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Maybe it wasn’t Pujols dragging down the Angels for all those years, maybe it was the Curse of the Anaheim Franchise dragging down Albert?

Maybe if Albert Pujols had stayed with the St. Louis Cardinals, his St. Louis magic would have continued and tonight he’d have hit his 800th homer?

Pujols is not actually a modern-style specialist at hitting homers. He’s more of a throwback line drive hitter who hits the ball so hard and so often that some of them fly out of the park. Pujols never struck out 100 times in a single season, whereas people are praising Aaron Judge for only striking out 161 times so far this season vs. 208 in 2017. In 2006, Pujols struck out only 50 times while hitting 49 homers.

The downside of Pujols hitting the ball squarely and hard so often is that he’s the all-time career grounded-into-double-play leader with 426, way ahead of Miguel Cabrera (351), Cal Ripken (350), Ivan Rodriguez (337), and Hank Aaron (328). (You don’t get on this list without being really good.)

 
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  1. Like Hank Aaron, Pujols managed to hit 700 home runs without ever having a single season with 50 or more home runs.

    Aaron had eight seasons with 40 or more home runs; Pujols had seven such seasons.

    • Replies: @prime noticer
    @Pincher Martin

    you could hit 30 home runs for 20 seasons in a row, and still not be close to Hammerin Hank.

    i do think the old parks helped the old home run hitters to a degree, some of those 'walls' were borderline a joke. the one area where the accepted eccentricity of the sport hampers era comparisons and even player to player comparisons in the same era.

    when building a new stadium today, a question they have to ask themselves is, make one of the walls easier to hit over, so the home team players can rack up some extra career stats?

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

  2. The way he is hitting them right now, he might decide to unretire like Tom Brady.

    • Replies: @Prester John
    @Yancey Ward

    If he does, who could blame him?

  3. Pujols moving to the media-forgotten Angels prolly, like Aaron with the media-forgotten Braves, allowed him to sneak up on the number with minimal scrutiny and pressure.

    Aaron, remember, played for a Braves franchise that was mired in ignominy in Milwaukee for much of the time, besides a brief few years of World Series greatness. Then they ran to Atlanta, where they were also in ignominy (although the Launching Pad in Atlanta certainly helped Aaron’s home run total to keep pace).

    Cardinals fans are baseball-mad, so Pujols’s climb would’ve been more noted there and countdowns announced on ESPN to great fanfare. Ditto with NYC, Boston, Chicago, or Philly or the Dodgers. But hiding with the Angels with a fat contract allowed him to build up homeruns without the media noting him (and the DH, natch).

    Reminds me of how there were a few big-name major leaguers who, back in the 80’s and 90s, would sign with the Minnesota Twins for less money. Dave Winfield, Kirby Puckett, Rick Agueilra, and Jack Morris, along with several other big names, signed with the Twins in that time period despite it being “small market” and thus offered less than larger franchises. The story was that Minnesota offered the best of all worlds: a well-run franchise (manager Tom Kelly was one of the all time greats), knowledgeable appreciative fans, but without the high-pressure of playing for the big-market franchises. (Plus lots of midwestern blonds.)

    The Milwaukee Brewers also had this rep to a lesser extent (Robin Yount and Paul Molitor liked the environment), but the Selig family were horrible in operating the franchise and killed them.

    Something about midwest, small-market baseball when its done right.

    • Thanks: ic1000
    • Replies: @Feryl
    @R.G. Camara

    The Twins franchise had never been lacking for talent from the beginning, however, as salaries soared in the 90's most players began to expect big payoffs be (players born after circa 1970 don't really buy into team loyalty like older generations did) and Twins ownership didn't adjust to the times, ending up devoid of talent by the late 90's (probably why Tom Kelly threw in the towel at a fairly young age). They did build a good roster for the budget they had in the 2000's and were more competitive by then.

    Replies: @Ganderson, @njguy73

    , @Known Fact
    @R.G. Camara

    No mention of the '80s Twins is complete without a nod to Gary Gaetti, a dangerous slugger and Gold Glover who spent the entire decade with Minny. 360 career homers

    Replies: @Ganderson

  4. Jack Clark’s accusations about Pujols are well known. Here’s the Pujols rookie card. I’m 50-50 on Pujols.

    • Replies: @Feryl
    @SafeNow

    Non-ectomorphic men who remain physically active experience a lot of natural muscle growth in their mid-20's.

    Replies: @Mike Tre

    , @Ron Mexico
    @SafeNow

    Who managed Pujols in StL? Who was a big star in StL when Albert arrived? Steve knows all about the LaRussa connection to PEDs. Surprised no mention by Steve.

  5. He’s definitely the Dick Butkus of baseball.

  6. Maybe it wasn’t Pujols dragging down the Angels for all those years, maybe it was the Curse of the Anaheim Franchise dragging down Albert?

    Maybe if Albert Pujols had stayed with the St. Louis Cardinals, his St. Louis magic would have continued and tonight he’d have hit his 800th homer?

    Cardinals were up 3-1 in the NLCS the year he was sent to Anaheim and blew it. They were then up 2-1 in the World Series the year after that and blew that one as well. The Sabremetrics-loving Cardinals front office that let him go were certainly right that in WAR terms he would never recoup the massive contract he was asking for, but in the 10 years they had with a Pujols-less salary cap to work with they amassed 0 championships and created really 0 moments of memorable baseball history. A World Series championship is a precious precious thing and I just feel that Pujols had the sort of intangible magic that would have seen the Cardinals to at least one more. He is also one of only 4 players to hit 3 homeruns in a single World Series game, a record somewhat cheapened right after he did it by Pedro “kung fu panda” Sandoval joining the club…

  7. Maybe it wasn’t Pujols dragging down the Angels for all those years, maybe it was the Curse of the Anaheim Franchise dragging down Albert?

    Maybe it was the MLB doing more stringent drug testing?

    • Replies: @Paul Jolliffe
    @Altai

    Fascinating video - thanks!

    If we do ever hear credible stories about Pujols and PED’s, they will only gain traction after he has retired.

    After the 1998 season debacle, MLB forever destroyed its credibility with fans like me.

  8. Why should we celebrate this?

    Pujols has diverted money and status that could have gone to a core American White (or to several), and helped that man attract a woman and raise a family.

  9. @R.G. Camara
    Pujols moving to the media-forgotten Angels prolly, like Aaron with the media-forgotten Braves, allowed him to sneak up on the number with minimal scrutiny and pressure.

    Aaron, remember, played for a Braves franchise that was mired in ignominy in Milwaukee for much of the time, besides a brief few years of World Series greatness. Then they ran to Atlanta, where they were also in ignominy (although the Launching Pad in Atlanta certainly helped Aaron's home run total to keep pace).

    Cardinals fans are baseball-mad, so Pujols's climb would've been more noted there and countdowns announced on ESPN to great fanfare. Ditto with NYC, Boston, Chicago, or Philly or the Dodgers. But hiding with the Angels with a fat contract allowed him to build up homeruns without the media noting him (and the DH, natch).

    Reminds me of how there were a few big-name major leaguers who, back in the 80's and 90s, would sign with the Minnesota Twins for less money. Dave Winfield, Kirby Puckett, Rick Agueilra, and Jack Morris, along with several other big names, signed with the Twins in that time period despite it being "small market" and thus offered less than larger franchises. The story was that Minnesota offered the best of all worlds: a well-run franchise (manager Tom Kelly was one of the all time greats), knowledgeable appreciative fans, but without the high-pressure of playing for the big-market franchises. (Plus lots of midwestern blonds.)

    The Milwaukee Brewers also had this rep to a lesser extent (Robin Yount and Paul Molitor liked the environment), but the Selig family were horrible in operating the franchise and killed them.

    Something about midwest, small-market baseball when its done right.

    Replies: @Feryl, @Known Fact

    The Twins franchise had never been lacking for talent from the beginning, however, as salaries soared in the 90’s most players began to expect big payoffs be (players born after circa 1970 don’t really buy into team loyalty like older generations did) and Twins ownership didn’t adjust to the times, ending up devoid of talent by the late 90’s (probably why Tom Kelly threw in the towel at a fairly young age). They did build a good roster for the budget they had in the 2000’s and were more competitive by then.

    • Replies: @Ganderson
    @Feryl

    Kelly left after the 2001 season, during which the Twins had gotten back to respectability. The 90s Twins, at least after 1992, were awful. They were a good, if underachieving, team in the 2000’s; kind of like the 1960’s Twins. The 1960’s Twins at least won 3 post season games, the 2000’s Twins won one playoff series against the A’s, and (doing this from memory) only one playoff GAME since. (Not to mention the Twinkies’ logic defying miserable record against the Yankees)

    Being a Twins fan, 1987 and 1991 notwithstanding, is not easy.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

    , @njguy73
    @Feryl

    If Carl Pohlad hadn't bought the Twins from Calvin Griffith in 1984, they'd be the Charlotte Twins by now.

