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timschochet

2020 Greatest of All Time Sports Draft- Judges are doing an INCREDIBLE job

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Posted (edited)

I'm highly disappointed by the lack of controversy in this draft, so far.

Edited by Mister CIA

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Spartacus still on the board?

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9.15 Greatest moment in baseball history- Boston Red Sox trade Babe Ruth to New York Yankees (1920) 

This trade was not only the most important event in the history of baseball, it was arguably the beginning of modern sports in American society. Ruth had already made a splash by hitting a few home runs at the end of the last season- prior to that nobody hit home runs in baseball on a regular basis. Moving to the Yankees Babe Ruth became the sports first home run hitter- and in so doing he instantly became the most famous man in America, perhaps the world. Though a couple of heavyweight boxers were well known prior to this, Ruth’s feats plus the advent of the newsreel made him the very first sports superstar- in fact the very first celebrity superstar period. 

Why did the Red Sox trade Ruth? They didn’t want to pay him. They wanted him to stay a pitcher, they thought the home run thing was a fluke. They didn’t have any concept of the future of the sport of baseball with World War I over (in fact they might have thought that the Chicago Black Sox Scandal meant baseball was doomed.) And of course, the owner wanted money to invest in a Broadway show (though not “No No Nanette”; that came later.) 

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25 minutes ago, ScottNorwood said:

Spartacus still on the board?

Yeah, but why would you choose him when Gus the Mule is still on the board? 

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39 minutes ago, Mister CIA said:

I'm highly disappointed by the lack of controversy in this draft, so far.

So far only bad pick has been Mike Schmidt. 😁

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2 hours ago, joffer said:

9.12 Diego Maradona, Best Soccer Player

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wVho3I0NtU

Incredible value here 

1 hour ago, Kal El said:

9.13 Nicklas Lidstrom- Greatest NHL defenseman

 

Damn was hoping he would last another round or 2

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41 minutes ago, Mister CIA said:

I'm highly disappointed by the lack of controversy in this draft, so far.

Well, picking “moments” that aren’t actually game action is BS.  How’s that?

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1 minute ago, joffer said:

Well, picking “moments” that aren’t actually game action is BS.  How’s that?

They were moments, says Merriam.

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6 minutes ago, joffer said:

Well, picking “moments” that aren’t actually game action is BS.  How’s that?

is says moment or game

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11 minutes ago, joffer said:

Well, picking “moments” that aren’t actually game action is BS.  How’s that?

I don’t think it’s BS. I just think they aren’t that good of picks. 

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Posted (edited)

9.16 Mike Tyson, Heavyweight boxer

I got the fastest runner & the baddest fighter now - I win. The Cuz D'Amato-managed Tyson - shortening the distance between him & his opponents and blenderizing em once he did - was the most fearsome thing i ever seen in a ring. Life is about harnessing one's beast and Tyson kinda did exactly that with his mentor and exactly the opposite of that without him. But it was scary great before it got scary bad.

 

 

10.1 Mickey Mantle, Outfielder

Saw his last game. A cousin in Vermont asked us to get him tickets for the last game of the season at Fenway when it was determined this would be the Mick's last season. Ater weeks of pleading, his father agreed to drive him down after work on Saturday for the Sunday finale. On Thursday of that week, Mantle announced that Saturday would be the last game he played. We begged my cousin's cruelass father to put him on a bus Friday night, but he wouldnt unless we wired him money (more than we knew it would cost). I could hear my 13yo cousin crying in the background, and i BEGGED me Da to bring his wrath down upon this back-country jackhole. For the one & only time in his life, he did, and Craig was the happiest boy in the world for a day. He still talks about it. Been watching baseball for over 60 years, and Mickey Mantle made more pitchers swallow hard than anyone i've seen at the plate. And to watch him run to first in his prime was as magnificent as watching him run to first after 1965 was pitiful. Stronger and faster than baseball's present greatest player and a swagger like i never seen on the diamond.

 

@timschochet

Edited by wikkidpissah
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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, wikkidpissah said:

9.16 Mike Tyson, Heavyweight boxer

I got the fastest runner & the baddest fighter now - I win. The Cuz D'Amato-managed Tyson - shortening the distance between him & his opponents and blenderizing em once he did - was the most fearsome thing i ever seen in a ring. Life is about harnessing one's beast and Tyson kinda did exactly that with his mentor and exactly the opposite of that without him. But it was scary great before it got scary bad.

