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View Full Version : the "Who's greater" debate


100backstroke
08-25-2010, 05:11 PM
Cy Young, Mathewson & Johnson have somany Wins, and their win/loss percentage is so high, they must be greater than, say, Nolan Ryan.

Hmmm. Not so fast.

Physiologically, Young, Matty & Johnson DID NOT have superior arms vs. Ryan (or Seaver, or Carlton, or Randy Johnson, etc).

So how did Cy Young amass over 500 wins? Simple - he was able to "save" his arm by not having to use his best stuff to get out a lot of hitters. If Cy Young pitched today, he ABSOLUTELY needs to be hurling his best stuff to all hitters, at all times. He would be crushed if he "laid off" like he was able to do around 1900.

The overall talent level in modern times is so very much closer than ever before.

Conclusion: Stats can start to tell a tale of greatness. But stats can only go so far. Be careful to not read too much into stats. Use Bill James cautiously - as a general guide. How many no-hitters would Nolan Ryan had if he played in the dead ball era? Wow, boggles the mind!

FUBAR
08-25-2010, 05:24 PM
I agree, you cannot compare stats from different eras. Baseball fundamentally is the same, but the game is so much more technical today. it is different in that aspect, and it goes for any sport. Changes in equipment, science, player preparation, etc is all different.

Back in the day, guys would drink and smoke in the dugout!

We can all sit back and wonder .. What if?? but we will never truly know.

JasonL
08-25-2010, 08:25 PM
than it was during the constructive years...
gloves weren't used, a ball could bounce through the strike zone, and the number of balls and strikes moved around over the years. Heck, if I recall correctly what I've read, there was a time where it took nine balls to walk a batter, and a hitter could be called out if a foul ball was caught after one bounce!

I don't think you can even begin to compare the stats of players from different eras...it's nonsensical logic if the eras are far enough apart.

FUBAR
08-25-2010, 09:55 PM
when i figure out what Jason said, i will probably agree! lol

Im not too up on the history so i was unaware the balls, strikes and bounces rules.

I do remember the sucky kids used to get 5 strikes in gym class! Does that count?

Jim VB
08-27-2010, 07:54 AM
I do remember the sucky kids used to get 5 strikes in gym class! Does that count?


LOL! Maybe that was just the US/Canadian exchange rate back then?????

Beatles Guy
08-27-2010, 09:49 AM
I used to play "rounders" when I did Civil War reenacting. Yeah, in the 1860's you could catch a hit ball on the first bounce and it was still considered an out. You could also "soak" someone; throw the ball at your opponent and hit them for the out. Does anyone know when these two things disappeared from the rules?

Butch7999
08-29-2010, 12:26 AM
"Soaking" was not included among the permissable methods of putting out a baserunner or batter when the National League rule book was written in 1876, so the practise was abolished in 1876 or earlier.
Foul balls caught on one bounce were ruled no longer outs in the revisions of 1883 -- fouls had to be caught on the fly. Oddly, we can't find the revision for fair balls caught on the bound, but presumably it would have been within a year or two of the foul-bounce rule.

ChiefBenderForever
08-29-2010, 04:17 PM
I don't think we can just discount the common players back in the day as garbage and that they were so much worse than todays cream puffs. If anything many were probably much stronger, and definately tougher. I think if they came up today they would call many of the major leaguers a bunch of cry baby pussy cats. We think these guys today are so great but many are actually second rate GARBAGE !! I would like to see them sit on a train, stay in roach infested motels and not get the all star treatment they take for granted and unfortunately get, not to mention a pitcher going longer than 6 or seven innings. Nolan Ryan, David Wells, and other notables would've fit right in 100+ years ago but most others would've been run outta town.

FUBAR
08-29-2010, 05:32 PM
I think "Boomer" and the Babe would have been best friends..... drinking buddies!

Didn't he do a Babe impression that was priceless??

I do know Boomer has a lot of respect for the classic game and is a collector.

ChiefBenderForever
08-29-2010, 10:05 PM
I think "Boomer" and the Babe would have been best friends..... drinking buddies!

Didn't he do a Babe impression that was priceless??

I do know Boomer has a lot of respect for the classic game and is a collector.

Boomer was wearing a game used Babe Ruth hat for awhile and then baseball made him take it off because like everything else these days is LAME !!!

Tabe
09-28-2010, 06:51 PM
Four balls became the rule in 1889. Interesting to see all the rule changes over the years:

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/rulechng.shtml

Tabe

dstraate
10-01-2010, 12:11 PM
Mathewson got tuberculosis from the war.

Modern players go on strike if they can't afford that third Rolls Royce.

I'm inclined to believe that if born in the modern era, the classic guys could have been great.

If Walter Johnson scared the ___ out of Ty Cobb, I don't see him bowing down to Joe Mauer.

They would have had to go to Florida Future Stars Camp starting at 5 years old, but so does everybody these days.