    Change my mind.

  10. @SafeNow
    Jack Clark’s accusations about Pujols are well known. Here’s the Pujols rookie card. I’m 50-50 on Pujols.

    https://cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-b8l2oi7ptc/images/stencil/1280x1280/products/119/705/lf__60101.1614101704.jpg?c=1

    Replies: @Feryl, @Ron Mexico

    Non-ectomorphic men who remain physically active experience a lot of natural muscle growth in their mid-20’s.

    • Replies: @Mike Tre
    @Feryl

    Pujols is 6'3". I think his late 20's/early 30's weight gain (he was probably 25 as a rookie)is because he liked to eat. BB reference has him at 235lbs. He's 260 easily.

    Replies: @I, Libertine

  11. Good for him. I always like Pujols.

  12. This guy was lethal in his prime. One of the best pure hitters in baseball history.

  13. @Feryl
    @SafeNow

    Non-ectomorphic men who remain physically active experience a lot of natural muscle growth in their mid-20's.

    Replies: @Mike Tre

    Pujols is 6’3″. I think his late 20’s/early 30’s weight gain (he was probably 25 as a rookie)is because he liked to eat. BB reference has him at 235lbs. He’s 260 easily.

    • Replies: @I, Libertine
    @Mike Tre

    21, actually.

  14. @Yancey Ward
    The way he is hitting them right now, he might decide to unretire like Tom Brady.

    Replies: @Prester John

    If he does, who could blame him?

  15. You don’t get on this list without being really good.

    By hitting cleanup right after leaders in on-base percentage.

  16. @Altai

    Maybe it wasn’t Pujols dragging down the Angels for all those years, maybe it was the Curse of the Anaheim Franchise dragging down Albert?
     
    Maybe it was the MLB doing more stringent drug testing?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mys5RqtAy4

    Replies: @Paul Jolliffe

    Fascinating video – thanks!

    If we do ever hear credible stories about Pujols and PED’s, they will only gain traction after he has retired.

    After the 1998 season debacle, MLB forever destroyed its credibility with fans like me.

  17. “ You don’t get on this list without being really good.”

    Reminds me of the Pirates’ Bob Friend, who went 197-230 over his career, tied for 20th all time in losses with Ted Lyons. Almost everybody above him on the list is a HOFer.

    As someone smarter than I am once said “it takes a pretty good pitcher to lose 230 big league games.”

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Ganderson

    “it takes a pretty good pitcher to lose 230 big league games.”

    Actually, it takes a pitcher who just plain sucks. In the case of Bob Friend, PIT was pretty lousy for most of the early part of his career. In the 1960 WS vs NY, Friend went 0-2, with a 13.50 ERA.

    If you want to be considered a dominant pitcher in MLB, then you do have to win more than you lose.


    In 1972, HOF P Steve Carlton went 27-10, 310 SO, with a 1.91 ERA, 346 IP, with 30, read that stat,Steve, 30 COMPLETE GAMES. And...Steve Carlton's arm didn't fall off as he pitched another 16 yrs. Carlton also never had Tommy John Surgery because he never suffered z major significant arm injury during his career.

    The 1972 PHI were 59-97. Out of their 59 wins that season, Carlton won 27 of them.


    Unlike Bob Friend, Steve Carlton managed to transcend his team's abysmal playing and rise to the occasion. He won the Cy Young award that year, the first of four that he would win. That's the difference between a pitcher like Steve Carlton and Bob Friend. One was a great pitcher no matter the teams he played with, while Friend lalargely couldn't get it done (not even in the WS).

    The year before, in 1971, that OAK P Vida Blue won the MVP it's a safe bet that if the Phillies had made the playoffs in 1972 that Steve Carlton would've won the NL MVP (or at least come close).

    Replies: @Ganderson

  18. @Feryl
    @R.G. Camara

    The Twins franchise had never been lacking for talent from the beginning, however, as salaries soared in the 90's most players began to expect big payoffs be (players born after circa 1970 don't really buy into team loyalty like older generations did) and Twins ownership didn't adjust to the times, ending up devoid of talent by the late 90's (probably why Tom Kelly threw in the towel at a fairly young age). They did build a good roster for the budget they had in the 2000's and were more competitive by then.

    Replies: @Ganderson, @njguy73

    Kelly left after the 2001 season, during which the Twins had gotten back to respectability. The 90s Twins, at least after 1992, were awful. They were a good, if underachieving, team in the 2000’s; kind of like the 1960’s Twins. The 1960’s Twins at least won 3 post season games, the 2000’s Twins won one playoff series against the A’s, and (doing this from memory) only one playoff GAME since. (Not to mention the Twinkies’ logic defying miserable record against the Yankees)

    Being a Twins fan, 1987 and 1991 notwithstanding, is not easy.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    @Ganderson


    Kelly left after the 2001 season, during which the Twins had gotten back to respectability.
     
    I agree with Feryl here; TK retired awfully young at 51. I can think of two World Series winning managers who retired younger: Dick Howser, who used the wrong arm to call for a reliever in the 1986 All-Star Game and never managed again at 50 because he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and Ozzie Guillén, who was blackballed after making comments that were perceived as pro-Castro while managing the Miami Marlins at 48.

    Hank Bauer would be a third; he managed his last MLB game at 47, but managed in the International League until 50.

    Replies: @Ganderson

  19. My favorite Pujols story is the huge home run he hit in the 2005 NLCS in Houston in game 5 that sent the series back to St Louis. Top of the 9th and the whole stadium was as quiet as a church after he hit it.

    The Astros had lost to the cardinals in the playoffs in previous years and just felt snakebit against them. They were up 3-1 going into game 5 though, and people were starting to get optimistic.

    I was talking to a guy at work who was trying to get tickets and then said, “But maybe I shouldn’t want to go tonight. Might not be too fun if they lose.”

    I agreed with him and another guy nearby on our trading floor, who already had tickets and was drinking the Kool Aid, overheard us and exclaimed, “How could you NOT want to go tonight?!!?!”

    Well, that’s how.

    The happy ending is that the Astros won game 6, although they then got swept by the White Sox in the World Series.

    • Replies: @I, Libertine
    @JR Ewing

    Asked about the homer after the game, Brad Lidge explained, "I hung a breaking ball, and he's Albert Pujols."

  20. I also remember going to an Astros game with some buddies in the early 2000’s because Mark McGwire was in town.

    Turns out McGwire didn’t play in that game but then some rookie third baseman named “Poo Hole” (ha ha we were so clever) hit two home runs and we were all like, “Who the hell is THIS guy?”

  21. The surprising name for me on the all-time list is Griffey Jr. at No. 7 with 630 — including two 56-hr years in a row in the late 90s. He seemed too lithe, fast and agile to club so many dingers.

  22. Here in NYC, the big issue was that last night’s Yankees/Red Sox game was on AppleTV, so if Aaron Judge tied or broke Roger Maris’ record, it would have been called by outside announcers on a streaming platform, rather than on television per se.

    What critics neglected to mention was that the Yankees game was scheduled to be shown on Amazon before AppleTV selected it. Now on Amazon they use the Yankee announcers, so it would have been less jarring, and the Yankees could have arm-twisted Amazon into giving the game to YES, the Yankees’ in-house cable station.

    In any event, the radio broadcast is good for 162 on WFAN, so the team of John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman will call the home run no matter where the video broadcast is.

  23. @R.G. Camara
    Pujols moving to the media-forgotten Angels prolly, like Aaron with the media-forgotten Braves, allowed him to sneak up on the number with minimal scrutiny and pressure.

    Aaron, remember, played for a Braves franchise that was mired in ignominy in Milwaukee for much of the time, besides a brief few years of World Series greatness. Then they ran to Atlanta, where they were also in ignominy (although the Launching Pad in Atlanta certainly helped Aaron's home run total to keep pace).

    Cardinals fans are baseball-mad, so Pujols's climb would've been more noted there and countdowns announced on ESPN to great fanfare. Ditto with NYC, Boston, Chicago, or Philly or the Dodgers. But hiding with the Angels with a fat contract allowed him to build up homeruns without the media noting him (and the DH, natch).

    Reminds me of how there were a few big-name major leaguers who, back in the 80's and 90s, would sign with the Minnesota Twins for less money. Dave Winfield, Kirby Puckett, Rick Agueilra, and Jack Morris, along with several other big names, signed with the Twins in that time period despite it being "small market" and thus offered less than larger franchises. The story was that Minnesota offered the best of all worlds: a well-run franchise (manager Tom Kelly was one of the all time greats), knowledgeable appreciative fans, but without the high-pressure of playing for the big-market franchises. (Plus lots of midwestern blonds.)

