Joe Posnanski's Top 100 Players in Baseball

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I know this article has been written a million times before, but it's a lot more fun when Joe P writes it:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/joe_posnanski/07/21/top.100/index.html

Thoughts? Arguments? Concurrence?

Your heartbeat soun like sasquatch feet (polyphonic), Wednesday, 22 July 2009 20:32 (fourteen years ago) link

oh man i <3 this guy

igloo-fifty-four-quart-sports-ice-chest.jpg (J0rdan S.), Wednesday, 22 July 2009 20:34 (fourteen years ago) link

i guess the obv quibble would be a-rod - the guy is getting old and is likely deteriorating, and his home run numbers are pretty obv juiced by playing in new yankee stadium - and if this was a "who would you draft" thing i dont know if i would want a guy who is hitting .250 as opposed to like... justin upton even

igloo-fifty-four-quart-sports-ice-chest.jpg (J0rdan S.), Wednesday, 22 July 2009 20:39 (fourteen years ago) link

I thought it was pretty audacious to put the grinkster in the #4 spot, even if his performance has maybe warranted it.

Your heartbeat soun like sasquatch feet (polyphonic), Wednesday, 22 July 2009 20:41 (fourteen years ago) link

greinke, lincecum & haren are almost interchangeable as the #1 pitcher imo

igloo-fifty-four-quart-sports-ice-chest.jpg (J0rdan S.), Wednesday, 22 July 2009 20:42 (fourteen years ago) link

All the American League 1B at 14-17 seem silly to me.

He was only 21 years old when he 16 (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 22 July 2009 20:58 (fourteen years ago) link

xp Agree, but I'd still take Lincecum marginally over the other two to pitch a single game cuz of the strikeouts.

He was only 21 years old when he 16 (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 22 July 2009 20:59 (fourteen years ago) link

ya - greinke's slot was the first headscratcher to jump out at me.

The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 21:03 (fourteen years ago) link

Ibanez at 26 is just a joke.

He was only 21 years old when he 16 (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 22 July 2009 21:10 (fourteen years ago) link

23. Derek Jeter, SS, Yankees

velko, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 21:13 (fourteen years ago) link

Would take McCann, or Escobar, or Gallardo, or Phillips, or just about anyone behind Inge, prior to Inge.

Stacey Pollen (Andy K), Wednesday, 22 July 2009 21:16 (fourteen years ago) link

McCann at 81 is fucking nuts. He's top 25 probalby.

He was only 21 years old when he 16 (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 22 July 2009 21:22 (fourteen years ago) link

A-Rod at 6 or whatever and Chipper at 87 is mindblowingly weird.

He was only 21 years old when he 16 (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 22 July 2009 21:25 (fourteen years ago) link

ibanez kinda makes sense if you follow his criteria of who is the best right now at this very moment

"he said...all things passantino the night" (omar little), Wednesday, 22 July 2009 21:29 (fourteen years ago) link

i guess the obv quibble would be a-rod - the guy is getting old and is likely deteriorating, and his home run numbers are pretty obv juiced by playing in new yankee stadium - and if this was a "who would you draft" thing i dont know if i would want a guy who is hitting .250 as opposed to like... justin upton even

― igloo-fifty-four-quart-sports-ice-chest.jpg (J0rdan S.), Wednesday, July 22, 2009 4:39 PM (58 minutes ago)

really dude?
arod - .252/.401/.546
"justin upton" (i know u were just trolling but) - .291/.361/.525

and those arod numbers are including that awful start

ehhh p. diddy miss (k3vin k.), Wednesday, 22 July 2009 21:51 (fourteen years ago) link

i'm like the only dude that doesn't like joe pos :(

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 21:58 (fourteen years ago) link

upton was probably a bad example because he doesn't walk much, but let's go with... idk matt kemp

a-rod - .252/.401/.546
kemp - 323/.390/.507

or
mccan - .305/.379/.508

or
votto - .345/.430/.592

take any of those four guys and switch them w/ a-rod (who has inflated home run numbers due to new yankee and has a million more rbi chances being on a team like the yankees than say the reds or dbacks) and they are having comparable if not better years

igloo-fifty-four-quart-sports-ice-chest.jpg (J0rdan S.), Wednesday, 22 July 2009 21:59 (fourteen years ago) link

"ibanez kinda makes sense if you follow his criteria of who is the best right now at this very moment"

I guess, but there has to be some forecasting to it too. I mean who'll be the rest for the rest of the season ya know?

