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Thread: Beat SI's All-Time Team

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    Playoffs Cyclone792's Avatar
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    Beat SI's All-Time Team

    I hadn't seen this posted anywhere even though it's been out for a while so I thought I'd throw this up. Anyhow, earlier this month, Sports Illustrated published their selection of an all-time 25 man roster based on a panel of 22 experts. They picked an entire team, position players, starting pitchers, and relief pitchers, and this is what they came up with ...

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...009/index.html
    Code:
    SI's All-Time Team
    
    C:  Johnny Bench & Yogi Berra
    1B: Lou Gehrig & Stan Musial
    2B: Rogers Hornsby & Jackie Robinson
    3B: Mike Schmidt
    SS: Honus Wagner & Alex Rodriguez
    OF: Ted Williams, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron,
        Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle & Joe DiMaggio
    SP: Warren Spahn, Lefty Grove, Roger Clemens, Cy Young,
        Christy Mathewson, Sandy Koufax & Walter Johnson
    RP: Mariano Rivera & Dennis Eckersley
    For me personally, this team isn't a bad start as the vast majority of guys listed above I'd also have on my own all-time 25 man roster. Musial can be a backup at first base as well as backup in left field, and Alex Rodriguez can be a backup for both shortstop and third base. That's pretty good roster management with those two, IMO.

    There's a couple guys on this team, however, that I'd be looking at dropping, namely: Warren Spahn, Yogi Berra, Dennis Eckersley, Joe DiMaggio, Sandy Koufax, Jackie Robinson, and Hank Aaron. Hank Aaron is a very regrettable drop, but there's too many outfielders and he's the last man out.

    My seven replacements for those above: Tom Seaver, Josh Gibson, Tris Speaker, Barry Bonds, Eddie Collins, Pete Alexander, and Greg Maddux. I decided to hold firm to SI's selection of nine pitchers; I just chose to drop one of the two relievers and add a starter since Rivera will close.

    On the mound, Tom Seaver was the last man in with Warren Spahn being the last man out, and Satchel Paige was directly behind Spahn. I did want at least one Negro Leaguer on the team, and Josh Gibson was the best choice considering the available catchers. Oscar Charleston was a darn good Negro League outfielder, but like Hank Aaron, there's just too many outfielders to choose from so he misses the cut for me.

    Here now is my own personal all-time team ...
    Code:
    My All-Time Team
    
    C:  Josh Gibson & Johnny Bench
    1B: Lou Gehrig & Stan Musial
    2B: Eddie Collins & Rogers Hornsby
    3B: Mike Schmidt
    SS: Honus Wagner & Alex Rodriguez
    OF: Ted Williams, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays,
        Tris Speaker, Barry Bonds & Mickey Mantle
    SP: Walter Johnson, Lefty Grove, Roger Clemens, Pete Alexander,
        Cy Young, Christy Mathewson, Tom Seaver, & Greg Maddux
    RP: Mariano Rivera
    Let's do a starting lineup, full rotation, bench and bullpen for this team now, because hey, this is fun ...
    Code:
    Starting Lineup
    2B: Eddie Collins
    CF: Ty Cobb
    RF: Babe Ruth
    LF: Ted Williams
    1B: Lou Gehrig
    SS: Honus Wagner
    C:  Josh Gibson
    3B: Mike Schmidt
    
    Starting Rotation
    SP: Walter Johnson
    SP: Roger Clemens
    SP: Lefty Grove
    SP: Pete Alexander
    
    Bench
    C: Johnny Bench
    1B/OF: Stan Musial
    2B: Rogers Hornsby
    SS/3B: Alex Rodriguez
    OF: Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Tris Speaker, & Mickey Mantle
    
    Bullpen
    RP: Cy Young
    RP: Christy Mathewson
    RP: Greg Maddux
    RP: Tom Seaver
    CL: Mariano Rivera
    There's so many ways to run out a starting lineup with this team and not be wrong, but I chose an excellent combination of on-base percentage and speed at the top of the order with Collins and Cobb, then followed them with the two greatest hitters ever to play the game in Ruth and Williams (I'll take Williams over Ruth for greatest hitter, BTW). Gehrig, Wagner, Gibson and Schmidt clean up everything else in the bottom of the lineup.

