posted on Oct, 30 2005 @ 02:31 AM
Yeah, thanks for filling in the blanks. It's late and I'm tired. And obviously, those other guys, as a group, would help immensely. A couple of
them, taken individually, would help a bunch (Garcia and Varitek, at a minimum).
But look at what a tremendous player Ichiro is, despite his finally-decreasing allergy to walks (his rookie-year MVP was a joke, IMO, but I've sure
turned into a huge fan). As you'll know from my other posts, I think he should play CF, and I think he could displace Griffey or Duke Snider as the
#6 MLB CF of all time--i.e., the guy who comes after the Fantastic Five--Mays, Cobb, Mantle, Speaker and Joe D. (my order, as well as James').
I think it likelier Griffey will get that "#6" distinction when his career's done, for reasons thoroughly laid out in my post. AND, as I said, I
think even without the injuries, Griffey would be second-fiddle to Rodriguez right now, were they still on the team.
I'll go further: A-Rod, assuming he's clean (I have ZERO known reason to believe otherwise) and stays healthy (let's hope), looks like he could not
only have a better career than Griffey (easily, given Jr.'s years lost to injuries), he might wind up taking a lot of hallowed records with him,
including not only Aaron's HR record, but also Aaron's longstanding record of 1477 extra-base hits, which is exactly 100 more than the #2 man, Musial.
A-Rod, having recently turned 30, has 792.
(1) Take those two guys;
(2) Assume Junior hasn't suffered in AL parks all the injuries he suffered in the NL;
(3) Toss in the phenomenal lead-off man, Ichiro, who also is probably a better defensive RF than Clemente. N.B.: Besides also having a phenomenal
arm like Clemente did--and I saw almost all of Clemente's career--Ichiro makes only ONE-THIRD the number of errors made by the average A.L. outfielder
in his time. Clemente made about 25% MORE than the average N.L. outfielder, due to that phenomenal arm; and yeah, it was more than worth it, because
the time came when the same number ot baserunners took liberties against Clemente as the number of pitchers who tried to pick off Joe Morgan:
(4) Toss in the tremendous Garcia, plus the many other good, very good or even arguably great players you've named.
Know what you'd have?
A BETTER team than the 1960's Giants teams. The 1960's Giants--and I grew up listening to every game that didn't conflict with school--had the
incredible, do-everything Mays; then they had sluggers who could terrorize pitchers, but were butchers anywhere but 1B (McCovey, Cepeda, Jimmy Ray
Hart [whom many Bay Area fans felt should've gotten Rookie of the Year over Richie Allen, the only problem being Allen was the greatest rookie in
history], etc.); and (3) great fielders who either sucked as hitters (Davenport, any catcher until Haller) or were so bad they are now historical
legends for being arguably the worst hitter since Bill Bergen (Dead Ball catcher) with any significant batting experience (Hal Lanier).
In other words, those Giants had some thunderous bats and some great gloves, but that had many holes in the lineup and many fielders with holes in
Take a long look at the hypothetical, but realistic, Mariners team which you are positing. Nobody on that team is as good as Willie Mays.
Having said that, I have run out of things to say which, in making this comparison, favor the Giants. You know?
Lanier was a regular for the Giants from 1965-1970, seasons in which they near-annually finished second. In his 10-year career, Lanier's on-base and
slugging were--I am not making this up--.255 and .275. Eight HR's in 3,703 AB's, and a nice, symmetric (but awful) 11 steals out of 22 tries.
And although I singled Lanier out, there were loads of other abysmal hitters--and the aforementioned Three Stooges in the field, giving us pause to
wonder when we'd acquire Richie Allen and Dick Stuart.
So whenever you hear someone ridicule the 1960's Giants for only going to one Series and losing that one, albeit by inches and by very dubious
infielder positioning, please trust me: Despite the presence of Willie Mays, that team was gravely flawed by atrocious fielders whose deficiencies
were gladly accepted for their hitting, and by atrocious hitters whose deficiencies were accepted for their glovework.
You just can't have that many holes in your startng eght position players.
And the Seattle team we're talking about WOULDN'T. Indeed, it's my opinion our hypothetical version of this team would run away with the A.L. West on
a near-annual basis.
Don't you think so?
Baseball History Nut