Tavish wrote:Ack, I was thinking of the Win Shares above replacement level breakdown that Ty Cobb ended up winning.
Again, I am only saying that Bonds at his peak is as dominating (if not more so) as Ruth at his peak.
Ruth's top 3 seasons (159 Win Shares, 2008 PA) 51.3 WS/648 PA Bond's top 3 seasons (150 Win Shares, 1852 PA) 52.4 WS/648 PA
If you want to talk career value then there is no doubt in my mind Ruth was the overall most dominate. But at their peak Bonds is as good if not better. Bonds would probably need at least 3 more years of his current prowess to come close to catching Ruth career wise.
My numbers were a little different. Here's what I have:
Ruth 1923: 55 WS in 692 PA
1921: 53 WS in 685 PA
1920: 51 WS in 608 PA
That equates to 159 WS in 1985 PA or 51.91/648 PA.
Bonds 2001: 54 WS in 653 PA
2004: 49 WS in 564 PA
1993: 47 WS in 665 PA
That equates to 150 WS in 1882 PA or 51.65/648 PA.
This shows that their top 3 years are certainly close.
I don't see how Ruth and Bonds can be accurately compared, regardless of the math. There are too many unknowns involved. Too many "ifs".
Here's my own "if". If Ted Williams doesn't miss five prime years due to military service, he is IMO the one Bonds is chasing. And I'll also toss in that Williams was never the same physically following Korea. Had he not had to go, there's no way of knowing what his end numbers are, as he maintained remarkable physical condition in an age where there were few ways to enhance the body, legal or not. If you're going to give my the choice of any hitter in his prime, I take Williams.
As for BB, he's the best of this generation. I think it's pretty reasonable to at least suspect he juiced, but even if he did, ya still gots to hit the ball, and his hand-eye coordination is pretty amazing.
Yeah Williams might have been great....... Babe was even greater..... but if there's one guy I want at the plate, it's Barry. Right nw he's the best hitter in baseball and it's ridiculous how far away 2nd place is. He won't be around forever so we should appreciate what he does while he can do it. He has a bad rap but honestly, he's one of the top 5 best players ever.
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LBJackal wrote:Yeah Williams might have been great....... Babe was even greater..... but if there's one guy I want at the plate, it's Barry. Right nw he's the best hitter in baseball and it's ridiculous how far away 2nd place is. He won't be around forever so we should appreciate what he does while he can do it. He has a bad rap but honestly, he's one of the top 5 best players ever.
That is something that I will never disagree with.
The Top 5 All Time Greatest PLAYERS (total contributions of bat, arm, legs, and glove, awards, championships, fame (or infamy), all around studliness, etc)
1. Babe Ruth
2. Barry Bonds
3. Ty Cobb
4. Ted Williams
5. tie - Hank Aaron & Willie Mays
The Top 5 All Time Greatest HITTERS (Just the bats)
1. Babe Ruth
2. Barry Bonds
3. Ted Williams
4. Hank Aaron
5. Willie Mays
I also think that to compare Ruth, Bonds, Aaron, Williams, Mays, etc, is a waste of time. People are different, times are different.
What if Williams hadn't had military service?
What if Ruth hadn't drank, smoked, and whored 24/7?
What if Aaron had played on better teams?
What if Cobb hadn't been such an evil prick?
What if Bonds had had more lineup protection?
What if the old timers had faced tons of Latino/Black/Asian players and Bonds had NOT?
All, impossible to predict, extrapolate, or guess at. So....I leave it alone. I think the differences between all these players are so minute, or are sooo uncomparable, that they don't really bear debating. They're all legendary players who will stand the test of time and it all boils down to being nickel and dime differences. They're all the upper crust of baseball history.
But Wally Joyner is still better than all of them combined.
As a Giants fan who has followed them closely for about 15 years, I doubt Bonds would pull a Barry Sanders. He is definitely one of the most disliked (or distrusted, if you prefer) superstar athletes of his generation....I doubt he'll suddenly exit stage left with 756 so close. For someone like Bonds, its much more satisfying to rewrite the record books, and retire with an unspoken "beat that".
Comparing him to Ruth is and endless debate with no definitive answers. I would roughly say Ruth was a better hitter while Bonds was the better player. (Again, this is a very vague statement, and I don't want to fill up 20 pages with stats to back it up). Ruth's offensive numbers, compared to his peers, are off-the-charts crazy. Outhomering other teams? In modern day terms, Bonds would need what, a couple hundred homers? And even though we're looking at statistics, lets not forget Babe's impact on the sport and the country during his career. (After the depression, etc.) Babe Ruth will probably always be the most-recognized name of a baseball player to a non-fan of the sport. Bonds may rewrite his records, but Babe will always be the biggest name in baseball history.
Back to my statement about Bonds being a better 'player'. Forget the homers/average/walks totals for a minute. Lets not forget that Bonds has a stack of gold gloves along with 500 steals. Of course, he is nowhere near the player he was 10 years ago when he'd steal 30 and win the gold glove. But the fact remains he has all that hardware in the trophy room. The only 700/500 player in the game's history, plus a half dozen gold gloves. What more on the field can a player accomplish? I know Rawlings wasn't giving out the award in Ruth's days, but given his size and foot speed I think its safe to say he was not a gold glove outfielder. He may have been good, I honestly don't know, but I highly doubt gold glove.
So I say Bonds was a better overall player, but Ruth remains the best hitter, and the name people associate with baseball.
One last thought about Balco, steroids, etc...a lot of people have said if conclusive evidence comes out that Bonds' used steroids, all his records will be asterisked in their minds. A lot of ballplayers use illegal substances...Canseco, Caminiti, and surely scores of others along the way. But nobody is doing what Bonds is. I won't argue that steroids don't help, but I will argue nobody on or off steroids has done what Bonds is doing in about, oh, 50 years or more. I, too, like comparing players against their peers when comparing players of different eras. So if a lot of guys in this era are juiced, even if Barry is one of them, he still has no more of an unfair advantage than anyone else who is/has used them. He is still the best of his generation, by a tremendous margin.
Bonds will always be scrutinized about steroid use, but he gets more criticism about it than any other ballplayer, which isn't right. After all, is anyone calling for asterisks next to Sosa's name because he was using a corked bat? Speaking of bulking up....check out Sosa back in the day He has bulked up just as much as Bonds, as have a ton of others. But we don't care about them because they're not chasing down Aaron. McGwire was on andro....but we don't discredit his 70 homers because it was legal at that time? Its not now....therefore, I want to know how we compare McGwire's homerun totals to any player post-andro....
You could drive yourself nuts saying, "well, players could use andro before, so we can't compare him to him", or, "boy, they could throw spitballs legally back then, so we can't compare Clemens to those guys". Bottom line is, you have to compare against their peers, and with or without steroids Bonds is still the greatest of his generation, and certainly top-3 all time under any criteria.