    The Milwaukee Brewers also had this rep to a lesser extent (Robin Yount and Paul Molitor liked the environment), but the Selig family were horrible in operating the franchise and killed them.

    Something about midwest, small-market baseball when its done right.

    Replies: @Feryl, @Known Fact

    No mention of the ’80s Twins is complete without a nod to Gary Gaetti, a dangerous slugger and Gold Glover who spent the entire decade with Minny. 360 career homers

    • Replies: @Ganderson
    @Known Fact

    “ the Rat”

  24. @Pincher Martin
    Like Hank Aaron, Pujols managed to hit 700 home runs without ever having a single season with 50 or more home runs.

    Aaron had eight seasons with 40 or more home runs; Pujols had seven such seasons.

    Replies: @prime noticer

    you could hit 30 home runs for 20 seasons in a row, and still not be close to Hammerin Hank.

    i do think the old parks helped the old home run hitters to a degree, some of those ‘walls’ were borderline a joke. the one area where the accepted eccentricity of the sport hampers era comparisons and even player to player comparisons in the same era.

    when building a new stadium today, a question they have to ask themselves is, make one of the walls easier to hit over, so the home team players can rack up some extra career stats?

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @prime noticer

    "i do think the old parks helped the old home run hitters to a degree, some of those ‘walls’ were borderline a joke."

    Not so at all. The poweralleys, where the vast majority of HR sluggers tend to hit their HR's were anywhere from 50-100 FT further back than they are today. In 1958, MLB finally set a uniform standard regarding ballparks: All future built parks had to have poweralleys at least 335 FT. But no one said that they had to be over 335 FT.

    One prominent example was Yankee Stadium. From 1923-73, it was basically a pitcher's park. The poweralleys ranged from 440, 446, and 457 FT from home plate. Left center in particular was nicknamed "death valley", where HR's went to die. Original ballparks built in the 1910's into the '20's had CF distances from 500, 550, and 482 FT (the Polo Grounds). Not many HR's cleared those kinds of fences.

    Pitching in Yankee Stadium throughout his career is one reason why lefthanded Whitey Ford is in Cooperstown.

    Very, very few HR sluggers, then or now, have a short, compact swing like Roger Maris, who tended to hit HR's almost right at the foul pole. Instead, most HR sluggers have a big, wide swing, which makes them susceptible to seasons of 100+ strikeouts.

    But that's the tradeoff. No way in hell would MLB dare to insist that teams move their ballpark's poweralley fences back to what they once were, since that would obviously diminish the HR totals.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  25. “The downside of Pujols hitting the ball squarely and hard so often is that he’s the all-time career grounded-into-double-play leader”

    if only Brett Favre had a similar stat to explain away why he’s by far the career interceptions leader. but no, it’s simply because he threw thousands of wild passes for 20 years.

  26. The downside of Pujols hitting the ball squarely and hard so often is that he’s the all-time career grounded-into-double-play leader with 426, way ahead of Miguel Cabrera (351), Cal Ripken (350), Ivan Rodriguez (337), and Hank Aaron (328).

    “(You don’t get on this list without being really good.)”

    *Players who are NOT in the top 400 (essentially players who did NOT make the list of GIDP).

    Babe Ruth (apparently smart enough to avoid the DP, no one would deny that Ruth hit the ball pretty hard)
    Joe DiMaggio
    Jimmie Foxx
    Tris Speaker
    Ty Cobb (Pete Rose is on the list, but Cobb, who stole close to 900 SB’s isn’t, which would suggest he was a faster baserunner than Rose, who for all his base hits, wasn’t particularly very fast on the bases. Rose was a smart baserunner, but was actually quite slow)
    Eddie Collins
    Joe Jackson
    Lou Gehrig
    Charlie Gehringer
    Hank Greenberg (since it’s close to Rosh Hashannah)

    **Couldn’t find Mickey Mantle or Harmon Killebrew in the top 200-300. Or Rickey Henderson. But, as he’s the all time SB leader it would be surprising if he made the top 100.

    Basically the list is relevant as to how high on the list a player is. If they’re not in the top 200 or 300, it really doesn’t matter.

    ***It isn’t simply a matter of stating that those who made the list batted 3rd, cleanup, or 5th. Several names on the list batted 2nd, 6th, and 7th.

    I do think that these names were pretty good players, actually really good.

    Trying to locate Willie Mays, wasn’t in the top 200.

    Several factors. Perhaps many on the list simply weren’t fast enough to beat the throw to 1B, the go ahead runner wasn’t smart enough to break up the DP by barreling into the 2B/SS, which used to be done a lot back in the day.

    • Replies: @Brutusale
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Leadoff and #2 hitters wouldn't have many men on base in front of them. Some cleanup guys like Foxx and Gehrig often had the bases swept clean by Williams and Ruth.

    Quite a few of the greats not appearing at the top of the GIDP list are in the top 100 on the strikeout list, like Mays, Mantle, Killebrew, and Henderson.

    Bat control vs. free swinging.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

  27. Some thoughts on this recording breaking…

    What about the discussion of “baseball juicing?” That is, the Major Leagues have over time changed the physical composition of the baseball to (supposedly) make it go higher/farther than before?

    Seems like that has been done a few times. The Major Leagues wanted more homers and extra base hits, as fans like that. It seems obvious that we are now in a “homer” ball era.

    There are other less rule bound changes as well. Far more analytical information. Better training and techniques being used and adopted.

    More precise coaching due to improved cameras and computer analysis. Diet and specific training.

    I suspect someone has or will do fairly serious research on these factors and compare past and current trends. But the physical changes in the ball make this a not quite apples-to apples scenario.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Muggles

    They de-juiced the ball a bit this season to reduce home runs. That's why Aaron Judge's 60 is amazing -- he's hit 50% more than anybody else this year.

  28. @Ganderson
    “ You don’t get on this list without being really good.”

    Reminds me of the Pirates’ Bob Friend, who went 197-230 over his career, tied for 20th all time in losses with Ted Lyons. Almost everybody above him on the list is a HOFer.

    As someone smarter than I am once said “it takes a pretty good pitcher to lose 230 big league games.”

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    “it takes a pretty good pitcher to lose 230 big league games.”

    Actually, it takes a pitcher who just plain sucks. In the case of Bob Friend, PIT was pretty lousy for most of the early part of his career. In the 1960 WS vs NY, Friend went 0-2, with a 13.50 ERA.

    If you want to be considered a dominant pitcher in MLB, then you do have to win more than you lose.

    In 1972, HOF P Steve Carlton went 27-10, 310 SO, with a 1.91 ERA, 346 IP, with 30, read that stat,Steve, 30 COMPLETE GAMES. And…Steve Carlton’s arm didn’t fall off as he pitched another 16 yrs. Carlton also never had Tommy John Surgery because he never suffered z major significant arm injury during his career.

    The 1972 PHI were 59-97. Out of their 59 wins that season, Carlton won 27 of them.

    Unlike Bob Friend, Steve Carlton managed to transcend his team’s abysmal playing and rise to the occasion. He won the Cy Young award that year, the first of four that he would win. That’s the difference between a pitcher like Steve Carlton and Bob Friend. One was a great pitcher no matter the teams he played with, while Friend lalargely couldn’t get it done (not even in the WS).

    The year before, in 1971, that OAK P Vida Blue won the MVP it’s a safe bet that if the Phillies had made the playoffs in 1972 that Steve Carlton would’ve won the NL MVP (or at least come close).

    • Troll: ScarletNumber
    • Replies: @Ganderson
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Well, I never said he was as good as Steve Carlton. The man was on the mound enough to get 427 big league decisions. His career WAR of about 46 (not the only metric, I know, but a handy shorthand) puts him in the company of a bunch of good pitchers, some even HOFers. His comps, are all good pitchers. He had a bad series in 60, but he never had a chance to redeem himself. He was a good pitcher who pitched for some awful teams.

  29. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    The downside of Pujols hitting the ball squarely and hard so often is that he’s the all-time career grounded-into-double-play leader with 426, way ahead of Miguel Cabrera (351), Cal Ripken (350), Ivan Rodriguez (337), and Hank Aaron (328).

    "(You don’t get on this list without being really good.)"

    *Players who are NOT in the top 400 (essentially players who did NOT make the list of GIDP).

