sliced Bread
42 the fancy So. Cal. floozies are probably just her style. They'll embrace her like a lost sorority sista.
2007-09-07 08:48:52
45.   Mattpat11
43 I stand by my statement.
2007-09-07 08:50:55
46.   NJYankee41
1 Ok, it took a while but I finally got through that comprehensive article. I agree 100% that Honus Wagner is the best SS ever. I never thought otherwise. I think the Arky Vaughn is still debatable, but fair either way.

As for the 3B evaluations. Cliff seemed to be very conservative in projecting where A-Rod will place historically. He labeled A-Rod's peak season at age 24. By watching this year I think we can all see A-Rod has re-established his "peak". But I think A-Rod will easily rank above Santo and Baker. Cliff put a lot of emphasis on quantity of time spent as a 3B, but he did predict A-Rod wil play 13 years at 3rd. Thats not too shabby. Gehirg only played 14 full seasons and no one has a problem calling him the best 1B. I think 13 good years at 3rd for A-Rod will put him ahead of all except Schmidt. But still I think he has a chance to challenge Schmidt if he sticks around that long. Lets not forget that George Brett played over 900 games as a 1B and DH. So if A-Rod does play 13 seasons he will have played more games at 3rd than Brett and I think most believe he is a better player than Brett was. Including George Brett himself.

The article was very well researched and supported by solid facts, but I think it was also very conservative with A-Rod's ability and did not consider seasons like he is having this year or even his 2005 season.

2007-09-07 08:51:08
47.   Mattpat11
So, what are we rooting for this weekend in Detroit?
2007-09-07 08:51:36
48.   Chyll Will
'Stand By Yer Man', Five Easy Pieces, it's all good >;)
2007-09-07 08:51:58
49.   NJYankee41
46 Not 1 , I meant 19
2007-09-07 08:52:30
50.   monkeypants
8 OPS+ adjusts for context--Ruth and Gehrig were among the greatest ever, segregation or not.

0 Yep, for two or three glorious seasons Mucer was one hell of a player. His overall career was not too shabby either. Sort of an OF version of Mattingly.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-09-07 08:55:10
51.   Mattpat11
This classic game was A-Rod's 5th career walk off HR.

I think he has 5 this year.

2007-09-07 08:55:59
52.   Mike from Hoboken
47 A typhoon that forces both the Tigers and the Mariners to cram three makeup games into the last days of the season.
2007-09-07 08:56:29
53.   thurmtheman
30 On SportCenter Gammons just reported that Jacoby Ellsbury just passed Coco Crisp as greatest CF ever
2007-09-07 08:56:40
54.   monkeypants
46 I'm not sure he'll realistically be able to challenge Schmidt for career 3B. Schmidt's career OPS+ was 147, A-Rod's is currently 148 including 5 years at or better than that as a SS. In other words, A-Rod has been a somewhat lesser hitter as a 3B than SS, and he will only get older and post declining (albeit great) numbers. And we can't forget about defense--Schmidt was outstanding by all accounts.
2007-09-07 09:02:54
55.   NJYankee41
54 I don't think he will catch Schmidt either, but players stay in prime condition much longer these days and A-Rod could be driving in 120 runs when he's 40. The only thing that I see preventing it is Schmidt's defense was so good. But as for the others, I don't think A-Rod will have a problem passing them. Its all subjective, but thats what makes baseball so great to discuss.
2007-09-07 09:03:52
56.   JoeInRI
[53}What about Karim Garcia?
2007-09-07 09:04:49
57.   Mattpat11
53 And then went on to reiterate that Beckett didn't have blisters this year. It was a 'defective baseball"

Just in case anyone forgot.

2007-09-07 09:16:37
58.   monkeypants
55 "Its all subjective..."

Even better, it's much subjective, but backed up with more statistical data than other sports can usually generate. Like the discipline of history, baseball analysis walks the line between literature/aesthetics/rhetoric and a stricter empiricism...and I love talking about it and debating it.