 

 

10.1 Mickey Mantle, Outfielder

Saw his last game. A cousin in Vermont asked us to get him tickets for the last game of the season at Fenway when it was determined this would be the Mick's last season. Ater weeks of pleading, his father agreed to drive him down after work on Saturday for the Sunday finale. On Thursday of that week, Mantle announced that Saturday would be the last game he played. We begged my cousin's cruelass father to put him on a bus Friday night, but he wouldnt unless we wired him money (more than we knew it would cost). I could hear my 13yo cousin crying in the background, and i BEGGED me Da to bring his wrath down upon this back-country jackhole. For the one & only time in his life, he did, and Craig was the happiest boy in the world for a day. He still talks about it. Been watching baseball for over 60 years, and Mickey Mantle made more pitchers swallow hard than anyone i've seen at the plate. And to watch him run to first in his prime was as magnificent as watching him run to first after 1965 was pitiful. Stronger and faster than baseball's present greatest player and a swagger like i never seen on the diamond.

 

@timschochet

Love me some Mick.  I still have his 1968 card.  We share the same BDay.    Took Pincay over him because I though he had more value there.

Love me some Mikey also.  Saw the Hangover for like the 23rd time last week.

Edited by Getzlaf15
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24 minutes ago, wikkidpissah said:

9.16 Mike Tyson, Heavyweight boxer

I got the fastest runner & the baddest fighter now - I win. The Cuz D'Amato-managed Tyson - shortening the distance between him & his opponents and blenderizing em once he did - was the most fearsome thing i ever seen in a ring. Life is about harnessing one's beast and Tyson kinda did exactly that with his mentor and exactly the opposite of that without him. But it was scary great before it got scary bad.

 

 

10.1 Mickey Mantle, Outfielder

Saw his last game. A cousin in Vermont asked us to get him tickets for the last game of the season at Fenway when it was determined this would be the Mick's last season. Ater weeks of pleading, his father agreed to drive him down after work on Saturday for the Sunday finale. On Thursday of that week, Mantle announced that Saturday would be the last game he played. We begged my cousin's cruelass father to put him on a bus Friday night, but he wouldnt unless we wired him money (more than we knew it would cost). I could hear my 13yo cousin crying in the background, and i BEGGED me Da to bring his wrath down upon this back-country jackhole. For the one & only time in his life, he did, and Craig was the happiest boy in the world for a day. He still talks about it. Been watching baseball for over 60 years, and Mickey Mantle made more pitchers swallow hard than anyone i've seen at the plate. And to watch him run to first in his prime was as magnificent as watching him run to first after 1965 was pitiful. Stronger and faster than baseball's present greatest player and a swagger like i never seen on the diamond.

 

@timschochet

Yeah, Mickey Mantle seems to be a bit of an oversight (or somemight call it a steal).

As for Tyson, baddest maybe, but not best. He's a Jose Canseco analog.  :CONTROVERSY:

 

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Posted (edited)
57 minutes ago, Zow said:

So far only bad pick has been Mike Schmidt. 😁

Elaborate, por favor.

548 home runs, 10 gold gloves, and 3 MVPs.

I'm perfluxed.

ETA: and he was selected 5th in the category.

Edited by Mister CIA
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Mike Trout- Greatest baseball player 

As an Angels fan Im biased but not too much. His WAR is incredible. If only he hadn’t played on so many mediocre and lousy teams. 

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Mike Trout- Greatest baseball player 

As an Angels fan Im biased but not too much. His WAR is incredible. If only he hadn’t played on so many mediocre and lousy teams. 

A certain baseball pitcher feels your pain.

Edited by Mister CIA

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Dang I had three guys in mind and they went the last three picks.  

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51 minutes ago, wikkidpissah said:

9.16 Mike Tyson, Heavyweight boxer

I got the fastest runner & the baddest fighter now - I win. The Cuz D'Amato-managed Tyson - shortening the distance between him & his opponents and blenderizing em once he did - was the most fearsome thing i ever seen in a ring. Life is about harnessing one's beast and Tyson kinda did exactly that with his mentor and exactly the opposite of that without him. But it was scary great before it got scary bad.

