Friday, April 10, 2015

FOUR GREATEST LIVING PLAYERS IN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL HISTORY

Hank Aaron
Johnny Bench
Barry Bonds
Rickey Henderson
Sandy Koufax
Pedro Martinez
Willie Mays
Tom Seaver

Fans can vote for four of  those eight living candidates who are listed alphabetically, plus there is space for one write-in.  So the choice is quite limited.

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2015/franchise_four.jsp?c_id=greatest_players

- Fan voting on all ballots available from April 8, 2015 at 10:00am ET through May 8, 2015 at 11:59 pm ET.
- The players receiving the most votes on each ballot will be revealed on July 14 at the All-Star Game in Cincinnati.
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I could not find who selected the candidates.  On MLB Network "High Heat" historian John Thorn was interviewed about this promotion and gave some vague indication but it's unclear.  It was embarrassing to hear Thorn trying to explain and defend the promotion.  Why would he be involved in something so silly?

I've tried voting multiple times but it never seems to go through.

Pitchers are part time players and I would not vote for a pitcher as greatest player.  But if I were picking the four greatest living pitchers, Sandy Koufax would not be among them.  Koufax pitched only 2,324 innings.  Plus, Koufax had big split advantages at home.  My top four living pitchers would be among:
Roger Clemens
Whitey Ford
Bob Gibson
Randy Johnson
Greg Maddux
Juan Marichal
Pedro Martinez
Tom Seaver

The top three living players are easy.  In this order:
Barry Bonds
Willie Mays
Hank Aaron

Then it gets tricky.  Here are some candidates:
Alex Rodriguez (I tried to vote for Alex; don't know if it worked)
Albert Pujols
Frank Robinson
Miguel Cabrera
Mike Trout
Ken Griffey, Jr.
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Then there is a section for fans to vote by team for the four greatest players, dead or alive, for each of the 30 franchises.  It's a bit silly for newer ones like Tampa but the real question is why they didn't do this in two stages: first pick the best per franchise and then have a run off?  Manfred, the A-Rod Slayer, is not that much more imaginative than Selig.

Here are some comments on the Yankees.  In a future post I'll present all candidates for all franchises in a matrix so that you can see them without constantly switching back and forth.  Plus, I'll pick the best player per franchise.  Why didn't the league think of that?  Be prepared for some players to be candidates on multiple teams and for obvious candidates to be missing.  Oh, and for Keith Hernandez to be listed as a Met and not as a Cardinal, which he was.

TOP FOUR PLAYERS IN NEW YORK YANKEES FRANCHISE HISTORY

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2015/franchise_four.jsp?c_id=nyy

Candidates:
Yogi Berra
Joe DiMaggio
Whitey Ford
Lou Gehrig
Derek Jeter
Mickey Mantle
Mariano Rivera
Babe Ruth

Mariano Rivera?  1,283 innings?  Babe Ruth pitched 1,221.

I can only hope that Yankee fans are not moronic enough to pick the top four as other than the obvious: Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle, DiMaggio.  Watch for the next post on all this.

2 comments:

Ralph F said...

How about Steve Carlton as a contender for one of the four greatest living pitchers?

Linda M. L. Roberts said...

Comparing the Babe's innings pitched to Mo's innings pitched is like comparing the importance of being a winning pitcher in college to being the dominant closer on FIVE world series teams. Without Mo, the Yankees don't win all five of those championships. And before your write off any choices other than Ruth, DiMaggio, Gehrig or Mantle, consider whether ANY of them could hit a 100 mph fast ball. There is the problem in trying to compare players from different eras.

Give history time to consider the impact of Jeter or Rivera on the Yankees and on the game. Don't forget that both of these guys lived cleanly through the height of the steroid era. Jeter's lifetime average is .310. In the '20s,'30s,'40s,'50s,'60s there was no such thing as a closer, and I'm guessing that none of those 4 Yankee greats could have hit off Mo either.

Don't even get me started on Yogi. 10 rings. TEN.