2007-09-07 09:21:07
59.   Bama Yankee
53 No one, not Jacoby Dinglebury, not Coco Chanel, could ever cover more Fenway grass in a short amount of time like Karim Garcia on his way to a bullpen scuffle...
2007-09-07 09:23:45
60.   Alex Belth
I think you can say that A Rod was a top five all-time shortstop--maybe even top three, and that when all is said and done, he'll be top ten, even top five third baseman, depending on how long he plays the position.
2007-09-07 09:25:29
61.   dianagramr
53 59

thanks for the chuckle ....

2007-09-07 09:41:00
62.   Mike T
46 Speaking of Honus Wagner, I read today that one of his baseball cards went for $2.8 million at auction just recently.
2007-09-07 09:54:12
63.   williamnyy23
8 The integration issue is really a red herring in this discussion. OPS+ compares players to their era, so the fact that talented black ball players weren't included doesn't distort the comparison (i.e., every other hitter didn't face the same pitchers Ruth/Gehrig avoided because of the color line).
2007-09-07 10:00:02
64.   williamnyy23
18 I think too many Yankee fans have thin skin when it comes to ESPN. Everyone else in the country think the WWL pumps up the Yankees.

Also, while Law was harsh with Hughes (I think he was accurate in his assessment for that one game), he has been a big booster of both him and Chamberlain, the latter even more so.

Hughes is pitching off of two significant one should be surprised that he isn't throwing nearly a well as he has and will in the future. You don't have to be anti-Yankee to point that out.

2007-09-07 10:03:55
65.   JL25and3
59 Who?
2007-09-07 10:09:41
66.   spufi2007
Re: ESPN, ya gotta realize that as they are located in the God-forsaken place of Bristol, Connecticut (Keith Olbermann's words), probably 90% of their employees are Red Sox fans. Knowing that a zillion sports fans would die to work there, they don't pay diddly-squat -- so everyone they hire is local. But, at least we know what to expect.

Totally agree that they pander to the lowest common denominator (e.g., Peyton Manning was a total loser until the Colts won a Super Bowl).

2007-09-07 10:10:56
67.   Sliced Bread
64 you also don't have to be a smug-ass dick about things when evaluating a young pitcher, however heralded he may be.

And my skin's thick enough for ESPN, it's my bowels that can't handle their noise. Sorry, can't watch, read, or listen. Doctor's orders.

Subscribe to Law et al all you wish, but their expert opinions ain't worth a thin dime to me.

While Hughes was struggling in the 3rd(?) the other night, I expressed my hope here that he could make it through 5, hoping Joe would give both Joba and Mo 2 innings. But Hughes stuck it out for 6, contained their bats, and gave the Yanks enough time to break out the bats. That's all any reasonable fan or baseball analyst should expect from a kid. He's going to get better. Keep watching him Keith Law.

2007-09-07 10:20:53
68.   williamnyy23
67 I think you've taken Law's analysis too personally, but that's your prerogative. I watched Hughes closely and didn't come away feeling very good about his performance. Had he faced a more disciplined team and not benefited from a few nice plays and fortunate calls, it could have been another 5IP 4-5R outing. Results don't always equate to stuff.
2007-09-07 10:22:02
69.   Chyll Will
59 I found documented proof of that, by the way:

2007-09-07 10:28:27
70.   Sliced Bread
67 nothing personal against Law et al, just business.

As for your disenchantment with Phil's performance "Had he faced..." "could have been..." whatever. He contained the Yankees closest rival for the wild card, did a better job than Clemens and Mussina combined. Mission accomplished. Get over "had he faced... could have been." You might enjoy yourself a little more.

Oh, and results don't always equate to stuff. Yes, just as stuff doesn't always equate to wins. I'll take wins (even though it was Joba's) over stuff any day.

