Debate: Stevelabny vs Perlick - Fantasy Baseball Cafe 2014 Fantasy Baseball Cafe
100% Deposit Bonus for Cafe Members!

Return to Baseball Leftovers

Debate: Stevelabny vs Perlick

Moderator: Baseball Moderators

Debate: Stevelabny vs Perlick

Postby giants! » Fri Mar 17, 2006 4:36 pm

Might as well pick up the pace by doing two at once.

Catcher is traditionally the weakest position on the field. However, there have been plenty of great catchers throughout the history of the game.

Question: Who is the best catcher of all time. Support your answer and argue against your opponents.

Answers are First come first served.

Good luck
Image
giants!
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar

Posts: 2982
Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball

Postby stevelabny » Fri Mar 17, 2006 4:51 pm

Perlick, the greatest catcher in baseball history once said

"You can observe a lot just by watching."

So pull up a seat, and I'll tell you why Yogi Berra is the greatest catcher ever, and it's not just because he has a World Series ring for each finger.
"Baseball is like church. Many attend. Few understand." -- Leo Durocher
stevelabny
College Coach
College Coach

User avatar

Posts: 342
Joined: 22 Feb 2003
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: BROOKLYN!

"If you come to a fork in the road, take it"

Postby stevelabny » Fri Mar 17, 2006 9:09 pm

Yogi Berra, greatest catcher in baseball history? He might be the greatest PLAYER in baseball history.

10 time World Series winner - more than any other player in baseball history

15 consecutive All-Star Games

14 A.L. Pennants

3 A.L. MVPs - tied with 6 other baseball legends for most MVP awards for second place behind Barry Bonds.

And for good measure, as a manager Yogi won pennants in both leagues.

He had a great year in 1950, setting a career-high with a .322 batting average, while catching all but six games on the schedule. He hit 28 homers, had 124 RBI, scored 166 runs and he struck out just 12 times all season.

In his book Brushbacks and Knockdowns, Allen Barra rates Berra as perhaps the single greatest team player in the history of team sports. Nearly all the pitchers he caught did better with Berra behind the plate than they did with any other pitcher, and Barra determined that Berra produced more such improvements across a pitching staff than any other catcher who has ever played the game.

Off the field, Yogi has given us years and books full of "Yogi-isms" and the beloved cartoon character Yogi Bear was named after him.

On the field, in the dugout, or even out of the stadium. no other catcher can compete with what Yogi Berra has done for baseball.
"Baseball is like church. Many attend. Few understand." -- Leo Durocher
stevelabny
College Coach
College Coach

User avatar

Posts: 342
Joined: 22 Feb 2003
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: BROOKLYN!

Postby perlick29 » Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:46 pm

I went the more statistical route here because unless somehow Mike Piazza finds a re-birth within the next few years it really only comes down to two guys: Yogi and Johnny. And since you chose Yogi, I'll choose Johnny Bench. Essentially these two legends are 1A and 1B.

However, here are some discernable edges that Bench has over Yogi according to my own and some of your arguments.

For starters both players were excellent hitters. While Berra had exceptional patience, Bench had incredible power.

In 1970, Bench had perhaps the 2nd most productive season for a catcher in the history of baseball behind Mike Piazza's 1997 campaign of 40 hr's and a .362 avg. That year Bench hit .293 with 45 home runs and 147 rbi's while slugging .587. The home runs, RBI's, and slugging % all topped Berra's best totals for a season.

Both players match up well with numerical awards as well. Although Berra did win 10 rings, baseball is a team sport more than any other and so suffice to say he had a lot of help. So did Bench of course but the Yankees were and are a dynasty while the Reds assembled a great group for a smaller period of time.

In terms of All Star awards Bench had 14 in 16 seasons of playing ball while Yogi had 15 in 19 seasons. Let's not forget Bench has multpile MVP awards as well winning them in 70' and 72'.

Unfortunatelly I have to discount your arguments about Yogi's off the field accomplishments and managerial accomplishments, because neither of those affect the actual value of a catcher during one's playing career. Yes Yogi is America's crazy old grandfather that everyone loves, but this debate shouldn't be based on popularity.

