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Jayson Stark's Most Over-rated/Under-rated list

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by PhilaYank36, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Agree, Michael. Koufax's six best years were his last six, and his whole career was essentially only nine years (his first three years, ages 19-21, he wasn't a full-time starter). So Stark is essentially giving more credence to three less-impressive years than six dominant years to craft an "overrated" argument.
  2. Any overrated list that does not contain Joe DiMaggio is not worthy of my time.
    Misty water-colored memories of aging New York sportswriters have hyped this guy beyond all recall. On the best day he ever played, he was half of what Willie Mays was on an average afternoon.
  3. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    First, Stark's lying. This book isn't at all about about why people perceive certain players to better or worse, how we interact with athletes we watch in person or on television...what about them makes more romantic or memorable than other players. That'd be an interesting book.

    This is a book of stats. This is a book that tells us to ignore that Koufax was not merely great for those six years, but that he was iconic. His name was iconic. His unassuming demeanor. His faith. His leadership. All those things made him a kind of Dodger Stadium savant, and when you went to watch the Dodgers on a night he was pitching, you were going to watch Koufax. All you had to say was that last name. It was like going to watch the new "John Wayne" picture. The name was the brand.

    Now I'm sure Stark appreciates that to some extent...he just prefers to cater to the folks who don't give a shit about such things and like to pick apart raw data.
  4. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    1. Most underrated HoF pitcher today is Juan Marichal, no doubt. Back in the 60s, the top NL pitcher list always went Koufax, Marichal, Gibson. Then Roger Angell wrote about Gibson, the 2-3 spots were suddenly reversed. Nothing against Gibson mind you. He was amazing.
    2. FB, I mostly disagree. DiMaggio was Koufax in reverse. He was unbelievable from 1936-41. After World War II, he never quite got back to that level.
  5. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    But Alma, raw data is the issue here. Koufax's stats from 62-66 were historic. So he cut his career short, so what? Nobody says Jim Brown is overrated for doing the same thing. The Ryan debate was ongoing throughout his career, and Jason bringing it up now is perfectly OK. The Koufax thing is so obviously just shit-disturbing for its own sake, I can't take it seriously.
    Also, who ever rated Ron Blomberg one way or the other in the first place?
  6. Graig Nettles is over-rated? By who? I always thought he was adequate - never hit over .300, 37 HRs in 77 - and I still think he is.

    But hell I'd take Howard Johnson over Nettles ...

    I was expecting Schmidt or Brett to be on the list and I'm glad they're not ...
  7. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    My point is that Stark has positioned this book as some kind of analysis as to why we perceive certain players the way we do. If you read the book, it's not that at all. It's number-crunching.

    Lou Brock is another terrific example. Lou Brock's Lou Brock. He stole bases, did it beautifully, was a key cog on some good teams. I mean, does it really fuckin matter what his OPS was, or whether the stolen base is overrated, etc? No.

    The way some of these guys enjoy baseball is akin to enjoying Monet not for the beauty of his paintings, but the efficiency of his brushstrokes.
  8. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Alma, we're in total agreement on your last point.
  9. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    One of the best lines ever on SJ.

    I considered picking this book up last night when I was in the book store. Then I saw that Steve Sax and Ron Blomberg were his nominees at second base and designated hitter, respectively. Credibility lost ... I put it back on the shelf.
  10. He was very believable, in the context of what came before and after him. Since then, his legend has been burnished beyond all reason by people who should have known better. 361 HR's and a .325 lifetime are HOF stats, for sure, but the rest of it -- the "elegance," the "grace" etc. etc. is romantic bullshit, and it's 70 percent of the reason he's on any list of the greatest players of all time.
  11. John

    John Well-Known Member

    Completely agree.
  12. PhilaYank36

    PhilaYank36 Guest

    Stark's reasoning for listing Blomberg as the most over-rated DH is simply because he was the first. His opinion is that the DH position is naturally over-rated because you don't need as many tools to be successful AND if you're a full-time DH, your hitting numbers should be vastly superior to anyone else's b/c that & base running are the only aspects of the game you have to worry about. I think he just pulled names out of a hat for the other O-R DHs, personally.

    But having Sax as your most over-rated 2B? Seriously, are you kidding me? What about Bill Mazeroski or Johnny Evers? They weren't even mentioned anywhere in the book.
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