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colepenhagen

Greatest Players in Each Sport

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Adjusted ERA+ from Baseball Reference is one of the better stats around, as it controls for league offense levels and park effects. Kershaw is having a nice season -- 25th best all-time not counting today's start. Too bad for him that Pedro had *three* seasons better than Kershaw's current year ('97, '99, '00). Maddux, two. Clemens, two. Oh, and Walter Johnson had four better seasons than Kershaw 2014.

I don't see any recent MLB pitcher close to Walter Johnson. 14 years leading the league in Ks. 7 years leading the league in FIP. 5 years leading the league in IP. Two MVP awards (only Hal Newhouser and Carl Hubbell did that). A few pitchers had similar peaks (Koufax, Pedro, Maddux), but nobody had the sustained dominance that he had.

Look at Johnson's 10-year run from 1910-1919. His *worst* totals in any year:

290 IP (led the league 5 times in 10 years)

20 wins (led the league five times in 10 years)

147 Ks (Led the league 9 times in 10 years.

2.21 ERA (led the league 4 times in 10 years)

120 ERA+ (led the league 7 times in 10 years)

Three top-5 MVP ballots

If Kershaw keeps up his 2011-2014 numbers for another six seasons, then we can start saying that he's better than The Big Train. Until then, I don't think anyone even comes close.

I'm not going to get into the "talent was different then" argument. So was training. So was Dr. Frank Jobe. So was the slider and the split-finger, which didn't exist until the 1960s. You can only judge players in their own context.

ever heard of the dead ball era??

According to a 1975 article from The New York Times, pitchers just used to make their own balls. Knowing that, it's not the least bit surprising that Baseball-Reference.com tells tales of baseballs that varied in size and weight and were much softer than modern balls.

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^ colepenhagen, you are totally missing the point. Did Walter Johnson pitch in a "dead ball" era. Yes he did for a portion of his career. So what, so did hundreds of other pitchers.

The point is Walter Johnson dominated his era like no other pitcher has dominated any other era.

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Now one thing that should be acknowledged when considering old-time pitchers like Walter Johnson is the competition - but in a different way. The 1919 American League, for example, only had 8 teams, not the 15 of today. So there was way less competition in order to lead the league in a category compared to today. That still doesn't diminish how great he was, just that practically nobody could do that in this day and age. It makes what Maddux, for example, did in the steroid era remarkable - lead the league in IP five years in a row, ERA+ and FIP four years in a row, WHIP three years in a row, 4 Cy Youngs in a row.

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^ colepenhagen, you are totally missing the point. Did Walter Johnson pitch in a "dead ball" era. Yes he did for a portion of his career. So what, so did hundreds of other pitchers.

The point is Walter Johnson dominated his era like no other pitcher has dominated any other era.

i get how great walter was for his era

but kershaw through his 1st 5 years has been just as good in his era just hope he can keep it up for at least 5 more years

i also think kershaw can maintain his health considering how he pitched hes not a fax effort guy sits at 92-93 when he came into the league he was 95+ every pitch...

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^ colepenhagen, you are totally missing the point. Did Walter Johnson pitch in a "dead ball" era. Yes he did for a portion of his career. So what, so did hundreds of other pitchers.

The point is Walter Johnson dominated his era like no other pitcher has dominated any other era.

how are you going to factor in that the avg runs per game in walters era was around 3.4-runs a game? that has to come into account a little bit right?

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No where did it mention better players/ better competition. The better competition has nothing to do with this forum, if you look statistically there are several players that blow trout out of the water. And more to the point if you look at better competition you'd have to throw out every year prior to 10 years ago. The competition is better today then it has ever been. So please don't use competition for your reasoning.

fair enough but considering the competition back then compared to today the stats are skewed

considering ruth didnt become a position player until he was 24

But here's the thing if hitting was so easy back than and everyone raked because pitchers were throwing meatballs 24/7 then how come some pitchers were able to post some of the greatest pitching seasons in history back then Babe Ruth himself was an amazing pitcher but like Walter Johnson was insane

theres going to be dominate pitchers in every era and dominate hitteres in every era just cause a handful of guys like walter johnson doesnt mean alot to me

dont get me wrong babe ruth was the best of his time and era hands down but compared to how the game has evolved today its hard to argue against todays competition not being head and shoulders better than ruths

Pitchers in Ruth's era may not have had the skill that guys do now but hitters now are training year round with better equipment/routines, while Ruth was eating hot dogs and pounding beer. It goes both ways. Ruth dominated his peers more significantly than anyone ever has. Bonds is the only even close, disregarding the alleged steroid use that again, was used by both sides.