    Babe Ruth (apparently smart enough to avoid the DP, no one would deny that Ruth hit the ball pretty hard)
    Joe DiMaggio
    Jimmie Foxx
    Tris Speaker
    Ty Cobb (Pete Rose is on the list, but Cobb, who stole close to 900 SB's isn't, which would suggest he was a faster baserunner than Rose, who for all his base hits, wasn't particularly very fast on the bases. Rose was a smart baserunner, but was actually quite slow)
    Eddie Collins
    Joe Jackson
    Lou Gehrig
    Charlie Gehringer
    Hank Greenberg (since it's close to Rosh Hashannah)

    **Couldn't find Mickey Mantle or Harmon Killebrew in the top 200-300. Or Rickey Henderson. But, as he's the all time SB leader it would be surprising if he made the top 100.

    Basically the list is relevant as to how high on the list a player is. If they're not in the top 200 or 300, it really doesn't matter.

    ***It isn't simply a matter of stating that those who made the list batted 3rd, cleanup, or 5th. Several names on the list batted 2nd, 6th, and 7th.






    I do think that these names were pretty good players, actually really good.

    Trying to locate Willie Mays, wasn't in the top 200.

    Several factors. Perhaps many on the list simply weren't fast enough to beat the throw to 1B, the go ahead runner wasn't smart enough to break up the DP by barreling into the 2B/SS, which used to be done a lot back in the day.

    Replies: @Brutusale

    Leadoff and #2 hitters wouldn’t have many men on base in front of them. Some cleanup guys like Foxx and Gehrig often had the bases swept clean by Williams and Ruth.

    Quite a few of the greats not appearing at the top of the GIDP list are in the top 100 on the strikeout list, like Mays, Mantle, Killebrew, and Henderson.

    Bat control vs. free swinging.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Brutusale

    Derek Jeter usually batted #2, and he is on the GIDP's list, which made the point that people on the GIDP list weren't all batting 3-5 in the lineup.

    "Quite a few of the greats not appearing at the top of the GIDP list are in the top 100 on the strikeout list, like Mays, Mantle, Killebrew, and Henderson."

    Henderson and Mays aren't on that list. Both Henderson and Mays only struck out 100 times once in a single season, so its highly doubtful that they're in the top 100 in strikeout list. They both averaged about 65 strikeouts in a season for most of their careers, hardly qualifying for top 100 ever.

    Mantle had bat control and knew the strikezone, as he won a batting title (Triple Crown actually) but was among the first sluggers to consistently average 100 strikeouts per season. Same with Killebrew, who couldn't hit for average at all. In some ways, the modern prototypical slugger is akin to Harmon Killebrew, where about 25% of his total hits for his career were HR's. These guys have more SO's per season than either H's or RBI's. And that's just embarrassing, it's unacceptable that someone could strike out more times in a season than have base hits. It's like they aren't trying to hit anything but the air every time they take a swing.

    Dangerous hitters are more akin to Pujols who can hit for both power and average, and don't strike out 100 times in a season. Truly dangerous hitters are akin to Ruth and Gehrig, who didn't strike out 100 times in a single season, could hit for average and power, and did not GIDP very often in their careers.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Brutusale

  30. Albert Pujols eleven full years in St. Louis:

    Batting average .328 On Base Average .421 Slugging Average .617. OPS 1.038
    445 Home runs

    Ten full years in Los Angeles:

    Batting average .256 On Base average .311 . Slugging Average .448. OPS 758
    271 Home runs

    He was by far the greatest hitter of the first decade of this century. He became an ordinary – maybe slightly above the median – hitter in the second decade.

    BTW, he’s going .265/.338/.530 (OPS 868) with 16 home runs and counting in his one-year return to STL.

  31. @Mike Tre
    @Feryl

    Pujols is 6'3". I think his late 20's/early 30's weight gain (he was probably 25 as a rookie)is because he liked to eat. BB reference has him at 235lbs. He's 260 easily.

    Replies: @I, Libertine

    21, actually.

    • LOL: Mike Tre
  32. @Ganderson
    @Feryl

    Kelly left after the 2001 season, during which the Twins had gotten back to respectability. The 90s Twins, at least after 1992, were awful. They were a good, if underachieving, team in the 2000’s; kind of like the 1960’s Twins. The 1960’s Twins at least won 3 post season games, the 2000’s Twins won one playoff series against the A’s, and (doing this from memory) only one playoff GAME since. (Not to mention the Twinkies’ logic defying miserable record against the Yankees)

    Being a Twins fan, 1987 and 1991 notwithstanding, is not easy.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

    Kelly left after the 2001 season, during which the Twins had gotten back to respectability.

    I agree with Feryl here; TK retired awfully young at 51. I can think of two World Series winning managers who retired younger: Dick Howser, who used the wrong arm to call for a reliever in the 1986 All-Star Game and never managed again at 50 because he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and Ozzie Guillén, who was blackballed after making comments that were perceived as pro-Castro while managing the Miami Marlins at 48.

    Hank Bauer would be a third; he managed his last MLB game at 47, but managed in the International League until 50.

    • Replies: @Ganderson
    @ScarletNumber

    Kelly’s retirement was shocking- not to mention that his replacement was worse; Ron Gardenhire was not a bad manager, but no TK.

    TK is the most successful manager in Twins’ history, if one uses rings as a metric. My own opinion is that he was the second best- after Gene Mauch. But what do I know, I’m just an old guy on the internet.

  33. @JR Ewing
    My favorite Pujols story is the huge home run he hit in the 2005 NLCS in Houston in game 5 that sent the series back to St Louis. Top of the 9th and the whole stadium was as quiet as a church after he hit it.

    The Astros had lost to the cardinals in the playoffs in previous years and just felt snakebit against them. They were up 3-1 going into game 5 though, and people were starting to get optimistic.

    I was talking to a guy at work who was trying to get tickets and then said, “But maybe I shouldn’t want to go tonight. Might not be too fun if they lose.”

    I agreed with him and another guy nearby on our trading floor, who already had tickets and was drinking the Kool Aid, overheard us and exclaimed, “How could you NOT want to go tonight?!!?!”

    https://youtu.be/lsEuTYbDRwE

    Well, that’s how.

    The happy ending is that the Astros won game 6, although they then got swept by the White Sox in the World Series.

    Replies: @I, Libertine

    Asked about the homer after the game, Brad Lidge explained, “I hung a breaking ball, and he’s Albert Pujols.”

  34. @Brutusale
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Leadoff and #2 hitters wouldn't have many men on base in front of them. Some cleanup guys like Foxx and Gehrig often had the bases swept clean by Williams and Ruth.

    Quite a few of the greats not appearing at the top of the GIDP list are in the top 100 on the strikeout list, like Mays, Mantle, Killebrew, and Henderson.

    Bat control vs. free swinging.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Derek Jeter usually batted #2, and he is on the GIDP’s list, which made the point that people on the GIDP list weren’t all batting 3-5 in the lineup.

    “Quite a few of the greats not appearing at the top of the GIDP list are in the top 100 on the strikeout list, like Mays, Mantle, Killebrew, and Henderson.”

    Henderson and Mays aren’t on that list. Both Henderson and Mays only struck out 100 times once in a single season, so its highly doubtful that they’re in the top 100 in strikeout list. They both averaged about 65 strikeouts in a season for most of their careers, hardly qualifying for top 100 ever.

    Mantle had bat control and knew the strikezone, as he won a batting title (Triple Crown actually) but was among the first sluggers to consistently average 100 strikeouts per season. Same with Killebrew, who couldn’t hit for average at all. In some ways, the modern prototypical slugger is akin to Harmon Killebrew, where about 25% of his total hits for his career were HR’s. These guys have more SO’s per season than either H’s or RBI’s. And that’s just embarrassing, it’s unacceptable that someone could strike out more times in a season than have base hits. It’s like they aren’t trying to hit anything but the air every time they take a swing.

    Dangerous hitters are more akin to Pujols who can hit for both power and average, and don’t strike out 100 times in a season. Truly dangerous hitters are akin to Ruth and Gehrig, who didn’t strike out 100 times in a single season, could hit for average and power, and did not GIDP very often in their careers.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Mickey Mantle only grounded into double plays 113 times in his career vs. 251 for Willie Mays (in a somewhat longer career). Mantle's career high was 11 GIDP in a season, while Mays had 15 years in a row with at least 11 GIDP. They were comparably fast (Bill James thinks the white guy was faster when healthy). Mantle was a switch hitter so mostly batted from the left side which gets you down to first faster. I think Mantle hit the ball in the air more than Mays. And Mantle would bunt for base hits sometimes. Maybe sometimes with a runner on first, he'd bunt figuring the worst that could happen would be he'd be thrown out at first for a sacrifice. The usual worst that could happen, grounding into a double play, couldn't happen.

