Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Paying Tribute to the Best

When Barry Bonds registered his 756th HR, all the baseball analysts, from ESPN, to USA Today couldn't help themselves by trying to be the first to proclaim that Bonds is the greatest baseball player of all-time.

Those that make that claim, in my opinion have no perspective on the game. Machine made balls, watered down pitching through league expansion and lowered mounds, shorter ballparks, body armor, failure to produce in the playoffs, the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs, and piss poor defensive skills to name just a few are enough reasons to remove Bonds from the all-time conversation in my view. If that doesn't do it for you, as you'll soon see below, I can give you more reasons as to why he may be, just barely, in the top 20 of all-time in less than 10 years.

Pinstripe's conclusion: He's not the best player of all-time, not even close. Here's who I think is, or who should be in the mix of consideration:

Pinstripe Postings' Greatest Player of All-Time List
(post-1900, non-pitchers)
  1. Willie Mays (12 Gold Gloves, .302, 660 HRs, and 3,283 hits)
  2. Babe Ruth (1,100 fewer ABs than Bonds, threw a no-hitter, changed the game of baseball)
  3. Hank Aaron (if you were to subtract out his HRs, he's still a member of the 3,000 hit club)
  4. Ty Cobb (4,156 Hits, .366, batted .420 in one season)
  5. Lou Gehrig (.340, 493 HRs, 2AL MVPs, Triple Crown in only 16 seasons)
  6. Ted Williams (missed 4 seasons due to WWII and still regiesterd 521 HRs a career avg of .344, 2 Triple Crowns, 2 AL MVPs, and hit above .400 three times)
  7. Stan Musial (3,630 Hits, 475 HRs, in a 9 year stretch led the league in batting 6 times. 3 NL MVPs)
  8. Pete Rose (4,256 Hits, .303, 2 Gold Gloves, NL MVP, WS MVP)
  9. Joe DiMaggio (Missed 4 seasons due to WWII, 56 Game hitting streak, had a lot of sex with Marilyn Monroe)
  10. Carl Yastrzemski, Tris Speaker, Mickey Mantle, George Sisler ..et al...
As far as active players and their possibility to enter into the all-time conversation, here's how it might play out for a few. (assuming they play to age 40, which some will play more if they stay healthy, those that don't, will retire earlier and obviously would fall short of projections):
  • Ken Griffey Jr. (724 HRs)
  • Alex Rodriguez (866 HRs, 3,600 Hits)
  • Derek Jeter (3,900 Hits including Mariah Carey and Jessica Biel)
  • Albert Pujols (844 HRs, 3,900 Hits, current career .avg .331)
  • Vlad Guerrero (699 HRs, career .avg 325)
  • Todd Helton (530 HRs, 3,200 Hits, career .avg .330)
At the end of the day, A-Rod and Pujols have the potential to take the Greatest of All-Time mantle - I only hope they continue or accelerate their pace, to get Bonds out of the news and get the players who do it right back to center stage where they belong.


Post Script: Yanks set for a three game mix up with Cleveland. These next 20 games in 21 days will more than determine whether or not the Bombers will get a chance to play for title number 27.

11 comments:

old professor said...

Now that the record is out of the way, maybe the grand jury will finish its work and indict the criminal for perjury. No one can be surprised with a San Francisco Grand Jury holding off on indicting him. It would have raised hell in the city.

The Yankees have eight games with Detroit and three games with Cleveland over the next couple of weeks. Those eleven games will determine the Yankees fate. They will need better efforts from Wang and Hughes over that stretch.

Anonymous said...

In addition to the Detroit and Cleveland series, its followed by Baltimore (who has had their number all season long), LAA (who has had their number for the better part of a decade), and the Bo Sox the last week of August.

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention Andy Pettite as one of Jeter's hits.

I applaud your choice of Willie Mays as the #1 player of all time, however I think you shorted Mantle and I am stunned by it.

Anonymous said...

anyone care about Ozzie Smith? or Lou Brock?

CrashDavis said...

I can't believe you have Pete Rose on that list, let alone above the likes of DiMaggio. Then you put Mantle in the same class as Yaz. Possibly the worse list I've ever seen...no wait it IS THE worse list I have ever seen.

Middle Relief said...

How can you question the all-time leader in hits? Has any active player even gotten close to him? Its a solid record, and is a top 10 maker.

Mantle was the best player for a 4 year stretch. His last 4 seasons, primarily due to injuries and alcohol abuse watered down his career stats and his legacy.

As far as your questioning of Yaz, when was the last time someone won the triple crown??

I think at the end of the day you are just astonished at my superior baseball knowledge and are just lashing out... its OK, its not your fault.

Middle Relief said...

One more thing on Pete Rose - why is his record so great? Look how far away active players are from his record. The closes is Craig Biggio, and he's about 1,100 hits shy.

There are only two players that have a shot at it, and its a stretch at best (Jeter and Pujols).

Now that I think about it, I may move Rose up even higher on the list.

CrashDavis said...

Why doesn't you're list include any pitchers? Why not include Cy Young and his 511. He has 94 wins more than the #2 guy and 159 more than any active pitcher (Clemens) Including Rose who was essentially a stat monger for a singles hitter, you seem to have such a deep admiration for this bum and his 4,256 hits. To achieve this he only had to play in the most games ever...by anyone.

Bottom line is Rose doesn't deserve in the top 50 let alone top 10. I would put about 50 current players ahead of Rose.

57 said...

Good point, Crash. Having no pitchers on this list is like going to a strip club with the women are fully clothed... it just does not fit.

Anonymous said...

Pete Rose was a thug.

Mid Relief said...

I"m not sure which one of you is dumber, crash or 57.

I specifically said the list excludes pitchers. The reason is it is a different comparison. The list will be comparing pitchers soon enough.

So pipe down, and just come to grips with the fact that I am right about Pete Rose and his top 10 greatness.

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