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I hate to say it but it's hard to even take stats from those days seriously. Yes, Ruth is the GOAT if our sole definition of that is who had the biggest gap in talent relative to his respective era. He's right there with Wilt for the clearest-cut GOAT candidates in the four major American sports. But then there's the fact that neither could ever come close to that level of dominance today, and you pair that with the fact that training regimens and ballpark sizes and competition levels are different today, and there's simply no way to pair across eras.

Of course current Kershaw is a superior pitcher to any version of Cy Young, Christy Mathewson or Walter Johnson. But then so is Bartolo Colon. Hell, you stick 2005 Jeff Suppan with everything that comes with 2005 back in the dead ball era or very early 1900s, and he's putting up a sub-2 ERA every season of his career. It's really not fair to pitchers of yesteryear to be involved in this discussion, because it's difficult NOT to minimize their achievements when the game was so different back then. These guys were the best of their time, but claiming to know whether Cy Young would be nearly as effective a pitcher if his career spanned 1990-2010 is impossible to say.

All I know is Greg Maddux and Pedro are the current 1a/1b out of all the pitchers who (in my eyes) can be justifiably compared to those of today's game. Kershaw is very close to that level, and while he doesn't have any of the top 3-4 seasons out of those 3 (including if you throw in guys like Clemens/Big Unit), there's still plenty of time for him to do so. The fact that he's still so young means he can reach top 2-3 ever or higher resume-wise just on longevity alone.

But we say that about every superstar of his caliber who is in his mid-20s. And normally it doesn't happen. Personally I think Kershaw has the potential to leapfrog just about every pitcher over the past 30 or so years, but he's also pitching in the NL in a top three pitcher's ballpark in the majors. Pedro was more dominant, in the middle of a juiced up era with some of the most productive hitters ever, across two leagues. To me, Pedro is the best pitcher of all time. But since I'm a Yankee fan: I hope you enjoyed what we did to you in your last two starts ever, Pedro. 2004 doesn't erase who your daddy is.

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I hate to say it but it's hard to even take stats from those days seriously. Yes, Ruth is the GOAT if our sole definition of that is who had the biggest gap in talent relative to his respective era. He's right there with Wilt for the clearest-cut GOAT candidates in the four major American sports. But then there's the fact that neither could ever come close to that level of dominance today, and you pair that with the fact that training regimens and ballpark sizes and competition levels are different today, and there's simply no way to pair across eras.

Of course current Kershaw is a superior pitcher to any version of Cy Young, Christy Mathewson or Walter Johnson. But then so is Bartolo Colon. Hell, you stick 2005 Jeff Suppan with everything that comes with 2005 back in the dead ball era or very early 1900s, and he's putting up a sub-2 ERA every season of his career. It's really not fair to pitchers of yesteryear to be involved in this discussion, because it's difficult NOT to minimize their achievements when the game was so different back then. These guys were the best of their time, but claiming to know whether Cy Young would be nearly as effective a pitcher if his career spanned 1990-2010 is impossible to say.

All I know is Greg Maddux and Pedro are the current 1a/1b out of all the pitchers who (in my eyes) can be justifiably compared to those of today's game. Kershaw is very close to that level, and while he doesn't have any of the top 3-4 seasons out of those 3 (including if you throw in guys like Clemens/Big Unit), there's still plenty of time for him to do so. The fact that he's still so young means he can reach top 2-3 ever or higher resume-wise just on longevity alone.

But we say that about every superstar of his caliber who is in his mid-20s. And normally it doesn't happen. Personally I think Kershaw has the potential to leapfrog just about every pitcher over the past 30 or so years, but he's also pitching in the NL in a top three pitcher's ballpark in the majors. Pedro was more dominant, in the middle of a juiced up era with some of the most productive hitters ever, across two leagues. To me, Pedro is the best pitcher of all time. But since I'm a Yankee fan: I hope you enjoyed what we did to you in your last two starts ever, Pedro. 2004 doesn't erase who your daddy is.