    Replies: @njguy73, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi, @Brutusale

    , @Brutusale
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Here you go. Henderson is 41st, Mays is tied for 69th.

    https://www.baseball-almanac.com/hitting/histrk1.shtml

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

  35. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Brutusale

    Derek Jeter usually batted #2, and he is on the GIDP's list, which made the point that people on the GIDP list weren't all batting 3-5 in the lineup.

    "Quite a few of the greats not appearing at the top of the GIDP list are in the top 100 on the strikeout list, like Mays, Mantle, Killebrew, and Henderson."

    Henderson and Mays aren't on that list. Both Henderson and Mays only struck out 100 times once in a single season, so its highly doubtful that they're in the top 100 in strikeout list. They both averaged about 65 strikeouts in a season for most of their careers, hardly qualifying for top 100 ever.

    Mantle had bat control and knew the strikezone, as he won a batting title (Triple Crown actually) but was among the first sluggers to consistently average 100 strikeouts per season. Same with Killebrew, who couldn't hit for average at all. In some ways, the modern prototypical slugger is akin to Harmon Killebrew, where about 25% of his total hits for his career were HR's. These guys have more SO's per season than either H's or RBI's. And that's just embarrassing, it's unacceptable that someone could strike out more times in a season than have base hits. It's like they aren't trying to hit anything but the air every time they take a swing.

    Dangerous hitters are more akin to Pujols who can hit for both power and average, and don't strike out 100 times in a season. Truly dangerous hitters are akin to Ruth and Gehrig, who didn't strike out 100 times in a single season, could hit for average and power, and did not GIDP very often in their careers.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Brutusale

    Mickey Mantle only grounded into double plays 113 times in his career vs. 251 for Willie Mays (in a somewhat longer career). Mantle’s career high was 11 GIDP in a season, while Mays had 15 years in a row with at least 11 GIDP. They were comparably fast (Bill James thinks the white guy was faster when healthy). Mantle was a switch hitter so mostly batted from the left side which gets you down to first faster. I think Mantle hit the ball in the air more than Mays. And Mantle would bunt for base hits sometimes. Maybe sometimes with a runner on first, he’d bunt figuring the worst that could happen would be he’d be thrown out at first for a sacrifice. The usual worst that could happen, grounding into a double play, couldn’t happen.

    • Replies: @njguy73
    @Steve Sailer

    And then there's Joe Morgan. Over the '75 and '76 seasons he had about 1,100 PA in the #3 slot, with Pete Rose and Griffey Sr. ahead of him, and 5 GIDP. He uppercut the ball and was really fast.

    , @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Steve Sailer

    Yes, but the key word is "When he was healthy", which during Mantle's career wasn't very often. He missed large chunks of seasons during his prime, in both '62 and '63.

    I'll never understand why Mantle won the AL MVP in 1962. Harmon Killebrew led the AL in HR's and RBI's that year. Of course that's what usually happens when one's team doesn't make the playoffs. Mantle barely played the amount required to be eligible for MVP consideration. It has to be that the NY sportswriters felt he should've won in '60, and probably would've given him the MVP in '61, but then there was that whole Roger Maris thing, so...the consolation prize was winning MVP in 1962.

    Ok, didn't see Mays' name on the top 100 list of GIDP. Thankfully this wasn't an issue back in they day, especially during contract negotiations (no free agency, all MLB teams abided by the reserve clause), as in "Well, see, Willie, we just can't pay you 75k this year. It's true you won the MVP and hit 52 HR's and had well over 100+ RBI's, but you grounded into 18 double plays, and that really hurt our chances of winning the pennant vs LA. So we'll actually have to dock you about 9k and you'll have to take a salary cut this year instead."

    If you read the first chapter of Bouton's Ball Four, this kind of salary negotiation is exactly what clubs would do.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @EdwardM

    , @Brutusale
    @Steve Sailer

    Young Mantle was one of the fastest ever home to first from the lefty's batter's box.

  36. @SafeNow
    Jack Clark’s accusations about Pujols are well known. Here’s the Pujols rookie card. I’m 50-50 on Pujols.

    https://cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-b8l2oi7ptc/images/stencil/1280x1280/products/119/705/lf__60101.1614101704.jpg?c=1

    Replies: @Feryl, @Ron Mexico

    Who managed Pujols in StL? Who was a big star in StL when Albert arrived? Steve knows all about the LaRussa connection to PEDs. Surprised no mention by Steve.

  37. @Feryl
    @R.G. Camara

    The Twins franchise had never been lacking for talent from the beginning, however, as salaries soared in the 90's most players began to expect big payoffs be (players born after circa 1970 don't really buy into team loyalty like older generations did) and Twins ownership didn't adjust to the times, ending up devoid of talent by the late 90's (probably why Tom Kelly threw in the towel at a fairly young age). They did build a good roster for the budget they had in the 2000's and were more competitive by then.

    Replies: @Ganderson, @njguy73

    If Carl Pohlad hadn’t bought the Twins from Calvin Griffith in 1984, they’d be the Charlotte Twins by now.

    Change my mind.

  38. @Steve Sailer
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Mickey Mantle only grounded into double plays 113 times in his career vs. 251 for Willie Mays (in a somewhat longer career). Mantle's career high was 11 GIDP in a season, while Mays had 15 years in a row with at least 11 GIDP. They were comparably fast (Bill James thinks the white guy was faster when healthy). Mantle was a switch hitter so mostly batted from the left side which gets you down to first faster. I think Mantle hit the ball in the air more than Mays. And Mantle would bunt for base hits sometimes. Maybe sometimes with a runner on first, he'd bunt figuring the worst that could happen would be he'd be thrown out at first for a sacrifice. The usual worst that could happen, grounding into a double play, couldn't happen.

    Replies: @njguy73, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi, @Brutusale

    And then there’s Joe Morgan. Over the ’75 and ’76 seasons he had about 1,100 PA in the #3 slot, with Pete Rose and Griffey Sr. ahead of him, and 5 GIDP. He uppercut the ball and was really fast.

  39. @Steve Sailer
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Mickey Mantle only grounded into double plays 113 times in his career vs. 251 for Willie Mays (in a somewhat longer career). Mantle's career high was 11 GIDP in a season, while Mays had 15 years in a row with at least 11 GIDP. They were comparably fast (Bill James thinks the white guy was faster when healthy). Mantle was a switch hitter so mostly batted from the left side which gets you down to first faster. I think Mantle hit the ball in the air more than Mays. And Mantle would bunt for base hits sometimes. Maybe sometimes with a runner on first, he'd bunt figuring the worst that could happen would be he'd be thrown out at first for a sacrifice. The usual worst that could happen, grounding into a double play, couldn't happen.

    Replies: @njguy73, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi, @Brutusale

    Yes, but the key word is “When he was healthy”, which during Mantle’s career wasn’t very often. He missed large chunks of seasons during his prime, in both ’62 and ’63.

    I’ll never understand why Mantle won the AL MVP in 1962. Harmon Killebrew led the AL in HR’s and RBI’s that year. Of course that’s what usually happens when one’s team doesn’t make the playoffs. Mantle barely played the amount required to be eligible for MVP consideration. It has to be that the NY sportswriters felt he should’ve won in ’60, and probably would’ve given him the MVP in ’61, but then there was that whole Roger Maris thing, so…the consolation prize was winning MVP in 1962.

    Ok, didn’t see Mays’ name on the top 100 list of GIDP. Thankfully this wasn’t an issue back in they day, especially during contract negotiations (no free agency, all MLB teams abided by the reserve clause), as in “Well, see, Willie, we just can’t pay you 75k this year. It’s true you won the MVP and hit 52 HR’s and had well over 100+ RBI’s, but you grounded into 18 double plays, and that really hurt our chances of winning the pennant vs LA. So we’ll actually have to dock you about 9k and you’ll have to take a salary cut this year instead.”

    If you read the first chapter of Bouton’s Ball Four, this kind of salary negotiation is exactly what clubs would do.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    "I’ll never understand why Mantle won the AL MVP in 1962."

    Probably because Mantle should have won it three or four other times previously. He led AL position players in Wins Above Replacement four times when he didn't win MVP. The two previous times he won MVP he hit .353 and .365 with power and walks.

    There are good reasons the Yankees won so many pennants during Mantle's career. He not only did obvious things like hit home runs, he did obscure things to help his team win like very seldom hit into double plays. The man was a winner.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    , @EdwardM
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi


    “Well, see, Willie, we just can’t pay you 75k this year. It’s true you won the MVP and hit 52 HR’s and had well over 100+ RBI’s, but you grounded into 18 double plays, and that really hurt our chances of winning the pennant vs LA. So we’ll actually have to dock you about 9k and you’ll have to take a salary cut this year instead.”
     