I don't really like him either, CAD.

He was only 21 years old when he 16 (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 22 July 2009 22:00 (fourteen years ago) link

Uh aren't Votto's #s inflated by playing in Bandbox Park?

He was only 21 years old when he 16 (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 22 July 2009 22:01 (fourteen years ago) link

And it's not like A-Rod's going to stop playing in New Yankee Stadium so really who cares about that.

He was only 21 years old when he 16 (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 22 July 2009 22:01 (fourteen years ago) link

Agree that McCann and Kemp are seriously underrated though.

He was only 21 years old when he 16 (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 22 July 2009 22:02 (fourteen years ago) link

upton was probably a bad example because he doesn't walk much, but let's go with... idk matt kemp

a-rod - .252/.401/.546
kemp - 323/.390/.507

or
mccan - .305/.379/.508

or
votto - .345/.430/.592

take any of those four guys and switch them w/ a-rod (who has inflated home run numbers due to new yankee and has a million more rbi chances being on a team like the yankees than say the reds or dbacks) and they are having comparable if not better years

― igloo-fifty-four-quart-sports-ice-chest.jpg (J0rdan S.), Wednesday, July 22, 2009 5:59 PM (15 minutes ago)

okkkkk but 1) who cares about rbis and 2) arod had a horrible start, he's still a better player than those dudes

ehhh p. diddy miss (k3vin k.), Wednesday, 22 July 2009 22:17 (fourteen years ago) link

read some of the comments section re this list and ppl rightfully kind of livid over him missing out on markakis AND adam jones and even brian roberts

J0rdan S., Thursday, 23 July 2009 12:19 (fourteen years ago) link

nflandrum
Arlington , VA
Brian Roberts leads the AL in doubles not Pedroia, is tied in runs scored with Pedroia, has more RBIs, total bases, and steals and plays on a worse team. He has also grounded into 10 fewer double plays. Glad to see major market teams getting the standard bias. This list is rediculous.

hmmmm.......

J0rdan S., Thursday, 23 July 2009 12:22 (fourteen years ago) link

tragic that roberts' peak has been wasted on the o's imo

call all destroyer, Thursday, 23 July 2009 12:24 (fourteen years ago) link

soo many people in the comment are mega butthurt over cole hamels not making the list - the guy has a 5.82 era and a .337 baa ON THE ROAD

lots of lols from "HOW CAN THE MVP FROM WHEN IT MATTERS THE MOST NOT MAKE THIS LIST!"

J0rdan S., Thursday, 23 July 2009 12:27 (fourteen years ago) link

lots of stl fans getting butthurt over no yadi - dude is an amazing defender but...

J0rdan S., Thursday, 23 July 2009 12:30 (fourteen years ago) link

what catchers made it? he's no less than the 5th best catcher in baseball right now isn't he?

call all destroyer, Thursday, 23 July 2009 12:45 (fourteen years ago) link

Jair Jurrjens should be on this list even if he didn't have the best name in the game.