not taking anything away from pedro but he wasnt good/elite untill he was 25 (his 5th full year in the show)

then from age 25-31 he had his sting of elite years.... kershaw has matched those numbers in his 1st 6 years

so if kershaw can go another 4-7years and dominate sub 3 era 220plus ks ect 1 whip he will dominate pedros numbers

i do also take into account al vs nl ballpark and PEDs and pedro is definatly an all time great

i wasnt trying to trash or bag on any of the greats walter pedro maddex the unit but i just want to bring to lite how fricking amazing kershaw has been since he was 21 years old and cant think of another pitcher to dominate at such a young age and keep it up

a career 2.48 era 1.05whip 9.4 kper9

last 4 years a 2.07 era 0.93whip 9.55 kper9

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No question...Kershaw keeps this up his career stats will destroy Pedro and just about anyone else. He got started with his elite numbers so early on that there's no way he won't at least come close to shattering just about every modern-day record. Maybe not strikeouts, then again I wouldn't put it past him.

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as for the trout best ever hes got some time he still has to put in

compared to griffey jr. trouts numbers arent that much better(so far) and if he want to be GOAT he will have to start hitting 40-50 hrs the next 8 years ha.... forgot how beastly jr was

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Above sums it up. As for batters...... Trout has a very long way to go just to have a seat at the table.

While I don't think it's fair to say guys aren't as good due to increases in size/strength/technology, I do fully believe that Kershaw would make Ruth look like me in a batting cage. Having said that, Ruth and others in different times dominated the best the world had to offer during their careers. Guys like Stanton and Trout are obviously head and shoulders above anyone from the early 1900's looking at it now, but who's to say what those guys would accomplish had they been born 100 years later. At the end of the day not much has changed in the game of baseball, and outperforming the guys you play against is all any player can do. That's not even taking into account that the Babe excelled on both sides of the ball. Ruth is hands down the greatest of all time, and in my opinion the only player in any major sport that rivals Jordon for pure domination. Very rarely in team sports does a player come along that single handedly makes his team a heavy favorite to win the title.

Good stuff comericanpie

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All very true. And have to agree about Trout with y'all, I love him but even a guy like Albert will be tough for him to pass. I'd say he's well on his way to being at LEAST on A-Rod level, roids aside, but beyond that will be difficult.

No one will ever touch Babe's level of obliteration compared to the rest of the league. Never again in sports. Nobody, not even a prime Tiger, was ever that much better than everyone else.

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I hate to say it but it's hard to even take stats from those days seriously. Yes, Ruth is the GOAT if our sole definition of that is who had the biggest gap in talent relative to his respective era. He's right there with Wilt for the clearest-cut GOAT candidates in the four major American sports. But then there's the fact that neither could ever come close to that level of dominance today, and you pair that with the fact that training regimens and ballpark sizes and competition levels are different today, and there's simply no way to pair across eras.

Of course current Kershaw is a superior pitcher to any version of Cy Young, Christy Mathewson or Walter Johnson. But then so is Bartolo Colon. Hell, you stick 2005 Jeff Suppan with everything that comes with 2005 back in the dead ball era or very early 1900s, and he's putting up a sub-2 ERA every season of his career. It's really not fair to pitchers of yesteryear to be involved in this discussion, because it's difficult NOT to minimize their achievements when the game was so different back then. These guys were the best of their time, but claiming to know whether Cy Young would be nearly as effective a pitcher if his career spanned 1990-2010 is impossible to say.

All I know is Greg Maddux and Pedro are the current 1a/1b out of all the pitchers who (in my eyes) can be justifiably compared to those of today's game. Kershaw is very close to that level, and while he doesn't have any of the top 3-4 seasons out of those 3 (including if you throw in guys like Clemens/Big Unit), there's still plenty of time for him to do so. The fact that he's still so young means he can reach top 2-3 ever or higher resume-wise just on longevity alone.

But we say that about every superstar of his caliber who is in his mid-20s. And normally it doesn't happen. Personally I think Kershaw has the potential to leapfrog just about every pitcher over the past 30 or so years, but he's also pitching in the NL in a top three pitcher's ballpark in the majors. Pedro was more dominant, in the middle of a juiced up era with some of the most productive hitters ever, across two leagues. To me, Pedro is the best pitcher of all time. But since I'm a Yankee fan: I hope you enjoyed what we did to you in your last two starts ever, Pedro. 2004 doesn't erase who your daddy is.

