Volume IV Issue 4 Special Season Opening Issue!
The Baseball Report Volume IV Issue 3
From The Editor,
Hey, unfortunately the website is temporarily down. It will be up soon, with some new featues, somewhat of a new look, and possibly a new server. Staff apologies to all of you who regularly check out the site for news, games, and other things. People are currently working on the site to get it up and running again.
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Finally, check out this issue! We've got another staff member's predictions for all those of you who were unsatisfied with Issue 4's picks, as well as an article on the art of comparing players of different eras, and even players of the same time. Now, onto the issue...
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2000 Finishes by Terry Monroe
*Note: Look out for Boston here. The Yanks and Sox are the only legit contenders in this division, and if NY slips at all, Boston could steal this division.
*Note: This hunt is canned. Cleveland will stroll to the division title, even if they cannot address their glaring deficiency of left-handed relievers. No other team in this division could contend unless the White Sox get a big year from the Big Hurt, and tons of over achieving pitching.
*Note: Seattle will need to impress on the mound to contend here. Texas could run away with it. Oakland played well last season, but they'll have to do it again before I can take them too seriously. Should be a fun division to watch since none of these teams is a real powerhouse.
*Note: Atlanta will overcome John Rocker and their other key injuries (Chipper Jones' elbow and John Smoltz who is out for the season) to win this division. This isn't to count the Mets out. They look strong on paper, but will have to get big years from everyone to beat out the Braves.
*Note: that this division is up in the air. The top team will certainly be the Reds, but the next three could finish in any order. Should be a fun year in the NL Central.
*Note: No big surprises here. Arizona is the real deal, and San Francisco loves to underachieve. We'll have to wait and see if Barry Bonds can lead this team into the playoffs, we all know he can't lead them IN the playoffs.
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The Art of Comparing Players by Michael Frankel
Comparing individual players, including different kinds of players over different eras is not a certain thing. When Babe Ruth hit 60 homeruns, he out-homered many teams. Now, when at least 20 players hit 40 in a season, comparably 60 is not as impressive.
Furthermore, everyone, ESPN, MLB fan voters, etc. use different criteria when judging players. Take a pitcher for example. Wins are a huge category no doubt, but is not also a function of what team you play on? Similarly, era is a common stat, but if you have a 2.30 era, does it matter if you go 5-10?
Point is, judging players is a subjective matter. Different people value different things. Tony Gwynn's function is to hit. Ruth was put cleanup to homer. People always said Wade Boggs had amazing power, 30 homerun power, yet he maxed at somewhere in the teens I believe. Why? Because he chose to get hits more than homeruns.
Let me ask you all something. If you were building a sports team right now, disregarding money whom would you take first? Truth be told, I rather have Alex Rodriguez over Ken Griffey Jr. for the simple fact of ss vs. of. Mike Francesca, host of a radio sports talk show on WFAN and one of the most respected people in the business answers that question with Derek Jeter, because unlike Arod, Jeter has shown he can win and win frequently.
Different people value different things. To compare players from different eras who were different kinds of players is absurd (just one of the reasons the all century team was idiotic, though a great marketing idea). If you want to break it down and go best power hitter, pure hitter, base runner etc, that in my mind is a much better way to go about it. To argue over the top 100 all around is ridiculous because baseball has changed in many ways, just look at the 80s and the 90s.
Remember when Cecil fielder was amazing because he hit 50 hrs, yet batted just .250? Now, it's not nearly as impressive as Shawn green hitting .340, with 40 hrs is it? The game simply changes over time.
Lets think about it - when Bernie Williams batted 2nd in 95, his job was to get on base. Now batting 4th, his job is to produce runs. Is it the same player? Yes. Is it a different role? Yes. Did he change his approach? Yes. Who's to say if he was on a different team his role and stats wouldn't be different?
Comparing players without taking these things into account is something everyone does, yet in reality it is like comparing apples and oranges. You cannot judge a player without context; to do so would be a mistake.
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That's all for this issue.
Till next time,
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