    Sounds like racism to me.
  40. @Steve Sailer
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Mickey Mantle only grounded into double plays 113 times in his career vs. 251 for Willie Mays (in a somewhat longer career). Mantle's career high was 11 GIDP in a season, while Mays had 15 years in a row with at least 11 GIDP. They were comparably fast (Bill James thinks the white guy was faster when healthy). Mantle was a switch hitter so mostly batted from the left side which gets you down to first faster. I think Mantle hit the ball in the air more than Mays. And Mantle would bunt for base hits sometimes. Maybe sometimes with a runner on first, he'd bunt figuring the worst that could happen would be he'd be thrown out at first for a sacrifice. The usual worst that could happen, grounding into a double play, couldn't happen.

    Replies: @njguy73, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi, @Brutusale

    Young Mantle was one of the fastest ever home to first from the lefty’s batter’s box.

  41. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Brutusale

    Derek Jeter usually batted #2, and he is on the GIDP's list, which made the point that people on the GIDP list weren't all batting 3-5 in the lineup.

    "Quite a few of the greats not appearing at the top of the GIDP list are in the top 100 on the strikeout list, like Mays, Mantle, Killebrew, and Henderson."

    Henderson and Mays aren't on that list. Both Henderson and Mays only struck out 100 times once in a single season, so its highly doubtful that they're in the top 100 in strikeout list. They both averaged about 65 strikeouts in a season for most of their careers, hardly qualifying for top 100 ever.

    Mantle had bat control and knew the strikezone, as he won a batting title (Triple Crown actually) but was among the first sluggers to consistently average 100 strikeouts per season. Same with Killebrew, who couldn't hit for average at all. In some ways, the modern prototypical slugger is akin to Harmon Killebrew, where about 25% of his total hits for his career were HR's. These guys have more SO's per season than either H's or RBI's. And that's just embarrassing, it's unacceptable that someone could strike out more times in a season than have base hits. It's like they aren't trying to hit anything but the air every time they take a swing.

    Dangerous hitters are more akin to Pujols who can hit for both power and average, and don't strike out 100 times in a season. Truly dangerous hitters are akin to Ruth and Gehrig, who didn't strike out 100 times in a single season, could hit for average and power, and did not GIDP very often in their careers.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Brutusale

    Here you go. Henderson is 41st, Mays is tied for 69th.

    https://www.baseball-almanac.com/hitting/histrk1.shtml

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Brutusale

    This is shocking, incredible. And to think, that both these guys are in HOF. This changes everything.Maybe a campaign to eject both from Cooperstown is in order. After all, if they couldn't avoid the DP, what else in their careers couldn't they do?

    Replies: @Brutusale

  42. @Brutusale
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Here you go. Henderson is 41st, Mays is tied for 69th.

    https://www.baseball-almanac.com/hitting/histrk1.shtml

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    This is shocking, incredible. And to think, that both these guys are in HOF. This changes everything.Maybe a campaign to eject both from Cooperstown is in order. After all, if they couldn’t avoid the DP, what else in their careers couldn’t they do?

    • Replies: @Brutusale
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi


    And to think, that both these guys are in HOF.
     
    As are a good number of players on both lists. If I had to choose, I'd go with the guys from the GIPD list.

    Doesn't mean a damned thing, other than what I originally said. Only 10 guys on the top 50 GIDP list are also on the top 50 K list, and they were all slow right-handed hitters, which will be the bulk of the GIDP list anyway. Though I guess I can't say "were", as the top 2 are active.

    Most impressive to me are guys like Wade Boggs (745 K, 1,412 BB), Stan Musial (699 K, 1,599 BB), and, finally, Teddy Ballgame (709 K, 2,021 BB).

  43. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Steve Sailer

    Yes, but the key word is "When he was healthy", which during Mantle's career wasn't very often. He missed large chunks of seasons during his prime, in both '62 and '63.

    I'll never understand why Mantle won the AL MVP in 1962. Harmon Killebrew led the AL in HR's and RBI's that year. Of course that's what usually happens when one's team doesn't make the playoffs. Mantle barely played the amount required to be eligible for MVP consideration. It has to be that the NY sportswriters felt he should've won in '60, and probably would've given him the MVP in '61, but then there was that whole Roger Maris thing, so...the consolation prize was winning MVP in 1962.

    Ok, didn't see Mays' name on the top 100 list of GIDP. Thankfully this wasn't an issue back in they day, especially during contract negotiations (no free agency, all MLB teams abided by the reserve clause), as in "Well, see, Willie, we just can't pay you 75k this year. It's true you won the MVP and hit 52 HR's and had well over 100+ RBI's, but you grounded into 18 double plays, and that really hurt our chances of winning the pennant vs LA. So we'll actually have to dock you about 9k and you'll have to take a salary cut this year instead."

    If you read the first chapter of Bouton's Ball Four, this kind of salary negotiation is exactly what clubs would do.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @EdwardM

    “I’ll never understand why Mantle won the AL MVP in 1962.”

    Probably because Mantle should have won it three or four other times previously. He led AL position players in Wins Above Replacement four times when he didn’t win MVP. The two previous times he won MVP he hit .353 and .365 with power and walks.

    There are good reasons the Yankees won so many pennants during Mantle’s career. He not only did obvious things like hit home runs, he did obscure things to help his team win like very seldom hit into double plays. The man was a winner.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Steve Sailer

    "There are good reasons the Yankees won so many pennants during Mantle’s career.

    It wasn't just Mickey. Don't forget HOF's Whitey Ford (for the longest time, the best winning percentage of any starting pitcher with over 200 wins). And HOF Yogi Berra, considered to be one of the AL's all time greatest catchers. Berra, like Mantle, also won 3 MVPs, the only C to ever catch a perfect game in the World Series.

    Come on, Steve. Berra was just as valuable to NY as Mantle. Between 1951-55, NY's most dominant starting player wasn't Mantle, it was Yogi (MVP in '51, '54, and '55).

    Mantle's breakout year, when he finally became the Mickey Mantle everyone had expected of him was in 1956, when he won the Triple Crown and MVP.

    "He not only did obvious things like hit home runs, he did obscure things to help his team win like very seldom hit into double plays. The man was a winner."

    So were Yogi and Ford. Ford has the most WS Wins of any pitcher. Must be a good reason why he was inducted into the HOF. Mickey would've been the first to say, that he was happy for any of his teammates that helped NY win. He really didn't seem to care about his personal stats IF the team didn't win. Winning the WS was more important to him than winning the MVP.

    People forget that during the '50's, NY was consistently better than any AL team. They did the fundamentals and made very few mental errors in the field. They also had a strong pitching staff, which with HOF Berra calling each game.

    Why no love for Yogi? Where's the respect?

    Re: Mantle, agreed on every superlative, except that he did not produce an MVP calibre year in 1962. If anything, Harmon Killebrew should've won, he clearly had the better traditional stats. Killebrew finished third in the voting behind Mickey and Bobby Richardson (not sure I understand that one, except of course that the NY sportswriters dominated the voting).

    Replies: @ex-banker

  44. @Muggles
    Some thoughts on this recording breaking...

    What about the discussion of "baseball juicing?" That is, the Major Leagues have over time changed the physical composition of the baseball to (supposedly) make it go higher/farther than before?

    Seems like that has been done a few times. The Major Leagues wanted more homers and extra base hits, as fans like that. It seems obvious that we are now in a "homer" ball era.

    There are other less rule bound changes as well. Far more analytical information. Better training and techniques being used and adopted.

    More precise coaching due to improved cameras and computer analysis. Diet and specific training.

    I suspect someone has or will do fairly serious research on these factors and compare past and current trends. But the physical changes in the ball make this a not quite apples-to apples scenario.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    They de-juiced the ball a bit this season to reduce home runs. That’s why Aaron Judge’s 60 is amazing — he’s hit 50% more than anybody else this year.

  45. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Steve Sailer

    Yes, but the key word is "When he was healthy", which during Mantle's career wasn't very often. He missed large chunks of seasons during his prime, in both '62 and '63.

    I'll never understand why Mantle won the AL MVP in 1962. Harmon Killebrew led the AL in HR's and RBI's that year. Of course that's what usually happens when one's team doesn't make the playoffs. Mantle barely played the amount required to be eligible for MVP consideration. It has to be that the NY sportswriters felt he should've won in '60, and probably would've given him the MVP in '61, but then there was that whole Roger Maris thing, so...the consolation prize was winning MVP in 1962.

    Ok, didn't see Mays' name on the top 100 list of GIDP. Thankfully this wasn't an issue back in they day, especially during contract negotiations (no free agency, all MLB teams abided by the reserve clause), as in "Well, see, Willie, we just can't pay you 75k this year. It's true you won the MVP and hit 52 HR's and had well over 100+ RBI's, but you grounded into 18 double plays, and that really hurt our chances of winning the pennant vs LA. So we'll actually have to dock you about 9k and you'll have to take a salary cut this year instead."