    I could very easily put Hornsby in at second base over Collins to get another right-handed bat in the lineup and breakup some of those lefties, or I could also keep Gibson in the lineup and move him up ahead of Gehrig for the same purpose. Yet another option would just be flip-flopping Wagner and Gehrig too. Collins, Cobb, Ruth, Williams, and Gehrig would be five consecutive lefties, but you know what? They're five of the greatest players ever so who cares! I could also very easily throw Bench in at catcher to give the team's defense a boost. I did ponder starting Musial at first base, but I think of him historically as a left fielder moreso a first baseman so I went with Gehrig instead.

    Johnson, Clemens, Grove and Alexander are the four greatest pitchers ever, IMO, and they comprise my starting rotation. My next four greatest, Cy Young, Christy Mathewson, Greg Maddux, and Tom Seaver, fill out the middle relief roles. Mariano Rivera, the greatest closer of all-time, is my closer.

    Now, here's another fun idea ...

    Let's create an all-time 25 man roster with players not on SI's list. In a way, let's see if we can come up with a team of 25 guys that SI did not choose and see how it'd compare to the actual team that SI did choose.

    Here would be my picks assorted by starting lineup, pitching rotation, bench, and bullpen ...
    Code:
    Starting Lineup
    2B: Eddie Collins
    CF: Tris Speaker
    LF: Barry Bonds
    1B: Jimmie Foxx
    3B: Eddie Mathews
    C:  Josh Gibson
    RF: Oscar Charleston
    SS: Arky Vaughan
    
    Starting Rotation
    SP: Pete Alexander
    SP: Greg Maddux
    SP: Tom Seaver
    SP: Satchel Paige
    
    Bench
    C:  Mike Piazza
    1B: Albert Pujols
    2B: Joe Morgan & Nap Lajoie
    SS: Pop Lloyd
    OF: Mel Ott, Frank Robinson, & Rickey Henderson
    
    Bullpen
    RP: Randy Johnson
    RP: Kid Nichols
    RP: Bob Feller
    RP: Bob Gibson
    CL: Pedro Martinez
    In the lineup, Oscar Charleston was actually a center fielder, but I'll move him over to right field since Speaker's arguably the greatest defensive center fielder the game has ever seen. Interestingly, this lineup has two Negro Leaguers in Charleston and Josh Gibson while also having Negro Leaguer Pop Lloyd coming off the bench. Within a few seasons, Albert Pujols might be starting at first base every day with Jimmie Foxx coming off the bench, but for now I'll stick with Foxx.

    SI didn't choose Pete Alexander on their pitching staff whatsoever, and it's their loss since Old Pete is one of the greatest arms ever to see a mound. A fourth Negro Leaguer, Satchel Paige, makes this team and rounds out the rotation after Alexander, Maddux, and Seaver. In the bullpen, Johnson and Feller are flamethrowers that could lock down some latter innings while Gibson and Nichols could easily be trusted to put out a fire. Pedro Martinez has been one of the most dominant pitchers the game has ever seen, but he's had durability questions surrounding him. Not a problem, he'll be my closer.

    Could that team directly above with all 25 guys not on SI's team actually beat SI's team in any given game? You bet. Are they collectively greater than SI's team? No, it doesn't look like it. If they played each other 1,000 times, SI's team would come out victorious more times than not, but I do think they'd be pretty close to evenly matched. While I would swap out seven players from SI's team, they still have 18 guys that I would elect to keep for an outstanding core, which isn't too shabby at all.
    Barry Larkin - HOF, 2012

    Put an end to the Lost Decade.

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  3. #2
    "Let's Roll" TeamBoone's Avatar
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    Re: Beat SI's All-Time Team

    I'd put KGJr in that outfield.
    "Enjoy this Reds fans, you are watching a legend grow up before your very eyes" ... DoogMinAmo on Adam Dunn

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    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Beat SI's All-Time Team

    I think it's fairly complete but I would have Hornsby & Morgan @ 2B. Morgan was the most complete 2B of all time and no less dominant than anyone except perhaps Hornsby. I also like Alomar but Morgan is my pick for the obvious reasons.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Beat SI's All-Time Team

