The question of who is better between Joba and Phil Hughes is answered right here:  http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/chamberlain-or-hughes-whos-got-better-mechanics/.  Well maybe there is no answer and may not be one for many years.  But this at least is an attempt to give us an answer. 

     A clutch win can still happen in Boston.  Proven last night.  Gagne struck out the side and the Red Sox had a walk off win.  You did hear that right.  A walk off win! 

     Why do a lot of people shrug aside the comparison of modern day players to that of legacies.  No one can ever replace a legacy, that is understood to most.  But it is very likely that a player of today can actually be better.  And a lot of us our stubborn in our approach.  The legacy of a "legacy" has been sinking in for many years.  It is tough to take an objective stance when evaluating a player who can do no wrong in one’s own mind.  I can understand some of that.  But I like to think that I can eliminate a lot of the bias when I make comparisons. 

     As for yesterday’s comparison?  Jay Buhner is not Roger Maris.  But I think it was a little closer than people will feel comfortable with.  I think Maris should be sitting right outside the "Hall," staring through the window at his 61-homer display, while Buhner should be looking at Maris from afar.  But Maris is a lot closer to Buhner than he is to the truly [great] Hall of Fame career that Frank Robinson had.  And Buhner played in Seattle, while Maris played in media friendly New York.   

     Eric Bedard has greatness written all over him.  He gave up three earned in seven innings his first start against the yankees this season.  And the second time around he two-hit the best offense in baseball.    The Orioles could be scary to [all] teams if they could get some bullpen help and maybe another bat before next season begins.   

3 Comments

Joseph, you make a good point about people’s willingness to hold onto people’s reputations vis-a-vis more current players, and in some cases to recreate their reputations in a more positive light than they may deserve. Yet I would also add that, more frequently today, people are way too willing to ignore the past and mire themselves in their analysis of sporting greats solely in the present. A case in point is the “discussion” between the dueling lunkheads on ESPN, the dunderhead duo of “Two Live Stews” with Skip Bayless, whom I can’t stand in the least. When asked what athletes might have been as dominant as Tiger Woods in their respective sports, Skip referred, of course, to Jordan, while the “Two Live Stews” mentioned the Williams sisters. While debatable examples, there was no mention of people who would easily qualify, yet haven’t played in the past 15 years or more, such as Muhammad Ali, Bill Russell, and Babe Ruth–clear examples of greatness in any era, and by any assessment at least as dominant as Woods, who is clearly great.

To me, about Maris versus Buhner, an important question is whether or not the players made their teams not only better, but better to the point of being the best. Maris did that, Buhner (with all due understanding to his team’s shortcomings) didn’t. Maris was more central to his team’s success offensively and defensively, which was the ultimate success of championships, than Buhner was with his own team. I would have Maris in the Hall, not because he was a Yankee, but because he won three rings, was very important to the teams (the Yankees and Cards) that won, and made history with his home-run record.

http://heartlandpinstripes.mlblogs.com/

I am browsing the Yankee stats of the early sixties now. And a trend that seems to be jumping out is that 60′ all the way through 64′, the worst that they finished in pitching or hitting in the AL was 3rd. Every year they had a top 3 pitching staff [and] a top 3 offense. And only one year did they finish third in a category. So if I group the five seasons into the two categories, it makes ten (five offense and 5 pitching) 9 of the 10 they were first or second in the category and once third. If that makes any sense. Maris had something to do with it, but that team was so much better in relation to their league than anything that Buhner was on. Buhner was on that good 01′ Seattle team, but only played 19 games at the age of 36. And from what I remember from Buhner he was ruthless, so I don’t question his heart or anything (may be mistaken, I was fairly young). Here is a question: if Buhner were warped back the the early sixties, would they still have won championships had he taken Maris’ spot? But don’t get me wrong I believe Maris was better, just not by some significant margin.

Great post, Joseph!
Thanks for making me laugh over at my blog!

Rick

http://munsonshouldbeinthehall.mlblogs.com/

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