GM, Thursday, 23 July 2009 23:09 (fourteen years ago) link

no mccann until fucken 81??? eatadiccup posnanski

the shitbirdification of america's youth (cankles), Friday, 24 July 2009 02:35 (fourteen years ago) link

i normally love poz but this is DOGSHIT i hope he is brutally murdered

the shitbirdification of america's youth (cankles), Friday, 24 July 2009 02:35 (fourteen years ago) link

it kinda feels like he just went to his yahoo league, sorted players by their ranking, and copy/pasted it into a SI column

the shitbirdification of america's youth (cankles), Friday, 24 July 2009 02:44 (fourteen years ago) link

uh this has nothing to do about this article, just a general question and i assume some ppl will open this thread:

how do you have a lower obp than BA, as yuniesky bentancourt has had in his time with the royals?

a narwhal done gored my shortstop yunel (J0rdan S.), Thursday, 30 July 2009 02:32 (fourteen years ago) link

sacrifices lower your OBP but not your BA

(*゚ー゚)θ L(。・_・)   °~ヾ(・ε・ *) (Steve Shasta), Thursday, 30 July 2009 02:35 (fourteen years ago) link

thank u shasta

a narwhal done gored my shortstop yunel (J0rdan S.), Thursday, 30 July 2009 02:39 (fourteen years ago) link

four years pass...

Finished with the first 10 on his 100-Greatest-Ever list:

100. Curt Schilling
99. Cool Papa Bell
98. Ron Santo
97. Lou Whitaker
96. Ichiro Suzuki
95. Mariano Rivera
94. Paul Waner
93. Craig Biggio
92. Old Hoss Radbourn
91. Robin Roberts

Prediction, based on stray comments he's made here and there: Mays, not Ruth, will be #1.

clemenza, Tuesday, 10 December 2013 04:17 (ten years ago) link

I know all the arguments against Ryan (#87), they've been widely discussed. But wow at this:

Since Deadball ended — it was a different game in Deadball — who has thrown the most no-hitters?
A: Nolan Ryan. Of course. He threw the seven no-hitters, most ever even if you include Deadball.

OK. Next. Since Deadball, who threw the most one-hitters?
A: Nolan Ryan. He’s tied with Bob Feller with 12 one-hitters.

Since Deadball, who threw the most two-hitters?
A: Nolan Ryan. He threw 18 of them.

Since Deadball, who threw the most three-hitters?
A: Nolan Ryan. He threw 31.

Think about this for a moment. Nolan Ryan threw 69 complete games where he allowed three or fewer hits. That’s more than Roger Clemens...and Pedro Martinez...and Randy Johnson. COMBINED. It’s more than Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale combined, even if you throw Greg Maddux on top.

clemenza, Wednesday, 11 December 2013 19:38 (ten years ago) link

I have a hunch that it's a lot less impressive that it seems ... i.e. how many walks and runs did he give up in those games? He threw "only" 61 shutouts, so in most of those three hitter or less games he probably gave up runs and maybe didn't win the game.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Wednesday, 11 December 2013 20:57 (ten years ago) link

thats covered pretty well in the remainder of the article

frogbs, Wednesday, 11 December 2013 21:01 (ten years ago) link

OK, I hadn't read it yet.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Wednesday, 11 December 2013 21:13 (ten years ago) link

Couldn't resist checking, so I went through his game logs. Not nearly as onerous as it might seem. The games in question were easy to spot, so it only took about 45 minutes.

I only came up with 66, so I must have missed three. I kept track of IP, H, ER, and decisions, not walks and strikeouts. I wanted to do it quickly. Some of the walk totals were indeed crazy--8 or 9 sometimes--and the strikeouts were indeed awesome. We already knew that, though--I wanted to see if the walks led to runs, and if the runs led to losses. For the 66 games I found:

IP: 590.2
H: 138
ER: 36
ERA: 0.55
W-L: 62-4

It's hard to know whether those games are less impressive than they seem, because there's nothing to compare them to--no one else threw that many low-hit games. If Greg Maddux had thrown those games, obviously they would have been light-years tidier in terms of walks. He probably would have given up fewer runs, too, although maybe he would have given up more home runs than Ryan (who didn't give up many). Sixty-six games of Pedro doing that would have been more impressive, I'm sure. But that's all hypothetical--they didn't do it. If Johnson or Koufax were in the 40s or thereabouts, maybe that'd form some basis of comparison.

clemenza, Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:03 (ten years ago) link

Nice work ... I looked at a few years of game logs ('77 + '78 and '89 and '90) and it was about what I expected -- the first group had games of the 2 H 6 BB 8 K 0 ER variety, and the second group was more like a Justin Verlander special, 2 H 2 BB 12 K (except for the pitch totals ... just ridiculous ... several 140+ pitch games in '89, including a 164 pitch, 8 IP 13 K game). Pos claims that Ryan just wanted to dominate hitters and couldn't care less about the walks, but something obviously changed between the late 70's and late 80's. How much of it was the hitters and how much of it was Ryan learning how to control his pitches?