    In his orginial "Historical Baseball Abstract" published two decades ago, Bill James made a distinction between ranking players based upon "peak value" and "career value." While James did not continue to use those terms when he published a new edition a few years ago, I like the distinction.
    He defined peak value as being a player's highest level of play established over 3 or 4 seasons, not just the player's best season. Therefore Norm Cash's peak value ranking would not be based solely upon his 1961 season; otherwise Cash might be ranked as one the five best firstbasemen ever.
    A comparsion of Sandy Koufax and Warren Spahn illustrates why I like the peak value/career value distinction. Who was better? For peak value, Koufax between 1963 and 1966 was vastly superior to Spahn anytime. For career value, Spahn blows Koufax away, winning nearly 200 more games than Koufax.
    Anyway, it would take me more time than I have to think through all time teams for peak and career value. I do think that Joe Morgan arguably should be the secondbaseman for peak value, and I like having Jackie Robinson on the team in both categories.
    Morgan's value at his peak was pretty obvious. As for Robinson, while his stats are great, I believe that his value may have been even greater than those stats indicate, as Robinson was a fantastic fielder wherever he played and he brought a competitive fire equaled only by Pete Rose and Ty Cobb. Robinson's overall numbers were also held down because he 28 years old when the color line was finally broken and he was aloowed in the majors. Give Robinson the half dozen or so peak years racism denied him in the majors and his stats would be more impressive.
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    Re: Beat SI's All-Time Team

    Quote Originally Posted by TeamBoone View Post
    I'd put KGJr in that outfield.
    As would I.

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    Re: Beat SI's All-Time Team

    Quote Originally Posted by TeamBoone View Post
    I'd put KGJr in that outfield.
    Ted Williams may have been the best pure hitter among that group of great outfielders but, if we include the ability to run, field and throw, I would have to replace him with Junior.

    Rem

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    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Beat SI's All-Time Team

    I'd have Pete Rose in my lineup somewhere, regardless of any statistical data that says otherwise.

    The "hit king" was a competitor and a winner, and brought alot to that lineup.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  9. #8
    Playoffs Cyclone792's Avatar
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    Re: Beat SI's All-Time Team

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsBaron View Post
    In his orginial "Historical Baseball Abstract" published two decades ago, Bill James made a distinction between ranking players based upon "peak value" and "career value." While James did not continue to use those terms when he published a new edition a few years ago, I like the distinction.
    He defined peak value as being a player's highest level of play established over 3 or 4 seasons, not just the player's best season. Therefore Norm Cash's peak value ranking would not be based solely upon his 1961 season; otherwise Cash might be ranked as one the five best firstbasemen ever.
    A comparsion of Sandy Koufax and Warren Spahn illustrates why I like the peak value/career value distinction. Who was better? For peak value, Koufax between 1963 and 1966 was vastly superior to Spahn anytime. For career value, Spahn blows Koufax away, winning nearly 200 more games than Koufax.
    Anyway, it would take me more time than I have to think through all time teams for peak and career value. I do think that Joe Morgan arguably should be the secondbaseman for peak value, and I like having Jackie Robinson on the team in both categories.
    Morgan's value at his peak was pretty obvious. As for Robinson, while his stats are great, I believe that his value may have been even greater than those stats indicate, as Robinson was a fantastic fielder wherever he played and he brought a competitive fire equaled only by Pete Rose and Ty Cobb. Robinson's overall numbers were also held down because he 28 years old when the color line was finally broken and he was aloowed in the majors. Give Robinson the half dozen or so peak years racism denied him in the majors and his stats would be more impressive.
    I did my best to use a combination of peak value and career value, though if I created two teams with one being distinctly peak value and the other being distinctly career value, they'd each look a bit different.

    Probably the biggest change with a career value team would be replacing Mickey Mantle with Hank Aaron. Aaron's got an edge in career value over Mantle, but Mantle's peak was absolutely ridiculous. Combining peak and career overall, I took Mantle based off the belief that his edge in peak value over Aaron is greater than Aaron's edge in career value.

    Spahn would find his way on the career value team, probably in place of Seaver. Pedro Martinez would possibly find his way on the peak value team, also probably in place of Seaver. But combining peak and career, I'd probably take Seaver over the other two. Sort of odd how it works that way.

    At second base for both peak and career value, I think you can pretty much pick a name out of a hat between Eddie Collins, Rogers Hornsby and Joe Morgan. Hornsby's probably the best hitter of the group, Collins the best defensive second baseman, and Morgan the best on the bases, but in the end I just went ahead and went with Collins and Morgan. I do think they are pretty clearly the top three guys at second base, though.
    Barry Larkin - HOF, 2012

    Put an end to the Lost Decade.