2007-09-07 10:31:49
71.   Yankee Fan In Boston
69 i am almost ashamed at how excited i was to see what was on the other side of that link.
2007-09-07 10:46:15
72.   tommyl
46 I agree, that Cliff seems to have predicted a much more downward trend for A-Rod than he has shown since that article was written. It'll be interesting to see, but if he finishes up with 3000 hits and the all time HR record, that's pretty damn good to me.
2007-09-07 10:47:22
73.   Chyll Will
71 If you'd read my comics, you would've known better >;)
2007-09-07 10:48:43
74.   Bama Yankee
69 That's a nice read, here's more:
2007-09-07 11:02:29
75.   Chyll Will
74 You should ask Alex to write a foward; hopefully he'll give that some serious consideration >;)
2007-09-07 11:03:24
76.   Zack
70 Sliced, I think you are arguing two different points. Yes, Hughes was gutsy and pitched a QS etc, and we will all take that every time out. But what Law/William are talking about is the pitches themselves compared to what Hughes can/was capable of. I agree that all that matters is the result and that Hughes is doing fine, but I also agree with William that its certainly well short of what Hughes SHOULD be doing. I think where Law went afoul is his comments about his FB not being good enough etc. His analysis of Hughes' planting and babying of his leg is proof of what we have all sort of known: Hughes is still bothered, at least mentally, by that leg injury. For a pitcher like him, that kind of injury can really sap power and control.

But Law never really takes the next step, which is to say, this is a fixable issue (probably the offseason) that mostly comes with starting to trust his legs again. Remember, it was a curve, not a FB, that caused him to pop the hammy, and the curve hasn't been nearly as sharp (though better last game). Until Hughes feels comfortable taking his full stride and pushing off and planting hard again, this is the Hughes we will see.

The ridiculous thing is, even clearly not 100%, Hughes throws as hard as Buchholz and has been using only 2 pitches with a tiny k zone, whereas Buchholz has been using all his pitches, had the benefit of a ginormous k zone, is 2 years older, and still only throws 90-93. But yet he has "#1 stuff." Thats where Law goes wrong (though he doesn't bring up Buchholz there)

ric, did you read that, I mentioned a Sox?

2007-09-07 11:04:20
77.   AbbyNormal821
74 It's like a Brothers Grimm fairy tale gone astray!


2007-09-07 11:11:47
78.   Chyll Will
77 Direct that, Rob Zombie...
2007-09-07 11:16:21
79.   williamnyy23
70 If you are only interested in enjoying yourself, that's fine. Just don't pass it off as objective analysis. Otherwise, you can't ignore external factors like circumstances in the game.
2007-09-07 11:18:44
80.   williamnyy23
76 Law has consistently rated Hughes higher than Buchholz, so I do't think you can blame him there.
2007-09-07 11:31:33
81.   Sliced Bread
76 Very well done, Zack. How can I subscribe to your "insider" analysis?!
I'm seeing exactly the same things in Phil through my fanboy rose-colored shades (here's lookin' at you, William!). Good job pointing out where Law went astray, as opposed to me crudely dusting him off as a "smug-ass dick."

Through my fanboy rose-colored microscope (Outta my way, Keith!) I see a kid who had zip on his fastball, a better than servicable curve despite our knowledge that it has been sharper. I see a kid that is poised, intelligent, competitive, improving, and despite his recovery from a serious injury, showing flashes of brilliance to come.
That doesn't pass for compelling reading at ESPN, now does it? Better to be smug and skeptical about the Yankee young gun.

As for what Phil should be doing now, he's doing it. He's improving. What more can we ask of him?

2007-09-07 11:41:51
82.   Sliced Bread
79 I was just offering friendly advice that might help you enjoy yourself more, William.

Am I only interested in enjoying myself? No, I'm also interested in discovering the cure to all that ails mankind, but it looks as though young Buchholz has beaten me to the punch.

How objective of me to have noticed, don'cha think?

2007-09-07 11:43:39
83.   OldYanksFan
And how does a stats minded person who wasn't alive in 1950 adjust for the issues of the days of the 1920s and 1930s?