But here is the true advantage of Bench over Yogi.
Defense.

It is arguable that Yogi is the greatest offensive catcher of all time since guys like Piazza, Pudge Rodriguez, for a time Ernie Lombardi, and Bench all deserve consideration. But there is no question that Bench was the best defensive catcher of the bunch. None. He is the greatest defensive catcher of all time. He won gold gloves for 10 straight years from 1968-1977. And while gold gloves did not get invented until 1957, Yogi never won one, because guys like Del Crandall were better defensively at that time and would have more than likely won them if they had existed. With guys like Crandall and Smoky Burgess in the way, Yogi can't be considered the best defensive catcher. Bench is.

According to Bill James in THE HISTORICAL BASEBALL ABSTRACT, "Yogi was very good behind the plate, but Bench was spectacular, of good size but somehow wiry, quick, active, confident, and blessed with a great arm." (Pg.371)

There you have it. Both players ranked in the top 50 of all time according to Bill James, so since they were so close offensively to each other, each better than the other in certain aspects, you have to give the edge to Bench because of his ability to call a game, and throw out runners.

Finally, I'd just like to say that this was a great topic to debate on because in this particular topic there may not actually be one answer since Bench and Berra are 1A and 1B depending on who you talk to. Also before it's all said and done, Piazza might make himself a case for best C of all time on a strictly offensive level.
Image
Forget the man crush. I drop what I'm doing to watch Zack Greinke pitch.
perlick29
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
EditorCafeholicCafe WriterEagle EyeCafe MusketeerCafecasterPick 3 Weekly WinnerSweet 16 SurvivorLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 4810
Joined: 10 Mar 2004
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: praising the almighty Baseball Prospectus

"Slump? I ain't in no slump. I just ain't hitting."

Postby stevelabny » Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:48 pm

First off, we know that you're wrong because you took the same side of the arguement as Joe Morgan. And Joe Morgan is never right. :-B

Berra might have been better defensively, as in blocking the plate and throwing out runners, but I can argue that Berra was better at calling games. I already cited an analyst's findings that Berra was the best at improving his pitching staff, and let's not forget, he also called Don Larsen's World Series perfect game.

A perfect game. During the World Series. That's the best competition and a game that matters. To quote Yogi, "It's never happened in the World Series competition, and it still hasn't."

The original question was "Who is the best catcher of all time." it doesn't say to stay within the white lines of the diamond, so I don't think you can just discount Yogi's other accomplishments. But I can see why you'd want to avoid discussing Bench's Krylon commercials.

So while Bench was great at throwing out runners, Yogi was great at something else. Winning. From 1947-1964, the Yankees missed the World Series only three times. (In 1946 Yogi only played 6 games for the Yanks, 1964 he was their manager) Immediately following his departure from the Yankees dugout, they missed the World Series for 11 straight years, their longest drought since winning their first World Series (and only topped by the futility of the 1982-1995 seasons)

YOGI. A winner on the field. One of baseball's most loved characters off it.
"Baseball is like church. Many attend. Few understand." -- Leo Durocher
stevelabny
College Coach
College Coach

User avatar

Posts: 342
Joined: 22 Feb 2003
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: BROOKLYN!

Postby Lofunzo » Sun Mar 19, 2006 1:52 pm

Steve.......Where would you rank Dan Marino on the all-time NFL QB list?? Was Luis Sojo better than A-Rod??
Image
Lofunzo
Moderator
Moderator

User avatar
ModeratorCafeholicFantasy ExpertCafe RankerEagle EyeHockey ModPick 3 Weekly Winner
Posts: 23698
(Past Year: 11)
Joined: 9 Jul 2003
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: Central Jersey

Postby coachbob » Sun Mar 19, 2006 2:59 pm

Berra for president. Look, statistics can be argued and twisted and used for any purpose that suits the user. When I do pitching clinics, I always ask the players what their most important tool is as a pitcher. The answers are usually about a thunderous fast ball or an amazing curve ball. The truth is that the pitcher's best weapon is his catcher. I'm still in agreement with the two picks I've heard so far - Berra and Bench but the edge goes to Berra because of the impact he had on his pitchers.
[url=http://www.baseballdrills.info]Baseball Drills[/url]
coachbob
Softball Supervisor
Softball Supervisor