NoTimeBeforeTime, Friday, 13 December 2013 12:53 (ten years ago) link

I think it was the latter. What's kind of amazing is that it coincided with a drop in his strikeout rate (actually that's not amazing) but no real drop in effectiveness (kinda interesting) but then rose like crazy again in the latter part of his career (okay that's bonkers). Also the comparison between Fangraphs and B-R WAR is really striking for Ryan. Like if you just focus on peripherals he looks amazing (esp. at the end) but in terms of actual outcome he's basically more than a win worse for every year played.

One bad call from barely losing to (Alex in SF), Friday, 13 December 2013 14:43 (ten years ago) link

w/out looking, he figured out how not to walk ppl when he was about 35, right?

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Friday, 13 December 2013 15:06 (ten years ago) link

31 (1978) is the last year the walk rate is just bonkers (over 5). It trends down after that (some spikes though). It never goes below 3 a game though (mostly between 3.5 and 4.5).

One bad call from barely losing to (Alex in SF), Friday, 13 December 2013 15:10 (ten years ago) link

Ryan's total # of career pitches must be insane

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Friday, 13 December 2013 15:13 (ten years ago) link

Randy Johnson just got better and better controlling the strike zone:

1988-92: 5.7 BB/9 (range: 2.4-7.9)
1993-98: 3.3 (2.7-3.8)
1999-03: 2.5 (2.1-2.8)
2004-09: 2.1 (1.6-2.9)

His K/9 never dropped below 10.0 from '91-02, peaking in Arizona.

clemenza, Friday, 13 December 2013 22:06 (ten years ago) link

Johnson was definitely amazing. Way better pitcher than Ryan even was.

One bad call from barely losing to (Alex in SF), Friday, 13 December 2013 22:38 (ten years ago) link

randy would've had ten consecutive 300k seasons without the strike and injuries.

christmas candy bar (al leong), Friday, 13 December 2013 22:45 (ten years ago) link

and w/ryan, his three best WHIP seasons came during his first three seasons in texas (his age 42-44 seasons!)

i mean really if he'd learned to pitch earlier in his career he could have been one of the top five pitchers ever.

christmas candy bar (al leong), Friday, 13 December 2013 22:49 (ten years ago) link

don't forget about Fernandomania, Big Papi, Doc Gooden

omar little, Wednesday, 14 February 2024 16:55 (two months ago) link

are curt schilling and john rocker gonna make the list?

the defenestration of prog (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 14 February 2024 16:58 (two months ago) link

what about deion sanders?

the defenestration of prog (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 14 February 2024 16:59 (two months ago) link

Rickey will be on the list pretty high, I'm sure.

also Kirk Gibson of course. Sammy Sosa, too.

omar little, Wednesday, 14 February 2024 17:04 (two months ago) link

Pretty sure the one non-player he'll have on the list (see criterion #3 above) is Steinbrenner.

clemenza, Wednesday, 14 February 2024 17:06 (two months ago) link

Steinbrenner was also the subject of jokes in the Simpsons and Seinfeld

Roman Anthony gets on his horse (gyac), Wednesday, 14 February 2024 17:08 (two months ago) link

national fame vs regional fame is kind of a key distinction here, probably. to me, ozzie smith is an incredibly famous baseball player. everyone around here knows ozzie smith. albert pujols. mark mcgwire in the late 90s was very famous (on a national level there, for a while, too).