    If you read the first chapter of Bouton's Ball Four, this kind of salary negotiation is exactly what clubs would do.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @EdwardM

    “Well, see, Willie, we just can’t pay you 75k this year. It’s true you won the MVP and hit 52 HR’s and had well over 100+ RBI’s, but you grounded into 18 double plays, and that really hurt our chances of winning the pennant vs LA. So we’ll actually have to dock you about 9k and you’ll have to take a salary cut this year instead.”

    Sounds like racism to me.

    • LOL: Yojimbo/Zatoichi
  46. Probably the worst or one of the worst players near the top of the double play list is Rusty Staub. Still probably would be justified to call him really good, just that he had terrible defense and great offense.

  47. @Steve Sailer
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    "I’ll never understand why Mantle won the AL MVP in 1962."

    Probably because Mantle should have won it three or four other times previously. He led AL position players in Wins Above Replacement four times when he didn't win MVP. The two previous times he won MVP he hit .353 and .365 with power and walks.

    There are good reasons the Yankees won so many pennants during Mantle's career. He not only did obvious things like hit home runs, he did obscure things to help his team win like very seldom hit into double plays. The man was a winner.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    “There are good reasons the Yankees won so many pennants during Mantle’s career.

    It wasn’t just Mickey. Don’t forget HOF’s Whitey Ford (for the longest time, the best winning percentage of any starting pitcher with over 200 wins). And HOF Yogi Berra, considered to be one of the AL’s all time greatest catchers. Berra, like Mantle, also won 3 MVPs, the only C to ever catch a perfect game in the World Series.

    Come on, Steve. Berra was just as valuable to NY as Mantle. Between 1951-55, NY’s most dominant starting player wasn’t Mantle, it was Yogi (MVP in ’51, ’54, and ’55).

    Mantle’s breakout year, when he finally became the Mickey Mantle everyone had expected of him was in 1956, when he won the Triple Crown and MVP.

    “He not only did obvious things like hit home runs, he did obscure things to help his team win like very seldom hit into double plays. The man was a winner.”

    So were Yogi and Ford. Ford has the most WS Wins of any pitcher. Must be a good reason why he was inducted into the HOF. Mickey would’ve been the first to say, that he was happy for any of his teammates that helped NY win. He really didn’t seem to care about his personal stats IF the team didn’t win. Winning the WS was more important to him than winning the MVP.

    People forget that during the ’50’s, NY was consistently better than any AL team. They did the fundamentals and made very few mental errors in the field. They also had a strong pitching staff, which with HOF Berra calling each game.

    Why no love for Yogi? Where’s the respect?

    Re: Mantle, agreed on every superlative, except that he did not produce an MVP calibre year in 1962. If anything, Harmon Killebrew should’ve won, he clearly had the better traditional stats. Killebrew finished third in the voting behind Mickey and Bobby Richardson (not sure I understand that one, except of course that the NY sportswriters dominated the voting).

    • Replies: @ex-banker
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Killebrew's year was demonstrably worse than Mantle's in 1962. He had 299 more plate appearances than Mantle and reached base only 31 times more than him. If you let a pitcher hit in Mantle's place for those plate appearances their combined performance would have exceeded Killebrew's, and that's not considering Mantle's baserunning, defense and positional advantage over him.

  48. @prime noticer
    @Pincher Martin

    you could hit 30 home runs for 20 seasons in a row, and still not be close to Hammerin Hank.

    i do think the old parks helped the old home run hitters to a degree, some of those 'walls' were borderline a joke. the one area where the accepted eccentricity of the sport hampers era comparisons and even player to player comparisons in the same era.

    when building a new stadium today, a question they have to ask themselves is, make one of the walls easier to hit over, so the home team players can rack up some extra career stats?

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    “i do think the old parks helped the old home run hitters to a degree, some of those ‘walls’ were borderline a joke.”

    Not so at all. The poweralleys, where the vast majority of HR sluggers tend to hit their HR’s were anywhere from 50-100 FT further back than they are today. In 1958, MLB finally set a uniform standard regarding ballparks: All future built parks had to have poweralleys at least 335 FT. But no one said that they had to be over 335 FT.

    One prominent example was Yankee Stadium. From 1923-73, it was basically a pitcher’s park. The poweralleys ranged from 440, 446, and 457 FT from home plate. Left center in particular was nicknamed “death valley”, where HR’s went to die. Original ballparks built in the 1910’s into the ’20’s had CF distances from 500, 550, and 482 FT (the Polo Grounds). Not many HR’s cleared those kinds of fences.

    Pitching in Yankee Stadium throughout his career is one reason why lefthanded Whitey Ford is in Cooperstown.

    Very, very few HR sluggers, then or now, have a short, compact swing like Roger Maris, who tended to hit HR’s almost right at the foul pole. Instead, most HR sluggers have a big, wide swing, which makes them susceptible to seasons of 100+ strikeouts.

    But that’s the tradeoff. No way in hell would MLB dare to insist that teams move their ballpark’s poweralley fences back to what they once were, since that would obviously diminish the HR totals.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Ebbets Field was a bandbox, especially for lefthanders like Duke Snider:

    Dimension Distance
    Left field pole 348 ft (106 m)
    Left-center field 351 ft (107 m)
    Deep left-center 393 ft (120 m)
    Deep right-center bleacher corner 376 ft (115 m)
    Deep right-center notch 399 ft (122 m) unposted
    Right-center, scoreboard edges 344 ft (105 m) and 318 ft (97 m)
    Right field pole 297 ft (91 m)
    Backstop 71 ft (22 m)

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

  49. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @prime noticer

    "i do think the old parks helped the old home run hitters to a degree, some of those ‘walls’ were borderline a joke."

    Not so at all. The poweralleys, where the vast majority of HR sluggers tend to hit their HR's were anywhere from 50-100 FT further back than they are today. In 1958, MLB finally set a uniform standard regarding ballparks: All future built parks had to have poweralleys at least 335 FT. But no one said that they had to be over 335 FT.

    One prominent example was Yankee Stadium. From 1923-73, it was basically a pitcher's park. The poweralleys ranged from 440, 446, and 457 FT from home plate. Left center in particular was nicknamed "death valley", where HR's went to die. Original ballparks built in the 1910's into the '20's had CF distances from 500, 550, and 482 FT (the Polo Grounds). Not many HR's cleared those kinds of fences.

    Pitching in Yankee Stadium throughout his career is one reason why lefthanded Whitey Ford is in Cooperstown.

    Very, very few HR sluggers, then or now, have a short, compact swing like Roger Maris, who tended to hit HR's almost right at the foul pole. Instead, most HR sluggers have a big, wide swing, which makes them susceptible to seasons of 100+ strikeouts.

    But that's the tradeoff. No way in hell would MLB dare to insist that teams move their ballpark's poweralley fences back to what they once were, since that would obviously diminish the HR totals.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Ebbets Field was a bandbox, especially for lefthanders like Duke Snider:

    Dimension Distance
    Left field pole 348 ft (106 m)
    Left-center field 351 ft (107 m)
    Deep left-center 393 ft (120 m)
    Deep right-center bleacher corner 376 ft (115 m)
    Deep right-center notch 399 ft (122 m) unposted
    Right-center, scoreboard edges 344 ft (105 m) and 318 ft (97 m)
    Right field pole 297 ft (91 m)
    Backstop 71 ft (22 m)

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Steve Sailer

    When it first opened in 1913, Ebbets Field's dimensions were:

    419 feet down the left field foul line, 450 feet to dead center field and only 301 feet down the right field line.

    It can be presumed that the poweralleys were pretty far back as possible. My original point is that the classic concrete and steel ballparks that were built in the early 1910's had original dimensions that were more pitcher friendly. Ebbets field didn't take on its more familiar dimensions until the early '30's (as did many other ballparks) to capitalize on the HR craze due to the '20's Lively Ball. This craze remains with MLB today.

    Braves Field, to use another NL example, originally opened in 1915. It's original dimensions were:

    LF: 402 FT; LC: 402.6; CF: 440FT; RC: 402FT; RF: 402/375FT

    Apparently the relative shortness of RF's would make it appear that MLB clubs grasped that there were more left handed hitters than right handed ones, although the idea of increasing one's HR totals was still about a decade away.

    Throughout it's history, the Polo Grounds's power alleys were:

    LFC: 360FT; LFC2: 414FT; Deep LFC: 447FT;
    Deep RFC: 455FT; Deep RFC2: 449FT; RCF3: 395 FT;
    RCF2: 339FT; Shallow RFC: 294FT

    Again, this tends to confirm the theory that left handed hitters tended to have an easier time hitting HR's in classic ballpark's poweralleys. Although its never been directly remarked upon that the Polo Grounds was the easiest ballpark to hit HRs in during MLB's classic era.