Posts: 25
Joined: 10 Feb 2006
Home Cafe: Baseball

Postby baseball6791 » Sun Mar 19, 2006 3:04 pm

Guys, please don't post in active debates if you aren't a debater...
Image

[size=18]

[url=http://baseball6791.deviantart.com/]My DeviantArt[/url][/size]
baseball6791
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
Graphics ExpertMock(ing) Drafter
Posts: 4368
Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball

Postby perlick29 » Sun Mar 19, 2006 4:40 pm

I have to say that almost all of argument is DISCREDITABLE. Almost all of the factors that you mention for Yogi being the greatest catcher are practically out of his control.

Catching Don Larsen's perfect game as a reason why he is the greatest catcher of all time? Umm I think Don Larsen probably thinks he himself had something to do with it. Just a guess. :-D Berra was a good game caller no doubt but again he called games for some unbelievable pitchers like Whitey Ford, Don Larsen, Allie Reynolds, Vic Raschi, Bob Turley, Ralph Terry, and Ed Lopat.

And as far as the "in between the lines versus off the field stuff" argument, this cant be a popularity contest for who has done the most for baseball, because on the field is what counts to making you a better catcher. Not being able to recite analogies that make everyone laugh, or being able to coach with success as you said earlier. That is not part of being a catcher. A catcher gets behind the plate and does his job. Krylon commercials or "Yogi and a movie" on YES network have nothing to do with either of these players talents. It's just not a valid argument that would put Yogi on top.

There is also this case you keep making for Yogi:


So while Bench was great at throwing out runners, Yogi was great at something else. Winning. From 1947-1964, the Yankees missed the World Series only three times. (In 1946 Yogi only played 6 games for the Yanks, 1964 he was their manager)


This is my favorite part. Because if asked I wonder if Mickey Mantle, Joe Dimaggio, Whitey Ford, Phil Rizzuto, and Roger Maris would take some of the credit for their dynasty as well.

You're statement of Yogi being a winner on the field is correct. Yogi might even be the greatest team player in the history of baseball. But that doesn't make him the greatest catcher according to your arguments. Because here is what we know about Johnny bench.

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENTS- 10 gold gloves, the greatest defensive catcher of all time, tremendous offensive statistics with a higher home run, RBI, Slugging% total than Berra. He also averaged a higher number of runs created throughout his career.

You said that an analyst found that Berra was the best at working with pitchers. I wish I could've seen evidence that proved it.

What we know about Johnny Bench is what he did as a catcher. The greatest of all-time. What we know about Yogi Berra according to you was that he was a great team player, a good manager, and a good television character. Those are not sufficient arguments that should be made for the greatest CATCHER of all time.

Bottom line is that with these catchers being so even in offensive nature, the people voting for you or I have to decide who has argued their case to a better degree. At this point I have to say I think my arguments have fit the question whereas your arguments address Berra the man rather than Berra the catcher.
Image
Forget the man crush. I drop what I'm doing to watch Zack Greinke pitch.
perlick29
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
EditorCafeholicCafe WriterEagle EyeCafe MusketeerCafecasterPick 3 Weekly WinnerSweet 16 SurvivorLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 4810
Joined: 10 Mar 2004
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: praising the almighty Baseball Prospectus

Postby giants! » Sun Mar 19, 2006 4:51 pm

Debate over
Image
giants!
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar

Posts: 2982
Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball

Next

Return to Baseball Leftovers

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests

Forums Articles & Tips Sleepers Rankings Leagues


Today's Games
Saturday, Oct. 25
(All times are EST, weather icons show forecast for game time)

Kansas City at San Francisco
(8:07 pm)

  • Fantasy Baseball
  • Article Submissions
  • Privacy Statement
  • Site Survey 
  • Contact