What’s Becoming of This Game?

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  • #150903
    Avatargscottar
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    In 1985, Tom Herr had 110 RBI with only 8 HRs. That makes it look like he was a great hitter. However, taking his best 3 year period as a hitter, he only averaged 63 RBI. If you took that 3 year period and made it a 162 game average that would be an average of 79 RBI. In only 3 years was he an above league average hitter per OPS+.

    That was a magical year for Tommy, who is probably my all time favorite Cardinal. He was hitting behind Coleman and McGee and in front of Clark. What a great spot in the lineup to hit!

    #150906
    Avatarbccran
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    He sure was a great hitter that year.

    #150909
    Avatarbccran
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    Maybe the reason you have to hit home runs to have 100+ RBI today is that there simply aren’t as many base runners as there used to be. Someone on another forum said there are far fewer singles hit now. One of the reasons BAs are down.

    As far as guys like Musial and Williams? I’m pretty sure they would be better than .300 hitters today. Just my opinion. What do other posters think?

    #150911
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    At peak they may have hit .330, but how many 15+ year, .330 hitters are there now? Age would have slowly wore them down to a career .300ish average. Even Pujols is now down under .300 and he’s a top 10 all time hitter.

    #150913
    bicyclemikebicyclemike
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    I think cranny hit a good point that MLB needs to look at, which is batters stepping out and going through gyrations of some sort. Now guys have done that forever, at least to some degree. Rocky Colavito was noted for his stretching routine he went through before stepping in to hit.

    But once in the box, I would like to see it so the hitter is not allowed to exit the box unless for an emergency, like getting dust in his eyes, or something like that. Maybe you make it sort of like mound visits, where a hitter gets 2 “box exits” per at-bat.

    On the topic of RBI, that has always been one of my favorite stats because it gets at the heart of the game, scoring runs. A few years ago I came up with my own “WAR” stat if you will for offense. It was runs scored plus RBI minus home runs divided by plate appearances. It was a way to get at run production per at-bat. I like it because while getting on base is great, the real difference maker is getting guys across the plate. Most of the time it takes a multiple-player effort to do that, so who are the guys making it happen?

    I had a database of player stats and ran that calculation in Excel, and most of the career great players were high in the rankings using my stat just like other things such as WAR, OPS+ etc. So it was often just another way to confirm that a great player really makes a difference.

    As a final thought, there is no such delineation in baseball that categorizes a player as a “clutch” hitter. But putting RBI into a calculation will at least factor in some sort of clutch factor.

    Oh, final-final thought. Sorry to take this off topic. As I mentioned, keeping guys in the box would help. And I too liked the 7 inning double-headers. Those also give your pitching staff a bit of a break.

    #150914
    Avatarbccran
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    Musial at 41 years old –

    .330/.416/.508/.924

    His 21st year in MLB.

    #150916
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    Perhaps Stan would have been one of the few who could buck the trend. But don’t you find it interesting that no one else has been able to perform at that high a level at that age since those earlier players you mentioned? Is it just that great players stopped being born then? I don’t think so. We know that the steroid era extended the careers of some. Maybe there were early predecessors that helped the old greats.

    Personally, I think the talent pool was way shallower. Exactly how much is a point that can be argued til the cows come home, but there is no denying that the 25th man on today’s MLB rosters is far more talented than the 25th man in 1980, 1960 or 1940. The 40th or 60th man may be. Such was life when some players weren’t allowed to play in MLB and some markets hadn’t opened yet.

    #150920
    Avatarforsch31
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    In other words, bc, you confirmed what I said originally about RBIs: it is too dependent on your teammates.

    #150921
    Avatarbccran
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    Of course RBI are mostly dependent on your teammates. But you still have to get the hit, sac fly, or walk to get the RBI. Is it the most important stat? No, but runs scored and runs driven in are two stats the Cards still use to determine the value of a player.

    And 25 – the talent pool is actually diluted now because there are so many more teams in MLB. In the 40s, there were only 16 teams. In the 60s, there were 20 teams. Today there are 30.

    Let me ask you a question, 25, and please don’t take it personally. Did you ever see guys like Musial, Brock, Flood, Ozzie, Gibby, Carlton, Mays, Aaron, Spahn, Marichal, Koufax, Seaver, Maddox, Bench, Maris, Schmidt, Rose, Berra, Mantle, Jenkins, Banks, Clemente, Howard, Molitar, Glavine, Stargell, Jackson, McCovey, Mount, Carew, Boggs, Kaline, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Palmer, Gwynn, Yaz, Morgan, Brett, Ripken, Mathews, Randy Johnson, Griffey, Jr. etc. etc. etc. play?

    Also, it would be interesting to compare the bench players of the Cardinals in the 60s, 80s, 2000s etc. to compare utility players in different generations.

