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Like him or not, he is the best ever

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by creamora, May 17, 2007.

  1. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    It's so hard to compare players from different eras.

    Babe Ruth can't help the fact that he didn't hit against black pitchers any more than Barry Bonds can help the fact that he didn't have to play a dozen doubleheaders every season. Ruth didn't have to go to the West Coast, but Bonds didn't have to ride on trains. Ruth didn't have to play on turf, but Bonds didn't have to hit to a 483-foot center field at the Polo Grounds.

    What makes much more sense is comparing a player to his peers -- because they all competed under the same conditions, the same circumstances. Every other player from 1914-35 had to play in the same situation as Ruth, and every other player from 1986-2007 has had to face the same situations as Bonds.

    Bonds has certainly dominated his era, the greatest player of his generation. He's up there with Cobb, Aaron and Mays as the greatest players of all time. Ruth, however, was not only the greatest position player of his generation -- he was also the best left-handed pitcher in the American League for a half-decade. There can be no question.
  2. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    God yes, and it's not even a discussion. Peak or career, hitting or fielding, running or throwing, you name it. Oh yeah, he's up there.

    Everybody remembers him as an old man shuffling around the bases after he hit No. 715, but he was also the best right fielder in the league outside of Clemente. And the best speed-power combination in the league outside of Mays. And the most dangerous line-drive hitter of all time, with the quickest wrists. A two-time batting champion who never struck out more than 100x in a season. A 4x home-run champion. A 4x RBI champion. A 4x doubles champion and an 8x total bases champion. Aaron could do it all.

    He doesn't get his due because he played most of his career in Milwaukee, and the end of it in Atlanta.

    But he was every bit as good as Mays (and for just as long), a slight step ahead of the too-often-injured Mantle, and a Secretariat's pace ahead of his contemporaries Clemente, Robinson, McCovey, Kaline, Yaz, et al.

    Aaron's name is up there with Ruth, Mays, Cobb and Bonds as the greatest all-around players of all time. No on-the-fence about it.
  3. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    It's been stated here before. The Babe played many, many times on the barnstorming circuit against the top black players. And guess what - he belted the shit out of balls thrown by those pitchers too. He very likely went deep off Satchel Paige. If he pitched against black hitters, it's probable he would have struck some of them out. Name one - just one - other player of any colour, from ANY era, who was equally dominant at the plate and on the mound. There wasn't one. There had never been one before, and there never will be again.

    There's a new book that theorizes Ruth would have hit more than 100 home runs in some seasons if he had been playing under today's rules and on today's fields, which are substantially smaller than a lot of the parks of yesteryear. As buckweaver points out, Ruth probably hit a ton of balls to deep centre at the Polo Grounds (the Yankees' home field until 1923) that either went for doubles or fly outs. They'd be over the fence in any ballpark today.


    The author further speculates his career total could easily have topped 1,100 homers. Hey, if you add up all of the barnstorming homers and add them to his MLB numbers, Ruth might have reached 1,100 anyway. And he didn't have to resort to the cream or the clear or the andro or whatever the fuck else Barely Bawnds has ingested over the past x number of years.

    P.S. Here are some other numbers of the Babe's that Barely Bawnds will never sniff, let alone touch:

    Career batting average - .342 (10th all-time)
    Career slugging percentage - .690 (1st)
    Career on-base percentage - .474 (2nd)
    Career ERA - 2.28 (15th)

    Swallow that, creamamushroomsoup.
  4. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    They did? Looking at Bonds' career, and taking into account when he likely started to use PEDs, in any given year he was good for 25 to 42 HRs, with one 46 HR season in 1993 before reverting back to some years in the 30s. Not everyone in baseball used and bulked up the extent Bonds did in 2000, 2001 and beyond. So not everyone played under the same circumstances. Why should his 73 HRs, which is not indicative of what he could do before he started cheating, be celebrated more than the guy who hit 38 HRs (what Bonds did in a typical season) naturally?
  5. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    you are jvd, aren't you. your IQ levels seem to be on par.
  6. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    he was not a solid left fielder. the only thing bonds did well in the field during his prime was cut balls off in the gap. that was it.
  7. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    I'm talking about the era -- the pitchers, the parks, the balls, the conditions. You're talking about cheating.

    Sorry, but baseball has no credibility on that front.

    If we're going to single out cheaters, then shouldn't we make the same argument about Gaylord Perry? Did Whitey Ford not play in the same era as his peers? Did Ty Cobb? Of course they did. And baseball -- which has always, always turned a blind eye toward cheaters, chemically enhanced or otherwise -- celebrates those guys all the same.

    Absolutely, Barry Bonds played under the same circumstances as everyone else. And the fact is, all (offensive) numbers from the last decade-plus are inflated. But they still happened, like it or not.

    As time passes, and as we learn more, the court of public opinion will decide at what level to "celebrate" these numbers from the Steroid Era, Bonds included. I'm sure we'll always take them with a grain of salt. But it doesn't mean he wasn't the best of his generation ... flawed though it was.
  8. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    buck - gaylord was an oily human being. there is a big difference dog.
  9. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Buck, We've been through this before. Comparing Bonds to Gaylord Perry is like comparing a jaywalker to an armed robber. They're both wrong, but they don't have the same impact on baseball. Also, Gaylord Perry was one of a handful of guys scuffing up the ball (it wasn't more prevalent, because the benefit wasn't nearly as great as it is for using PEDs for most players). You are much better off having a low 90s fastball and a nasty offspead pitch than you are having vaseline hidden on your cap.

    Bonds is not just one of a handful. The majority of players might have been/be using PEDs. But my point was, Bonds wasn't playing under the "same circumstances" as everyone else. There still were players choosing to play within the rules. Bonds, however, was injecting himself full of all kinds of things and bulking up to an unnatural extreme. His statistics reflect that. He was a great player who suddenly turned into a superhuman player at an age when most guys start to decline. To the guy not injecting himself full of banned chemicals, Bonds was not playing under the same circumstances, so I took issue with that characterization. Bonds was making his own rules. Why should I celebrate Bonds superhuman numbers--achieved extralegally--and not the legitimate, but lesser numbers, of a guy who chose to play within the rules?
  10. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    and really, what precedent is a guy shooting himself full of chemicals setting for those who are playing by the rules?

    i mean really, did guys such as bret boone feel the need to keep up with the jones?
  11. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    Let me preface this by saying I don't see Barry Bonds as the best player ever, either, even if you don't hold the steroid use against him. He just was not as dominant in his era as Ruth was in his. Not to mention the whole pitching thing. And just like Ruth did not have to face black players, he also did not get the opportunity to hit in the smaller ballparks of today and against a talent pool watered down by expansion.

    Take a look on baseballreference.com some time. See just how large the difference was between Ruth and the others of his era.

    BUT...Tom, you absolutely are not giving Bonds enough credit for his defensive prowess in his prime. Yes, his arm was below average. That is why the Pirates moved him to left field and slid Andy Van Slyke over from right to center.

    But in terms of range and the ability to make the spectacular and routine plays, he was a great defensive outfielder. He even learned to make up for the relatively weak throwing arm with accuracy and a quick release. Yes, he made a shit thow in the 1992 NLCS. He sucked at a lot of things in the playoffs.

    The best I can compare him to is a young Andruw Jones without as many dumb lapses in concentration. He would play very shallow, thus turning balls that would drop for singles into outs, because he could get back on the ball so quickly.

    Hate him all you want, but at least give the guy his due.
  12. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    Everyone's entitled to their opinion, even if it's wrong.
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