Not trying to derail this into a basketball argument but just for the sake of argument who the hell could stop Wilt in any era? Hahahaha he would literally manhandle anyone from Shaq to Hakeem to Kareem... He only went down a little bit when he got older and Kareem was in his prime that was the only time Wilt looked somewhat human....If he would have just put up half the #'s he did he'd still easily be one of the best if not the best the fact that the man never came out of the game, put up absurd statistics, had remarkable talent unseen in any other era of basketball just makes it icing on the cake he's the best player of all time... Could you imagine Wilt against the bum centers of the NBA Today hahaha that would be a joy to see probably drop 70 a game... at least back then players fouled Wilt and were all over him 24/7 but he got no calls today they wouldn't be able to touch him and he'd be like a video game cheat code out there.... But for the Babe everyone likes to say that he wouldn't be as good the competition is better and all that stuff, but nobody will ever know for sure... what if Ruth was honestly just THAT good... its possible he was and if he lived in this era with modern training he could still be the GOAT but we will never know for certain

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Above sums it up. As for batters...... Trout has a very long way to go just to have a seat at the table.

While I don't think it's fair to say guys aren't as good due to increases in size/strength/technology, I do fully believe that Kershaw would make Ruth look like me in a batting cage. Having said that, Ruth and others in different times dominated the best the world had to offer during their careers. Guys like Stanton and Trout are obviously head and shoulders above anyone from the early 1900's looking at it now, but who's to say what those guys would accomplish had they been born 100 years later. At the end of the day not much has changed in the game of baseball, and outperforming the guys you play against is all any player can do. That's not even taking into account that the Babe excelled on both sides of the ball. Ruth is hands down the greatest of all time, and in my opinion the only player in any major sport that rivals Jordon for pure domination. Very rarely in team sports does a player come along that single handedly makes his team a heavy favorite to win the title.

Good stuff comericanpie

That's the thing tho, Ruth could very well knock the cover off kershaw.... That's the debate, Ruth today with advanced learning techniques, training, film, ect could still be a monster today.

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I think one thing about Kershaw/Pedro/Unit/Maddux/etc - Kershaw actually gets hurt in these comparisons by NOT pitching in higher offensive environment. There is a limit to how low your ERA can reasonably be expected to go - the pitcher simply can't control EVERYTHING - some balls are going to get hit - and some of them are going to fall for run-scoring hits. There is simply no way for a pitcher to put up an ERA below 1.5 of so, imho, for an extended period of time (unless they raise the mound again)... so Kershaw's last 4 years are probably about "as good as possible"... so were Pedro's 97-2000 - but Pedro gets extra credit for those years because overall scoring was higher... when in reality, they are probably about as close to each other as you can get.

Remember, 4 years ago we thought Lincecum was the best pitcher of his generation... a lot can change. (not that I think Kershaw is going to go the direction of Lincecum).

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I hate to say it but it's hard to even take stats from those days seriously. Yes, Ruth is the GOAT if our sole definition of that is who had the biggest gap in talent relative to his respective era. He's right there with Wilt for the clearest-cut GOAT candidates in the four major American sports. But then there's the fact that neither could ever come close to that level of dominance today, and you pair that with the fact that training regimens and ballpark sizes and competition levels are different today, and there's simply no way to pair across eras.

Of course current Kershaw is a superior pitcher to any version of Cy Young, Christy Mathewson or Walter Johnson. But then so is Bartolo Colon. Hell, you stick 2005 Jeff Suppan with everything that comes with 2005 back in the dead ball era or very early 1900s, and he's putting up a sub-2 ERA every season of his career. It's really not fair to pitchers of yesteryear to be involved in this discussion, because it's difficult NOT to minimize their achievements when the game was so different back then. These guys were the best of their time, but claiming to know whether Cy Young would be nearly as effective a pitcher if his career spanned 1990-2010 is impossible to say.

All I know is Greg Maddux and Pedro are the current 1a/1b out of all the pitchers who (in my eyes) can be justifiably compared to those of today's game. Kershaw is very close to that level, and while he doesn't have any of the top 3-4 seasons out of those 3 (including if you throw in guys like Clemens/Big Unit), there's still plenty of time for him to do so. The fact that he's still so young means he can reach top 2-3 ever or higher resume-wise just on longevity alone.

But we say that about every superstar of his caliber who is in his mid-20s. And normally it doesn't happen. Personally I think Kershaw has the potential to leapfrog just about every pitcher over the past 30 or so years, but he's also pitching in the NL in a top three pitcher's ballpark in the majors. Pedro was more dominant, in the middle of a juiced up era with some of the most productive hitters ever, across two leagues. To me, Pedro is the best pitcher of all time. But since I'm a Yankee fan: I hope you enjoyed what we did to you in your last two starts ever, Pedro. 2004 doesn't erase who your daddy is.