i just polled a non-sports fan who grew up in kansas city. they answered "albert pujols. mike moustakis. oh, and a-rod". they recognized barry bonds name, and when i asked what they knew about him, they said "he cheated. and he took his socks off"

z_tbd, Wednesday, 14 February 2024 17:10 (two months ago) link

I think McGwire, Pujols, and Ozzie will all be on the list. Agree with your basic point. In Toronto, Moseby, Stieb, and Kelly Gruber are still famous.

clemenza, Wednesday, 14 February 2024 17:13 (two months ago) link

I think Ozzie will make it on the strength of "Go crazy, folks!," The Simpsons, his cartwheel, and his nickname (above and beyond his playing credentials).

clemenza, Wednesday, 14 February 2024 17:15 (two months ago) link

i wonder if george brett would make the list? pine tar + "the george brett story" on youtube

z_tbd, Wednesday, 14 February 2024 17:26 (two months ago) link

If you didn't follow baseball in the '70s, this will befuddle you (and if you did, you might hate it), but--just posted--#49: Steve Garvey. (Haven't read the entry yet.)

Brett, I'd say 100%--pine tar, chase for .400, epic post-seasons, hemorrhoids, The Simpsons, on and on.

clemenza, Wednesday, 14 February 2024 17:32 (two months ago) link

Didn't realize he was running for the Senate in 2024. You know for which side...

https://stevegarvey.com/

clemenza, Wednesday, 14 February 2024 17:41 (two months ago) link

I assumed he was a Republican without knowing anything about him cos most are, website confirmed that, but he could be a fairly standard democrat with those views, and the website is deceptive!

Roman Anthony gets on his horse (gyac), Wednesday, 14 February 2024 17:50 (two months ago) link

I think he's very much a Romney type of Republican, not so much a Trump guy, but in 2024, who knows. One thing I remember is him citing (during his playing days) Gerald Ford as his political hero for stepping in and (paraphrasing from memory) calming the country after Watergate. Later on that day, he went out and fathered three children.

clemenza, Wednesday, 14 February 2024 17:59 (two months ago) link

lol

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Wednesday, 14 February 2024 18:58 (two months ago) link

aahhh - I don't think Brett was on the Simpsons tho?

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Wednesday, 14 February 2024 18:59 (two months ago) link

I thought he was in the Griffey/Ozzie episode, I guess not. He was in Modern Family, though.

clemenza, Wednesday, 14 February 2024 21:36 (two months ago) link

george brett comes with a hank scorpio energy so i understand the simpsons confustion

Its big ball chunky time (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Wednesday, 14 February 2024 23:13 (two months ago) link

Also Kent Brockman when he won the jackpot that time
https://64.media.tumblr.com/7fa2befb9037814a399c93853a736807/tumblr_oihjvzLbtC1uruw4so1_500.png

Roman Anthony gets on his horse (gyac), Wednesday, 14 February 2024 23:15 (two months ago) link

#48, Tommy Lasorda. I take it he doesn't consider managers "non-players"--he must have meant a separate category for people not on the field. Because surely Steinbrenner's on there, and there's no way Lasorda's the most famous manager of the past 50 years.

clemenza, Thursday, 15 February 2024 20:11 (two months ago) link

I mean, he's close. I'd say Billy Martin was more famous in the late '70s and into the '80s, maybe Torre, maybe Earl Weaver.

clemenza, Thursday, 15 February 2024 20:21 (two months ago) link

Slim fast my dudes

Its big ball chunky time (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Thursday, 15 February 2024 20:49 (two months ago) link

Sega Genesis games
Tommy Lasorda: 1
Billy Martin: 0

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Thursday, 15 February 2024 21:39 (two months ago) link

This was pretty famous in its day:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOVHc4hcCX4

Close call--I don't know which of the two is more famous. Maybe Lasorda just by virtue of outliving Martin by three decades.

clemenza, Friday, 16 February 2024 00:01 (two months ago) link

(Also, the true trademark-owner of "You're fired.")

clemenza, Friday, 16 February 2024 00:02 (two months ago) link

Can't find a clip on YouTube, but in Spike Lee's Girl 6, Lee himself plays a card collector who's planning to retire one day on all the Ken Griffey Jr. '89 Upper Deck rookie cards he's hoarded.

clemenza, Monday, 19 February 2024 22:01 (two months ago) link

#47: Don Mattingly.