My feeling is the + stats are basically comparisons to comtemporaries, with 'adjustments' for time, stadium and other factors. Did you know Managers were initially hired to do bed checks and try to keep their players sober enough to play the next day?

There were sone 'great' players then, but many average guys, able to scratch out a living by playing baseball. Either that, or work in the mines or on the farm.

These adjustments are best/educated guesses that could be close or way off. Ruth was 3 times greater then his comtemporaries, but many of his comtemporaries sucked.

Many games were played in rectangular fields, where LF and RF were less then 250' and CF was 500'. Ever see an outfielders glove from 1930? 15 hour bus and train trips? MASSIVE alchohol consumption? All white players? How do you adjust for that? Which way?

I like to see Ruth stand toe-to-toe with Mantle, Mays, Williams, Aaron, Bonds and many others. It's just my feeling that the amazing numbers that Ruth (and Gehrig) amassed were misleading in comparison to todays atheletes.

How many sports have records held by people who played in the 1930's? What are the oldest Olympic records? Most people agree that training, money, support and other factors make todays athletes better then those in the past.

Like I said, it's a personal feeling. But just saying that stats are 'adjusted' and accept them as gospel is silly. There is still argument from people today, about stats for people playing today, that many stats are not accurate portrayals. You want to 'adjust' for factors of 70 years ago by people who had no idea was the real issues were 70 years ago?

Adjustments aren't facts. They are simply the agreed upon 'best guess'.

2007-09-07 11:45:27
84.   yankz
OPS+ compares you to your peers. Ruth and Gehrig were consistently light years ahead of their peers. It's not like they petitioned to keep black people out of baseball.
2007-09-07 11:46:20
85.   williamnyy23
81 Your assessment isn't that different from Law's. If you read his report, he keeps comparing Hughes on Wednesday to Hughes in the past. In other words, he is squarely attributing Hughes' recent struggles and less than overly impressive stuff to his injury. He isn't being smug or skeptical, but rather pointing out what many of us should hope is true...that the Hughes we are seeing now is nowhere close to what he can/will become.
2007-09-07 12:05:56
86.   williamnyy23
83 I don't understand the point you are trying to make. Adjusted stats tell you how a good a player was compared to his peers versus how good another player was versus his. It allows you to make apples to apples comparisons. Otherwise, you'd also have to answer whether Arod would hit as well if he had to take trains cross country, swing less refined bats, play mostly day games, work in the off season instead of engage in his infamous work out routine, etc.

As you can see, qualifications can be placed on any era. That's why adjusted stats are a valuable tool for making comparisons across eras. I think you are dismissing them too flippantly.

2007-09-07 12:10:07
87.   williamnyy23
82 I already enjoy myself very much, but thanks for looking out. That doesn't mean I am not able to differentiate between rooting and objectively analyzing the team I am watching. In fact, I think my ability to do both allows me to enjoy the team more, not to mention not get bent out of shape over what media types think about the team.
2007-09-07 12:31:58
88.   Sliced Bread
87 bent outta shape? I'm upright, and limber, bro. Ready to enjoy tonight's game. But you go ahead and objectively analyze all you see, to yer heart's content. Weeee!
2007-09-07 12:34:48
89.   williamnyy23
88 I guess using terms like "smug-ass dick" and ranting about Law's credentials made me think you were bent out of shape, but perhaps you were just enjoying yourself.
2007-09-07 12:37:55
90.   Sliced Bread
89 I'm enjoying this pleasant exchange, but I imagine our fellow Banterers are not. Alas, the last word is all yours, William.

Batter up!

2007-09-07 12:55:04
91.   Chyll Will
90 (your imagination is indeed keen...) :'
2007-09-07 13:04:09
92.   yankz
91 I think I get it, in which case, ew.
2007-09-07 13:21:19
93.   AbbyNormal821
90 I just like the 'banter' between you & William because every once in a while, you give me an awesome new potty-mouthed phrase to use. Trust me, I will definitely use the term "smug-ass dick" at some point this weekend! thank you!

