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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. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member

    Whether he can help it or not, it is OBVIOUS he did not play against even close to the best competition he could have.

    He was a fat-fuck, Craig Stadler clone for chrissakes.
  2. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Buck, I wish I could answer the question. It could be 30 percent cheating, 50 percent cheating or 90 percent cheating. That is what sucks about this. You can't distinguish between the cheaters and the guys with integrity, and you can't know for sure how prevalent it is. It's a guessing game, which takes the fun out of baseball to an extent, because you can't trust anybody.

    We are just going to disagree on the gravity of it, though (not in terms of it being a life or death thing--it isn't and I actually don't care much if a guy chooses to inject himself full of things--but in terms of the impact this cheating is having relative to baseball's past). I am not arguing that baseball has a clean history of fair play. I will argue that the effect PEDs have had on baseball's records has been far more dramatic than those instances of guys trying to get around the rules you are comparing it to. It's no coincidence that the single-season HR record stood at 60/61 for more than 70 years and then was busted wide open by multiple players in the same season (McGwire and Sosa), got passed several times over a few years, and finally was shattered by one guy (Bonds). Then add in the players who weren't necessarily breaking records, but have Hall of Fame worthy numbers (Palmiero) and it is frustrating for many people. Was Palmeiro a Hall of Famer without cheating? Why should we have to make that distinction? Is it fair to a guy who had just as much talent, but chose not to use steroids and as a result didn't put up the same numbers?
  3. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    No. He wasn't.

    Not for most of his career, he wasn't.

    And I already addressed the color barrier issue. Ruth could only play under the same circumstances as everyone else in his era, and he dominated the fuck out of the rest of the league. Moreso than anyone has before or since.

    Don't try to revise history by demanding that he can't be the best because he didn't play against black players or fly to the West Coast or face specialized relief pitchers.

    And if you think that Ruth as a ballplayer wouldn't have adapted favorably to this era or any other, well, that's just laughable.
  4. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    did aaron's feet grow two and a half sizes? that could have explained a lot.
  5. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member

    Sheer apologism.

    Yes, you MUST take away for him cooking up numbers against guys, who with full integration, would have been pitching in Double-A.

    That you don't..... is fucking mind-blowing.
  6. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    you are sportsbra's little brother.
  7. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    But my point is ... we never could.

    And it's not just about cheating. When has baseball ever been pure? When has baseball ever had integrity? The record that Bonds is chasing, the one that Aaron set, was taken from a guy who hit 714 home runs while no one of color was allowed to participate. I mean, it boggles the mind. Is that integrity? I think we can both agree that cheating is not a more sickening offense than that.

    But look at it this way:

    Maybe nobody will ever again come close to these home run numbers, and we'll all look back and feel let down that everything was so skewed for a short, somewhat undefined period of time in the 1990s and 2000s. Yeah, cheating has a lot to do with it -- but so does expansion, so does insanely smaller ballparks, so does a league full of 6-4, 220 cookie-cutter pitchers who supply half the power, and so on and so forth ...

    But it's pretty fair to say that nobody will ever again come close to the pitching numbers of the 1900s and 1910s. Nobody will ever finish with a 1.82 career ERA, nobody will ever have 511 wins or 110 shutouts. We can't even imagine anyone in our lifetimes putting up those type of numbers.

    So, too, might we look at 73 home runs or 800 (or whatever A-Rod and Pujols end up with), and say the same thing, years later. Is it really that much different?

    Maybe it goes back to the degree thing, I don't know. But I just think we're all going to look back and take these numbers for what they are: artificially inflated, a product of their time, and not to be taken as a serious benchmark for modern-day players to hope to achieve.
  8. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Did they have gold gloves back then? I never saw him play in person and doubt any of us here did as well either.

    I have read though about his grace.

    369 Ks and 361 HRs

    Yes, I think a 56 game hit streak and the K/HR numbers do merit a little bit of a man crush.
  9. zagoshe

    zagoshe Well-Known Member

    Imagine if Bonds played in a watered-down league where 40 percent of the talent pool was excluded because they had the wrong color skin or hailed from the wrong country. That's what Ruth did.
  10. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    With full integration? And what exactly does that mean?

    How do you propose that system would have worked in the 1920s? Or, hell, I'll make it easy on you: Let's just stick with baseball. What would baseball have been like with full integration in the 1920s?

    I'll have this discussion with you. But first, I need you to tell me what kind of parameters we're setting here, for "taking away" from Ruth.

    Because if you're going to discount him for integration, then shouldn't you also discount him for not playing night games? And West Coast expansion? And traveling by planes? And fresh hard-throwing specialists in late innings?

    Every era is different; that's the point.

    You can't say "discount Ruth because he didn't face black pitchers" unless you're also going to say "discount Bonds because he didn't have to play doubleheaders or ride all-night trains." It works both ways.

    Personally, I think we should take away enough homers to stick Babe at 659, just to put him behind three black men, you know? Yeah, that'll make Judge Landis roll over in his grave. A twin killing. :D
  11. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Buck, to say "baseball has never been pure," will never cut it with me. You're correct. It also misses the point for me. Show me anything in baseball's history that has had nearly the effect on player performance that performance enhancing drugs has (you might try, but I am not likely to be convinced because I have thought this through). We'll have to agree to disagree. As I said, to me it's the difference between jaywalking and armed robbery. Both illegal, but for me not comparable. The way I am reading you, you are lumping in the jaywalker or the guy who steals a candy bar with the guy who robs at bank teller at gunpoint. I don't consider what they did the same way. Most people make those distinctions, I believe.

    I'll agree that we can't know how prevalent cheating is. I can't tell if that legitimizes it in your eyes. But for me, the fact that I have to look at EVERYONE with suspicion now has sullied my enjoyment of the game. I also think about the guy who is being left in the dust because he has the integrity to play within the rules, or the guy stuck in the minor leagues because a lesser talent willing to cheat with PEDs has taken his spot. To me that is shitty and rewards the wrong kinds of things. There's just nothing about guys using PEDs that is worth celebrating for me. And if I know a guy used, he is going to lose most of his credibility with me. In the case of Bonds, he is under a microscope because he is about to break the record. We know with good certainty that he used. We know that he lies about it. We also know he was a great player before he likely started using. For me that makes me respect him even less. He didn't *have* to use. Yet, his ego (just guessing and adding things together from the words of others more intimate with him) couldn't handle McGwire and Sosa, so rather than being content to do it fairly and be one of the best players ever, he decided to cheat to make himself THE best. Well, I am not willing to give him that status, because he cheated to get it.
  12. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Yes. That's one side of it.

    The other side is: Imagine if Ruth got to play in a league where no center field fence was farther than 420 feet away, where one team's ballpark was 5,280 feet above sea level, where he was allowed to wear batting helmets and shin/elbow/wrist/hand guards for every plate appearance, where he had on-demand video services to study his last at-bat between innings, etc., etc., etc. That's what Bonds did.

    Ruth had "unfair" advantages because of the era he played in. Bonds has "unfair" advantages playing in his. You can't dismiss one and not the other.
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