Not trying to derail this into a basketball argument but just for the sake of argument who the hell could stop Wilt in any era? Hahahaha he would literally manhandle anyone from Shaq to Hakeem to Kareem... He only went down a little bit when he got older and Kareem was in his prime that was the only time Wilt looked somewhat human....If he would have just put up half the #'s he did he'd still easily be one of the best if not the best the fact that the man never came out of the game, put up absurd statistics, had remarkable talent unseen in any other era of basketball just makes it icing on the cake he's the best player of all time... Could you imagine Wilt against the bum centers of the NBA Today hahaha that would be a joy to see probably drop 70 a game... at least back then players fouled Wilt and were all over him 24/7 but he got no calls today they wouldn't be able to touch him and he'd be like a video game cheat code out there.... But for the Babe everyone likes to say that he wouldn't be as good the competition is better and all that stuff, but nobody will ever know for sure... what if Ruth was honestly just THAT good... its possible he was and if he lived in this era with modern training he could still be the GOAT but we will never know for certain

sorry but have you seen deandre jordan, dwight howard, and andre drummond play??? they are pyhsical freaks just like wilt... neither of them re anywhere near as good or willl be as good but they could hold there own guarding him(not give up 30pts-55points)

again i hate to bring up the look who played against but look who he played against how many centers were even close to 7 ft tall and weight 250plus lbs?

For the next six years, Wilt controlled his opponents in similar fashion–his averages for the first half of his career are 39.5 points per game and 24.9 rebounds per game, including a 50.4 PPG season and a 27.2 RPG season, both NBA records.

However, despite his individual performance, Wilt’s teams never managed to win an NBA Finals, and Wilt gained a reputation of a loser whose first concern was individual statistics rather than team achievements, and a notoriously poor teammate both on and off the court

im sorry but how in the world can you avg 50 pts 27 reb and not win the nba finals and be considered the GOAT???

he didnt win a nba finals until he was traded and his points dropped to 20 a game

he still and all time great like ruth just trying to give his stats some prospective

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Now one thing that should be acknowledged when considering old-time pitchers like Walter Johnson is the competition - but in a different way. The 1919 American League, for example, only had 8 teams, not the 15 of today. So there was way less competition in order to lead the league in a category compared to today. That still doesn't diminish how great he was, just that practically nobody could do that in this day and age. It makes what Maddux, for example, did in the steroid era remarkable - lead the league in IP five years in a row, ERA+ and FIP four years in a row, WHIP three years in a row, 4 Cy Youngs in a row.

But also the less teams, the more you are facing elite talents instead of facing filler competition. It all kind of washes out, IMO. As more people began playing in the league (Hispanic, African American, Asian), baseball slowly expanded so that more players were playing in the league.

If you just did a quick experiement as follows: Suppose we remove all ethnic groups from the current MLB. Then we cut the teams down to 8, so its all the best white players condensed onto a few teams. Would Trout dominate the way the Babe did? I don't think so. Look at just 1921. Babe's WAR was double any other position player. He was first in Slugging% by 250 points. He more than doubled anyone in homers. His season's were just insane.

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"I would be remiss to overlook the fact that players from the 1960s benefitted from statistical inflation due to style of play in which games were played at a faster pace, leading to more possessions. More possessions meant more shots, and more shots translated to more total points and rebounds. For example, in 1962, at the height of the faster offense/no defense era, teams averaged a NBA record 118.8 points per game and a near-record 71.4 rebounds. No coincidence that this is the same year that Wilt Chamberlain averaged his famous 50-25 is it?"

and avg center height back when wilt played was 6 ft 7 230lbs haha thats a big guard or small forward ha

image dwight vs kobe plus 20lbs, nicolas batum or ?

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He's right there with Wilt for the clearest-cut GOAT candidates in the four major American sports.

No no no, there is only one true GOAT. As you can readily see, people can argue about Babe Ruth. Wilt is not even generally acknowledged to be #1 in basketball (WTF?).

The real GOAT is Wayne Gretzky. No one disputes it, because, well, no one can. He is a modern player whose records are just plain silly. You can remove all of his goals he ever scored (btw, he is easily #1 all time there) and he still has more points than any player in history.

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He's right there with Wilt for the clearest-cut GOAT candidates in the four major American sports.