    But once more, the pattern is the same. Poweralleys were much farther back from home plate than they are at present. No cheap HR's allowed or given. The shortened fences, particularly in the poweralley sections can be stated to be a direct result of the Lively Ball of the '20's, and the proliferation of HR's in totals never before seen.

  50. @Steve Sailer
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Ebbets Field was a bandbox, especially for lefthanders like Duke Snider:

    Dimension Distance
    Left field pole 348 ft (106 m)
    Left-center field 351 ft (107 m)
    Deep left-center 393 ft (120 m)
    Deep right-center bleacher corner 376 ft (115 m)
    Deep right-center notch 399 ft (122 m) unposted
    Right-center, scoreboard edges 344 ft (105 m) and 318 ft (97 m)
    Right field pole 297 ft (91 m)
    Backstop 71 ft (22 m)

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    When it first opened in 1913, Ebbets Field’s dimensions were:

    419 feet down the left field foul line, 450 feet to dead center field and only 301 feet down the right field line.

    It can be presumed that the poweralleys were pretty far back as possible. My original point is that the classic concrete and steel ballparks that were built in the early 1910’s had original dimensions that were more pitcher friendly. Ebbets field didn’t take on its more familiar dimensions until the early ’30’s (as did many other ballparks) to capitalize on the HR craze due to the ’20’s Lively Ball. This craze remains with MLB today.

    Braves Field, to use another NL example, originally opened in 1915. It’s original dimensions were:

    LF: 402 FT; LC: 402.6; CF: 440FT; RC: 402FT; RF: 402/375FT

    Apparently the relative shortness of RF’s would make it appear that MLB clubs grasped that there were more left handed hitters than right handed ones, although the idea of increasing one’s HR totals was still about a decade away.

    Throughout it’s history, the Polo Grounds’s power alleys were:

    LFC: 360FT; LFC2: 414FT; Deep LFC: 447FT;
    Deep RFC: 455FT; Deep RFC2: 449FT; RCF3: 395 FT;
    RCF2: 339FT; Shallow RFC: 294FT

    Again, this tends to confirm the theory that left handed hitters tended to have an easier time hitting HR’s in classic ballpark’s poweralleys. Although its never been directly remarked upon that the Polo Grounds was the easiest ballpark to hit HRs in during MLB’s classic era.

    But once more, the pattern is the same. Poweralleys were much farther back from home plate than they are at present. No cheap HR’s allowed or given. The shortened fences, particularly in the poweralley sections can be stated to be a direct result of the Lively Ball of the ’20’s, and the proliferation of HR’s in totals never before seen.

  51. When a player in the twilight of his career, suddenly hits better than he has in years, I get very suspicious. Think Barry Bonds, David Ortiz, and now Pujols.

    • Agree: Yojimbo/Zatoichi
  52. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Brutusale

    This is shocking, incredible. And to think, that both these guys are in HOF. This changes everything.Maybe a campaign to eject both from Cooperstown is in order. After all, if they couldn't avoid the DP, what else in their careers couldn't they do?

    Replies: @Brutusale

    And to think, that both these guys are in HOF.

    As are a good number of players on both lists. If I had to choose, I’d go with the guys from the GIPD list.

    Doesn’t mean a damned thing, other than what I originally said. Only 10 guys on the top 50 GIDP list are also on the top 50 K list, and they were all slow right-handed hitters, which will be the bulk of the GIDP list anyway. Though I guess I can’t say “were”, as the top 2 are active.

    Most impressive to me are guys like Wade Boggs (745 K, 1,412 BB), Stan Musial (699 K, 1,599 BB), and, finally, Teddy Ballgame (709 K, 2,021 BB).

  53. @ScarletNumber
    @Ganderson


    Kelly left after the 2001 season, during which the Twins had gotten back to respectability.
     
    I agree with Feryl here; TK retired awfully young at 51. I can think of two World Series winning managers who retired younger: Dick Howser, who used the wrong arm to call for a reliever in the 1986 All-Star Game and never managed again at 50 because he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and Ozzie Guillén, who was blackballed after making comments that were perceived as pro-Castro while managing the Miami Marlins at 48.

    Hank Bauer would be a third; he managed his last MLB game at 47, but managed in the International League until 50.

    Replies: @Ganderson

    Kelly’s retirement was shocking- not to mention that his replacement was worse; Ron Gardenhire was not a bad manager, but no TK.

    TK is the most successful manager in Twins’ history, if one uses rings as a metric. My own opinion is that he was the second best- after Gene Mauch. But what do I know, I’m just an old guy on the internet.

  54. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Steve Sailer

    "There are good reasons the Yankees won so many pennants during Mantle’s career.

    It wasn't just Mickey. Don't forget HOF's Whitey Ford (for the longest time, the best winning percentage of any starting pitcher with over 200 wins). And HOF Yogi Berra, considered to be one of the AL's all time greatest catchers. Berra, like Mantle, also won 3 MVPs, the only C to ever catch a perfect game in the World Series.

    Come on, Steve. Berra was just as valuable to NY as Mantle. Between 1951-55, NY's most dominant starting player wasn't Mantle, it was Yogi (MVP in '51, '54, and '55).

    Mantle's breakout year, when he finally became the Mickey Mantle everyone had expected of him was in 1956, when he won the Triple Crown and MVP.

    "He not only did obvious things like hit home runs, he did obscure things to help his team win like very seldom hit into double plays. The man was a winner."

    So were Yogi and Ford. Ford has the most WS Wins of any pitcher. Must be a good reason why he was inducted into the HOF. Mickey would've been the first to say, that he was happy for any of his teammates that helped NY win. He really didn't seem to care about his personal stats IF the team didn't win. Winning the WS was more important to him than winning the MVP.

    People forget that during the '50's, NY was consistently better than any AL team. They did the fundamentals and made very few mental errors in the field. They also had a strong pitching staff, which with HOF Berra calling each game.

    Why no love for Yogi? Where's the respect?

    Re: Mantle, agreed on every superlative, except that he did not produce an MVP calibre year in 1962. If anything, Harmon Killebrew should've won, he clearly had the better traditional stats. Killebrew finished third in the voting behind Mickey and Bobby Richardson (not sure I understand that one, except of course that the NY sportswriters dominated the voting).

    Replies: @ex-banker

    Killebrew’s year was demonstrably worse than Mantle’s in 1962. He had 299 more plate appearances than Mantle and reached base only 31 times more than him. If you let a pitcher hit in Mantle’s place for those plate appearances their combined performance would have exceeded Killebrew’s, and that’s not considering Mantle’s baserunning, defense and positional advantage over him.

  55. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Ganderson

    “it takes a pretty good pitcher to lose 230 big league games.”

    Actually, it takes a pitcher who just plain sucks. In the case of Bob Friend, PIT was pretty lousy for most of the early part of his career. In the 1960 WS vs NY, Friend went 0-2, with a 13.50 ERA.

    If you want to be considered a dominant pitcher in MLB, then you do have to win more than you lose.


    In 1972, HOF P Steve Carlton went 27-10, 310 SO, with a 1.91 ERA, 346 IP, with 30, read that stat,Steve, 30 COMPLETE GAMES. And...Steve Carlton's arm didn't fall off as he pitched another 16 yrs. Carlton also never had Tommy John Surgery because he never suffered z major significant arm injury during his career.

    The 1972 PHI were 59-97. Out of their 59 wins that season, Carlton won 27 of them.


    Unlike Bob Friend, Steve Carlton managed to transcend his team's abysmal playing and rise to the occasion. He won the Cy Young award that year, the first of four that he would win. That's the difference between a pitcher like Steve Carlton and Bob Friend. One was a great pitcher no matter the teams he played with, while Friend lalargely couldn't get it done (not even in the WS).

    The year before, in 1971, that OAK P Vida Blue won the MVP it's a safe bet that if the Phillies had made the playoffs in 1972 that Steve Carlton would've won the NL MVP (or at least come close).

    Replies: @Ganderson

    Well, I never said he was as good as Steve Carlton. The man was on the mound enough to get 427 big league decisions. His career WAR of about 46 (not the only metric, I know, but a handy shorthand) puts him in the company of a bunch of good pitchers, some even HOFers. His comps, are all good pitchers. He had a bad series in 60, but he never had a chance to redeem himself. He was a good pitcher who pitched for some awful teams.

  56. @Known Fact
    @R.G. Camara

    No mention of the '80s Twins is complete without a nod to Gary Gaetti, a dangerous slugger and Gold Glover who spent the entire decade with Minny. 360 career homers

    Replies: @Ganderson

    “ the Rat”

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