2007-09-07 13:24:22
94.   Chyll Will
92 Umm, no you don't get it...
2007-09-07 13:30:28
95.   JoeInRI
Can't we all just get along . . .

93 I knew a guy named Dick Smugass . . . though we pronounced it Smooogahs

2007-09-07 13:37:54
96.   Chyll Will
95 Voluntarily?
2007-09-07 13:52:07
97.   Chyll Will
2007-09-07 14:34:18
98.   Schteeve
1) If I were a fan of the Royals, I'd be more pissed off at ESPN than I am as a Yankee fan. Coverage of the Yankees and Red Sox dominates ESPN, no other team comes close.

Has ESPN decided to cast the Yankees as the "Bad Guy" and the Sox (and the rest of baseball) as the "Good Guys?" Yes, I think so to some extent. But that's understandable. Sports journalism isn't journalism, it's entertainment. It needs to have a story line, it needs to have drama between the games or else, there is no need for ESPN. So I understand why ESPN does the stupid unwatchable crap they do. Because to a LOT of people, it's not crap and it's not unwatchable.

To sports purists, it's a bastardization, but the majority of the sports watching public are far from purists, and are not particularly enlightened. Which is why guys like Joe Morgan are paid ridiculously well to talk about manufacturing runs, and momentum, and clogging the bases, and being gritty and have never heard of EQA or WARP3. It's just the way it is.

2) As for A-Rod. Not one of us here has any idea whether or not he's going to stay, or what factors will really influence his decisions, materially.

What we are doing, is specualting in an effort to manage our own expectations. I suspect the people who say "He's gone" are doing that so if it happens they will have already come to terms with it, and if it doesn't they'll be pleasantly surprised.

The others who say, "he's going to stay," are cockeyed optimists who are projecting what they believe should happen to become what they believe will happen.

Nobody knows, so as far as I'm concerned, I'm going to sit back and watch what happens over a couple of cold ones. And hope that he stays.

2007-09-07 15:40:53
99.   Sliced Bread
90 Guess I'll take a crack at the last word, William: Sorry.
I apologize for getting under your skin, and bringing down our Banter being a smug-ass dick myself.

Got home a little while ago, and had to drag a deer carcass off my lawn. I think it was one of the young bucks I watched locking antlers with his buddy, cuz, or brother a few days ago. In summation, life's too short for bickering. The evidence of that is all around us, and never-ending. Whut up, Jim Dean!

I actually enjoy your company here, even if we don't see eye to eye. Or maybe we do and don't admit it.

We're both here for the same reason. To banter about our favorite team, and our favorite game with our gentlemen hosts, and other bright, spirited, and civilized baseball fans.

At the risk of you over-analyzing my motives (objectively, of course) I'd offer to metaphorically "hug it out" but hopefully that's not necessary, and my simple apology will suffice.

Now, let's go Yankees!

2007-09-07 16:33:42
100.   OldYanksFan
86 "As you can see, qualifications can be placed on any era. That's why adjusted stats are a valuable tool for making comparisons across eras. I think you are dismissing them too flippantly."

Really? OK. Tell me just HOW they adjust across eras. What numbers get adjusted , and by how much because of what factors. Then we can discuss it. OK? Convince me.

If a player has a 1.000 OPS and the rest of the league is at .800, he has approx. a 1.250 OPS+. However, if the rest of the league is at .900, he has approx. a 1.111 OPS + (for the same 1.000 OPS). Therefore, for the EXACT same performance, OPS+ is dependent on the competition. Lesser competition makes for better OPS+. I think many players in the old days were mailing it in. I think the competition was much less.

Take away Mays, Aaron, Clemente, Stan the Man, Killebrew and a number of others, and Mantle's OPS+ are now higher.

ARod plays against a LOT of well trained, well motivated players. There are many more PLUS players now then 70 years ago.

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