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Beat SI's All-Time Team

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsBaron View Post
    Anyway, it would take me more time than I have to think through all time teams for peak and career value. I do think that Joe Morgan arguably should be the secondbaseman for peak value, and I like having Jackie Robinson on the team in both categories.
    I agree that Morgan put up 5 or 6 straight awesome season. But at 2B look at Hornsby for peak value (sorry if the table is crooked):

    Year BA HR RBI RUN OBP SLG OPS
    1921 .397 21 126 131 .455 .639 1.094
    1922 .401 45 152 141 .460 .722 1.182
    1923 .384 17 83 89 .457 .627 1.084
    1924 .424 25 94 121 .507 .696 1.203
    1925 .403 39 143 133 .489 .756 1.245
    1926 .317 11 93 96 .391 .463 .854
    1927 .361 26 125 133 .447 .586 1.033
    1928 .387 21 94 99 .499 .632 1.131
    1929 .380 39 149 156 .461 .679 1.140

    Not sure how that ranks against league average but I suspect it tops Morgan or almost anyone at any position.

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    Re: Beat SI's All-Time Team

    Quote Originally Posted by TeamBoone View Post
    I'd put KGJr in that outfield.
    Agreed.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: Beat SI's All-Time Team

    Chuck Norris pitching, Jim Coombs catching. You won't need anyone else.
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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Beat SI's All-Time Team

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    I agree that Morgan put up 5 or 6 straight awesome season. But at 2B look at Hornsby for peak value (sorry if the table is crooked):

    Year BA HR RBI RUN OBP SLG OPS
    1921 .397 21 126 131 .455 .639 1.094
    1922 .401 45 152 141 .460 .722 1.182
    1923 .384 17 83 89 .457 .627 1.084
    1924 .424 25 94 121 .507 .696 1.203
    1925 .403 39 143 133 .489 .756 1.245
    1926 .317 11 93 96 .391 .463 .854
    1927 .361 26 125 133 .447 .586 1.033
    1928 .387 21 94 99 .499 .632 1.131
    1929 .380 39 149 156 .461 .679 1.140

    Not sure how that ranks against league average but I suspect it tops Morgan or almost anyone at any position.
    I like Hornsby as a DH.
    From everything I've read, Hornsby wasn't all that good a fielder. Secondbase is one of those positions that I think of as primarily being a fielder's position. I know that wasn't always the case, and, yeah, if you had a Hornsby in his prime, you'd play him somewhere, just to get his bat in the lineup. But when I think of Hornsby I also think of Mike Piazza---two great hitters who probably should have been firstbasemen or leftfielders. Piazza has the best hitting stats of any catcher ever, but if you had Piazza and Bench on the same team, or Piazza and Berra, or Piazza and Cochrane, or Piazza and Campanella, in every case Piazza wouldn't be your catcher-you'd play him somewhere else.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

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    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Beat SI's All-Time Team

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    I agree that Morgan put up 5 or 6 straight awesome season. But at 2B look at Hornsby for peak value (sorry if the table is crooked):

    Year BA HR RBI RUN OBP SLG OPS
    1921 .397 21 126 131 .455 .639 1.094
    1922 .401 45 152 141 .460 .722 1.182
    1923 .384 17 83 89 .457 .627 1.084
    1924 .424 25 94 121 .507 .696 1.203
    1925 .403 39 143 133 .489 .756 1.245
    1926 .317 11 93 96 .391 .463 .854
    1927 .361 26 125 133 .447 .586 1.033
    1928 .387 21 94 99 .499 .632 1.131
    1929 .380 39 149 156 .461 .679 1.140

    Not sure how that ranks against league average but I suspect it tops Morgan or almost anyone at any position.
    But is it fair to compare players who played in different eras of baseball, and say this one was better? To me, that's the hardest thing to try and do.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Beat SI's All-Time Team

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsBaron View Post
    I like Hornsby as a DH.
    From everything I've read, Hornsby wasn't all that good a fielder.
    Why would you read about someone you saw firsthand?
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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    Re: Beat SI's All-Time Team

    Johnny Bench says that he's not playing on the team unless Chris Gruler makes it


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