These are all going to be behind a paywall, but I'll post a brief excerpt each day:

In the moment, Mattingly was often called the best player in baseball--Carlton Fisk, among many others, was quoted saying that. I don’t think, looking back, that he actually was the best player in baseball, or even the best player in the league. I think, even in his prime, Rickey Henderson, Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken Jr. were definitely more valuable, and perhaps also Alan Trammell and Eddie Murray and George Brett and Lou Whitaker. Mattingly didn’t walk much, so, even though he hit for such high averages, he never had a .400 on-base percentage. And after his age-26 season, his power numbers tumbled.

But such stats might cause people to miss the larger point of Don Mattingly: He was both this larger-than-life ballplayer and the guy who lives next door. He was this extension of Yankees royalty--a direct descendant of Gehrig and DiMaggio and Mantle--and also a reminder of what the Yankees used to represent. People love to talk about the meaning of the pinstripes. Well, the pinstripes did look right on him.

clemenza, Tuesday, 20 February 2024 19:31 (two months ago) link

#46: Jim Palmer. (With the headline "A Good Head of Hair"--before I scrolled down, my first thought was "Seriously? Oscar Gamble?!")

Over the last 100 years, here are the lowest WHIPs—walks and hits per inning pitched—in high-leverage situations:

1. Jim Palmer, 0.993
2. Sandy Koufax, 1.007
3. Tom Seaver, 1.029
4. Juan Marichal, 1.032
5. Mariano Rivera, 1.070

Now, here is the career WHIP for each of those pitchers:

1. Jim Palmer, 1.180 (118th all-time)
2. Sandy Koufax, 1.106 (30th)
3. Tom Seaver, 1.121 (40th)
4. Juan Marichal, 1.101 (24th)
5. Mariano Rivera, 1.000 (4th)

You explain that. You explain how Jim Palmer had the lowest WHIP ever in high-leverage situations--when the game was basically on the line--and a less-than-legendary WHIP the rest of the time. It’s not like Palmer was especially skilled at preventing baserunners. He did lead the league in WHIP once, late in his career, but he also walked 100-plus batters three times (and 99 batters once) and four times was among the top 10 in most hits allowed.

What allowed him to turn it up when the heat was at its highest?

Just skimmimg, there's no mention of Baltimore's legendary defense. I realize that's part of the answer, but I also think Palmer really was the rare player who, over a very large sample size, was "clutch." Like the famous stat where he never gave up a grand slam in 213 bases-loaded situations; obviously, that had nothing to do with his defense.

clemenza, Wednesday, 21 February 2024 18:50 (two months ago) link

What allowed him to turn it up when the heat was at its highest?

the flexibility and breathability of jockey men's briefs, of course

z_tbd, Wednesday, 21 February 2024 19:22 (two months ago) link

I'm surprised he didn't use one of those ads for the accompanying photo--pretty close!

https://i.postimg.cc/v8gtRPNB/palmer.jpg

clemenza, Wednesday, 21 February 2024 19:29 (two months ago) link

(Having read it now, there is brief mention of the Orioles' defense--including Palmer getting angry at DeCinces for not getting in front of the ball, a feud, and then Palmer later apologizing that he'd been spoiled by Brooks Robinson.)

clemenza, Wednesday, 21 February 2024 19:32 (two months ago) link

Palmer is also famous for hardly ever giving up grand slams but also walking home more runs than other good pitchers. The guy knew what he was doing

Humanitarian Pause (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 21 February 2024 20:55 (two months ago) link

Interesting. That would more go along with what I meant--not that he had some magical ability to get out of jams, more that he was a smart guy who could weigh the possible outcomes and would concede a run to avoid a big inning (and his defense definitely would have helped there, giving him the confidence that walking a run in was okay).

clemenza, Wednesday, 21 February 2024 21:12 (two months ago) link

In the future, everyone will count down famous baseball players for 15 minutes...seems to have stalled for some reason.

clemenza, Monday, 26 February 2024 21:21 (one month ago) link

Bizarre--literally two minutes after posting that, the new one showed up.