    #150922
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    And 25 – the talent pool is actually diluted now because there are so many more teams in MLB. In the 40s, there were only 16 teams. In the 60s, there were 20 teams. Today there are 30.

    16 teams and no African Americans, hardly any Latin players, no Asian players, etc. It’s not even remotely close. I know that you’re trying to defend the idols of your youth and I’m perfectly willing to admit that the best of the best would be good in any era. But it’s like saying that NFL teams from the 50s could play with 220-250 pound linemen and 180 pound skill players with NFL teams today that outweigh them by 50-80 lbs each AND are faster. It’s just not based in reality.

    As for your other question, I have seen many of them play, but not all. The greats are the greats, and there’s something special there. For another sporting analogy, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods are both extremely talented golfers. In Jack’s day, in any given week on the PGA Tour, there were 30 golfers talented enough to beat him. Tiger now has 120 guys talented enough to beat him every week. It stands to reason that as population and the pool of players for any sport grows, there will be more capable athletes. Add in the biomechanical side and analytics, nutrition and off season workouts, etc.

    The 2020 Cardinals straight up would wipe the floor with the 1942 Cards if they could be transported to today for a series. A 4 game sweep in a 7 game series would not even be close to a surprise.

    #150923
    Avatarbccran
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    Boy, I don’t know about that as far as the ‘42 Cardinals. The highest WHIP of all the starters was 1.22. They just
    might mow down the present offense limited Cardinal team. And that outfield of Musial-Moore-Slaughter might be a tad better than our present outfield.

    #150928
    Avatargscottar
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    bikemike, remember Mike Hargrove of the Indians from back in the 70’s and 80’s? He was referred to as the “human rain delay” because he could never get ready to hit in the box.

    #150937
    Avatarbccran
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    25 – How about that Mort Cooper on the ‘42 Cardinals –

    22-7
    ERA – 1.78
    WHIP – 0.987
    Starts – 35
    Innings – 278.2
    Complete Games – 22
    Shoutouts – 10

    You don’t think he’d win a game or two against the light hitting 2020 Cards?

    #150947
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    Cranny just imagine how much seeing betting line crawlers across the screen will enrich your viewing experience. kkkk. I’m glad I quit watching two years ago. Nothing has happened since that I regret missing. And you should be careful what you wish for, if there were more doubles, triples, stolen bases, hit and runs, bunts, etc. can you just image how many video reviews there would be.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by Avatarblingboy.
    #150951
    Avatarforsch31
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    US population:

    1940 – 132.1 million
    1950 – 152.3 million
    1960 – 180.7 million
    1970 – 205.1 million
    1980 – 226.5 million
    1990 – 250.1 million
    2000 – 282.2 million
    2010 – 309.3 million
    2019 – 328.2 million

    In the 1940s, there were 16 teams. Today there are 30 teams. So the number of major league players in 2021 are close to double what they were in 1940. Meanwhile, the U.S. population has nearly tripled. There will be very little diluting based on population numbers.

    #150957
    Avatarbccran
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    But how many kids play baseball in 2020 vs. 1942? The sandlot fields are empty now. Kids are much more into football, soccer, hockey, lacrosse, etc. A lot of dilution.

    #150958
    Euro DandyEuro Dandy
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    forsch31, direct proportionality between population and baseball players is a hard sell. There would be a lot of reasons to assert that is not the case. Cross generational comparisons/debates are fun, but usually not convincing enough to change a person’s mind who already has a strong opinion.

    To carry your numbers further, it might be interesting to compare the number of kids playing little league ball today to the number back in 1940 (if that data is available). That would give a better idea of the relationship/degree of proportionality to population growth, and thus, a better idea of the growth of the pool of baseball players.

    #150959
    Avatarblingboy
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    If you put 1940s players into today’s game it would still be today’s game. If you put todays players into the 1940s game it would look the same as it did then.

    #150961
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    So so many things are different. Conditioning of the athletes, first and foremost, quality of umpiring, pitchers having to face designated hitters instead of each other, are several right off the top of my head. It would have to be one heck of a detailed simulation to do a valid comparison of eras, IMO.

    bling, I am sorry you have been so turned off by the game, but it is good to see you posting, at least on this thread…

    #150996
    Avatarblingboy
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    Assuming a minor league season in 2021 I plan to take in some A+ level ball at Dozer and Modern Woodmen. I had been thinking it would be fun to see the more advanced players at Peoria this year, but with the new and scaled down affiliate configuration I don’t know what to expect. I may also take in a few games at Memphis. I like to get a room at the northeast corner of the Peabody that overlooks the plaza at the entrance to the ballpark so I can watch the goings on. Not sure about AA. The last time I went it cost more to park than to buy a ticket.

    One of my sons has started talking about taking his son on a whirlwind tour of WPA parks like I did with my boys. I might tag along. It depends on what is still there I guess.

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