This post has my reply to a thoughtful comment about the Yankees. Below: excerpts from my original post, the reader comments, my reply.
FOUR GREATEST LIVING PLAYERS IN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL HISTORY Friday, April 10, 2015
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
TOP FOUR PLAYERS IN NEW YORK YANKEES FRANCHISE HISTORY
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.
Linda M. L. Roberts has left a new comment on your post "FOUR GREATEST LIVING PLAYERS IN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEB...":
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.
Posted by Linda M. L. Roberts to Radical Baseball at Monday, April 20, 2015 at 7:16:00 PM EDT
Would Aroldis Chapman make Babe Ruth faint? Sunday, March 8, 2015
The fastest pitch recorded by the system is 105.1 miles per hour. It was thrown by Cincinnati Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman on Sept. 24, 2010, during an at-bat by Tony Gwynn Jr. of the San Diego Padres... Chapman has thrown 17 of the 20 fastest pitches recorded by Pitch F/X since 2008...
Bob Feller measured against a motorcycle. (at 100 mph) ...
I've long thought that pitchers back in Ruth's day simply did not throw all that fast, maybe an 85 mph fastball...
In 2014 Aroldis Chapman had 17.4 SO9: 106 in 54 innings. There were few relief aces back in Ruth's time, certainly no one who would blow away batters...
Brooklyn Dodger fireballing righty 6' 2" Dazzy Vance ... led the old National League in SO 1922-1928. In 1924 Vance had more SO than the next two pitchers combined ...
Maybe righty Joe DiMaggio, who started the year after Ruth retired in 1935,would fare better than Ruth against Chapman. In real life DiMaggio batted pretty well against the original 100 mph pitcher Bob Feller who stood 6 feet even.
Babe Ruth's home run log shows that he hit 10 homers off Walter Johnson and 9 off Lefty Grove. So in fairness to the Babe, he homered off some pitchers who probably threw very fast. How fast? Beats me.
Mickey Mantle homered off Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson in the World Series.
Regarding innings pitched by Rivera and Ruth, the comment included: "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."
I was using regular season innings. The comment refers to Rivera pitching in the World Series but ignores Ruth doing likewise when Ruth set a record of 29 consecutive shutout World Series innings. That record stood until Yankee lefty Whitey Ford broke it in 1961.
Ruth: 31 innings, .87 ERA, 3-0
Rivera: 36 innings, .99 ERA, 2-1
Finally, who says that Rivera threw 100 mph? It wasn't his shere speed that made him effective but his control and the movement on his pitches.
Rivera could be marginalized. See the 2002 first round series loss against the Angels.
I love Rivera but he would be way down on my list of all time Yankees. He just didn't play enough. Among the Core Four of recent seasons, I rank them in this order: Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera. Starting shortstop, starting catcher, starting pitcher, relief pitcher.
Rivera typically retired about 4 percent of the batters in the regular season. And given the way in which he was used he faced the bottom of the order as much as the top. It was random. The entire closer role is a joke and way overrated. In the two years since Rivera has been retired it has morphed, not into closer by committee, but, hey, we've got lots of guys who can throw 95-100 mph and, oh by the way, hardly walk anyone. Rivera was not a big strike out pitcher. And when the batter hits the ball, the other players retire the batter, not the pitcher, unless it's that rare occasion when the pitcher actually makes a fielding play.
Too bad Rivera couldn't simply smoke Luis Gonzalez in the 9th inning of game 7 of the 2001 World Series against Arizona when Rivera had the biggest blown save in baseball history, followed by the biggest game loss in relief. Gonzales hit a bloop single for the winning RBI. A strike out was needed. Maybe the southpaw Babe Ruth pitching to the lefty Gonzalez could have gotten that.