#45: Kirk Gibson

Gibson’s fame was certainly mixed. He never played in an All-Star Game. He played 140 games in a season only three times. He hit 255 home runs and stole 284 bases—when he retired he was one of only nine players to have 250 homers and 250 steals—and yet there was always this sense that his career was a disappointment, that it had fallen short of what might have been. But I tend to believe careers are often what they’re supposed to be, and I’m not sure that a mercurial player like Kirk Gibson—who played with such wild abandon—can stay healthy or be metronome consistent. He was a bright-lights performer. He was a ferocious competitor. He was a football player. Had he stayed in football, who knows, his bust might be in Canton right now. But baseball wouldn’t have been the same.

I don't know if it was the only time he was on the cover of SI, but the issue accompanying the piece is early:

https://i.postimg.cc/zDK1P1mT/kirk.jpg

clemenza, Monday, 26 February 2024 21:31 (one month ago) link

how do you do that, win an MVP, and *never* make the all star team?!

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Monday, 26 February 2024 21:41 (one month ago) link

I don't know if he's the only guy ever to accomplish that, but definitely strange. I thought he would have been part of the '84 game, but he did get off to a so-so start: .273/.349/.483, 12 HR, 46 RBI. (The Tigers were 57-27 at the break.)

clemenza, Monday, 26 February 2024 21:47 (one month ago) link

(Chet Lemon made it; .307/.377/.540, 12 HR, 51 RBI. Close, but clearly better.)

clemenza, Monday, 26 February 2024 21:50 (one month ago) link

Gibby w/o a moustache is so weird

Its big ball chunky time (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Tuesday, 27 February 2024 04:40 (one month ago) link

Typical Posnanski: he starts the most-famous countdown, gets six entries posted, then begins a pre-season countdown of the teams, #30-1 (for me, not nearly as interesting; there are a zillion pre-season rankings). So he seems to have put most-famous aside for at least three weeks. He did that a few times with the Top 100--took him three or four years to complete.

clemenza, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 18:27 (one month ago) link

Resumption. #45, Manny:

He was supernatural with two outs and runners in scoring position. The highest OPS ever in such situations with at least 1,000 plate appearances:

1. Babe Ruth, 1.203
2. Ted Williams, 1.128
3. Lou Gehrig, 1.065
4. Jimmie Foxx, 1.056
5. Manny Ramirez, 1.050

And when asked how he did it, MannyBManny said: “I don’t know. I just hit.”

He did just hit. The rest of the game held little interest for him. But in that way, he wasn’t really much different from another Red Sox leftfielder named Ted Williams. He was flakier than Ted and less profane than Ted and just plain odder than Ted. It’s unlikely that Ted Williams would have delayed a game looking for his diamond earring in the infield dirt or smiled after getting picked off in the World Series or left the outfield in the middle of the game to go the bathroom or run back to first base after stealing second or dived to cut off Johnny Damon’s throw for no apparent reason or kept a water bottle in his pocket...

clemenza, Thursday, 7 March 2024 14:50 (one month ago) link

Millar: (Julian Tavarez and Manny) had this drink. It was like whiskey and it was this Latin cocktail they’d shake up in this old bottle, like a big old Perrier bottle. They put all this stuff in it: a shot of whiskey, honey, lemon. Well, Manny had the idea of throwing in Viagara pills and didn’t tell anybody. We were all taking shots of this stuff and it was like: “Let’s go play!”

Arroyo: Manny loved a laugh.

Leskanic: You know how they have the Silver Slugger award? I told him that this year they were going to give out a Silver Glove award. So we all spray-painted his glove silver and hung it in his locker. He said: “Lesky, I told you I was going to win the Silver Glove award!”

McCarty: For all the s— he took about his defense, he really worked at it.