No no no, there is only one true GOAT. As you can readily see, people can argue about Babe Ruth. Wilt is not even generally acknowledged to be #1 in basketball (WTF?).

The real GOAT is Wayne Gretzky. No one disputes it, because, well, no one can. He is a modern player whose records are just plain silly. You can remove all of his goals he ever scored (btw, he is easily #1 all time there) and he still has more points than any player in history.

Meh - Mario was better... Wayne just played in a much more offensive-minded period... Mario's peak coincided with the clutch and grab style of defense that lowered scoring dramatically.

See, you can argue about anything when you're talking about players in different time periods/eras.

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very true but the 1 true 100% fact is the players in the present era are better as a whole

therefore playing against the better competition makes the elite players of today better in my eyes than the elite players of past periods playing against lesser talent (even considering the stats)

1 more thing from yankees hitting instructor

Honestly, I think it would’ve been tough for Ruth to succeed against that,” said Kevin Long, the Yankees’ hitting instructor. “I see too much movement in his stride, he’s hitting off his front foot. That’s OK only if you’re sitting on an 80-mph fastball or waiting on a curveball that only breaks on two [up and down] planes.”

not saying the babe could not make adjustments (considering he never had to make adjustments)

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Please someone post a couple of babe Ruth's stats, it'll blow your mind. There are several people I think are better statistically

sorry but i bet there are 20-30 current major league players better than ruth

remember ruth was seeing 85mph not consistent 95 not to mention seeing the same guy 4 -5 times a night theres so much more i could go into

then why wasn't everyone putting up those numbers if it was so easy? There were some years he hit more HR than most teams.

I get your point, there were a lot of other "factors"-

Game was still segregated, the style of play back then was not a HR-power game, etc...but still the dominance was really good.

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Please someone post a couple of babe Ruth's stats, it'll blow your mind. There are several people I think are better statistically

sorry but i bet there are 20-30 current major league players better than ruth

remember ruth was seeing 85mph not consistent 95 not to mention seeing the same guy 4 -5 times a night theres so much more i could go into

then why wasn't everyone putting up those numbers if it was so easy? There were some years he hit more HR than most teams.

I get your point, there were a lot of other "factors"-

Game was still segregated, the style of play back then was not a HR-power game, etc...but still the dominance was really good.

Ruth was a pioneer - obviously - he changed the way the game was played. Rickey Henderson had more SBs than entire teams as well - but rarely does he get mentioned as GOAT (although he probably should be in the conversation). The fact that Ruth was ALSO a really good pitcher should give one pause as to exactly how good pitchers, overall, were back then... the game is just much more specialized (lefty relievers for a batter!) today making a lot of comparisons impossible. You could argue that it's not even the same game - aside from 4 balls/3 strikes/3 outs/4 bases, it's changed so much that it's more or less a different game.

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When it comes to GOAT, that is always a tough one for me, because personally I think of it as a chart and when you are looking at the Greatest of All Time, you are looking at simply the very best that whatever skill position sport you are talking about has ever been done, the highest level of play is it a season, is it a 5-year window, is it a career, how do you quantify the very best that has ever done something? I think sometimes that gets confused with "GCOAT" Greatest Career of all time.

I always use the NFL running back analogy, its pretty tough to argue that anyone other than Emmitt Smith has had the greatest career of all time for a RB: MVPs, All Time leading rusher, All time TDs for RB, had TD per season record for a while, Super Bowls, Super Bowl MVP, Rushing title, etc. But...ask most people if Emmitt Smith is the greatest running back of all time? You will get a pretty resounding No, most of just that era would say Barry Sanders was better, including me who is a die-hard Cowboy fan.

So when looking at Kershaw, if you are looking at this window he is on, is that the Greatest of All Time? No. Its not even the greatests left-handed Dodger of all time, go back and look at Sandy Koufax 63-66 4 seasons in pretty much any measure you want and they are better than Kershaw's.

CY Young? 3/4 MVP 1/4, was 2nd two other times.

WHIP never over 1 in that stretch.

WAR? Had two years where his WAR was over 10.

Over those 4 years, Koufax was 97-27.

We hear so much about HOF being for long periods of time, we hear so much "he didnt do it long enough", that all went out the window with Koufax, where he was so dominant (although for short stretch) he was still put in the HOF.

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It's all just for fun - nobody ever hands out awards for GOAT - whether that's greatest single season of all time or greatest career of all time... just being in the conversation means you did something right :)

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