Garciaparra: Manny put in the work.

Leskanic: We would go out and have some drinks together. All his drinks had Red Bull. I’d say: “Manny, every time I see you, you’ve got a Red Bull in your hand. Why do you drink so much Red Bull?” And he would say in his dreams he could take longer batting practice because of the energy.

Millar: Only Manny.

Arroyo: Manny was so cheap, when we would check out of a hotel, all his incidentals he would freaking send to Edgar Rentería’s bill every time. You’d see Edgar arguing with the hotel manager that he didn’t have all this food.

Leskanic: That’s true! Terry Adams was checking out, and I was right behind him. Terry was like: “I didn’t get four massages. I wasn’t even here for four days, how the hell would I get four massages?” Manny put it on his bill!

Foulke: Manny would do the same thing to Julian (Tavarez). Julian knew him really well. He’d go into his wallet and get money out.

Leskanic: Schilling made these “why not us” T-shirts. Manny took them all, put them all in his locker, 25 shirts, and he wore a different one home every night.

Arroyo: Manny would open up his man purse and he’d have $10,000 in there.

Leskanic: I just loved the guy.

Roman Anthony gets on his horse (gyac), Thursday, 7 March 2024 15:04 (one month ago) link

Most of today's entry was about how little MVP support he garnered during an astounding seven-year run.

clemenza, Thursday, 7 March 2024 15:06 (one month ago) link

I often think of Manny as my favourite player

Humanitarian Pause (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 7 March 2024 15:22 (one month ago) link

Why do you drink so much Red Bull?” And he would say in his dreams he could take longer batting practice because of the energy.

In his dreams

Humanitarian Pause (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 7 March 2024 15:22 (one month ago) link

he is batting practice viking

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Thursday, 7 March 2024 15:40 (one month ago) link

manny ramirez (best player)

three weeks pass...

Down to #6 on the pre-season rundown that put the famous-player countdown on hold (I get the feeling he was rushing to get rundown finished before Opening Day and missed). In his Astros entry for today, there's this little bit--I've had this same theory for a while and have posted about it somewhere on ILX:

OK, I’ve been wanting to unveil this thought I have about 1970s sitcoms, and maybe I can pull it off here. Maybe not. But I’ll try. So you probably know that 1970s sitcoms were, pretty much without exception, filmed in front of a live studio audience. Well, one of the features of this is that after a show had been on the air for a while, the studio audience would cheer the mere appearance of Fonzie or Latka or Laverne.

But what struck me, even as a kid, is that the longer the show would go on, the more characters the studio audience would cheer for simply showing up. I mean, it was one thing when the audience cheered for the Fonz. It was quite another when they cheered for Ralph Malph. That, to me, that was living proof that a show was going on too long--the fans started applauding simply because they recognized someone from the old show. Hey, look, it’s Chachi!

clemenza, Tuesday, 2 April 2024 22:24 (two weeks ago) link

this is a classic clemenza post, ty <3

but has joe posnanski ever been in a live studio audience? i mean, they literally prompt you to applaud! also does he really think 70s sitcom producers adhered strictly to audience reactions rather than using canned laughs when it suited their purposes?

mookieproof, Wednesday, 3 April 2024 03:36 (two weeks ago) link

Happy Days was the worst offender by far.

The first two seasons of Happy Days (1974–75) were filmed using a single-camera setup and laugh track. One episode of season two ("Fonzie Gets Married") was filmed in front of a studio audience with three cameras as a test run. From the third season on (1975–84), the show was a three-camera production in front of a live audience (with a cast member, usually Tom Bosley, announcing in voice-over, "Happy Days is filmed before a live audience" at the start of most episodes), giving these later seasons a markedly different style. A laugh track was still used during post-production to smooth over live reactions.

A laugh-track, yeah, but I don't know whether the entrance applause for characters was coaxed or not. It's almost a moot point as to how embarrassing it was to hear that watching at home.

clemenza, Wednesday, 3 April 2024 04:03 (two weeks ago) link


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