 

 

10.1 Mickey Mantle, Outfielder

Saw his last game. A cousin in Vermont asked us to get him tickets for the last game of the season at Fenway when it was determined this would be the Mick's last season. Ater weeks of pleading, his father agreed to drive him down after work on Saturday for the Sunday finale. On Thursday of that week, Mantle announced that Saturday would be the last game he played. We begged my cousin's cruelass father to put him on a bus Friday night, but he wouldnt unless we wired him money (more than we knew it would cost). I could hear my 13yo cousin crying in the background, and i BEGGED me Da to bring his wrath down upon this back-country jackhole. For the one & only time in his life, he did, and Craig was the happiest boy in the world for a day. He still talks about it. Been watching baseball for over 60 years, and Mickey Mantle made more pitchers swallow hard than anyone i've seen at the plate. And to watch him run to first in his prime was as magnificent as watching him run to first after 1965 was pitiful. Stronger and faster than baseball's present greatest player and a swagger like i never seen on the diamond.

 

@timschochet

wikkid wins.

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33 minutes ago, facook said:

wikkid wins.

Nope.  He quits

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2 hours ago, Zow said:

So far only bad pick has been Mike Schmidt. 😁

For what? Clearly the best 3B to ever play the game.  One of the best players to still somehow be underrated.  Had he played 20 years before or after, add 20% or so across the board.  And his good OBP vs relatively low Avg (which was the barometer of a “good hitter”) reinforced the negative perceptions. 
 

 

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2 hours ago, wikkidpissah said:

9.16 Mike Tyson, Heavyweight boxer

I got the fastest runner & the baddest fighter now - I win. The Cuz D'Amato-managed Tyson - shortening the distance between him & his opponents and blenderizing em once he did - was the most fearsome thing i ever seen in a ring. Life is about harnessing one's beast and Tyson kinda did exactly that with his mentor and exactly the opposite of that without him. But it was scary great before it got scary bad.

 

 

10.1 Mickey Mantle, Outfielder

Saw his last game. A cousin in Vermont asked us to get him tickets for the last game of the season at Fenway when it was determined this would be the Mick's last season. Ater weeks of pleading, his father agreed to drive him down after work on Saturday for the Sunday finale. On Thursday of that week, Mantle announced that Saturday would be the last game he played. We begged my cousin's cruelass father to put him on a bus Friday night, but he wouldnt unless we wired him money (more than we knew it would cost). I could hear my 13yo cousin crying in the background, and i BEGGED me Da to bring his wrath down upon this back-country jackhole. For the one & only time in his life, he did, and Craig was the happiest boy in the world for a day. He still talks about it. Been watching baseball for over 60 years, and Mickey Mantle made more pitchers swallow hard than anyone i've seen at the plate. And to watch him run to first in his prime was as magnificent as watching him run to first after 1965 was pitiful. Stronger and faster than baseball's present greatest player and a swagger like i never seen on the diamond.

 

@timschochet

Mantle was the last of my top 10 position players to have been drafted.  
 

And significantly better than a number of other players already taken. Be it for MLB or OF. 

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The sheet shows that @higgins selected Nick Saban, Greatest NCAAF Coach with pick 10.03.

@Kal El is up now

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There were moments when I thought that Iron Mike would kill someone with that right hand. Brutal. 

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10.04- Ray Lewis- Greatest NFL Linebacker

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6 hours ago, Jagov said:

There were moments when I thought that Iron Mike would kill someone with that right hand. Brutal. 

For a few years, there was nothing like Mike Tyson. Pre-Douglas Tyson was scary. Was never quite the same after Buster, of course.

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10.05 Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon, greatest NBA center

seems like the last one in a tier.

Question - higgins picked Lew Alcindor as best men’s college bb player but in the spreadsheet he’s listed as a NBA center.  did he change it?

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Controversial I'm sure, but:

10.06 - MLB Greatest Infielder - Alex Rodriguez

He's a complicated man and no one understands him but J-Lo.

From Joe Posnanski:

Let’s begin with how Allard Baird saw him.

Baird is one of the most admired and remarkable talent evaluators in all of baseball. He’s now the New York Mets’ assistant general manager for scouting and player development, and for more than a decade, he did the same for the Boston Red Sox as they won three World Series titles. Before that, he worked his way up from a low-level scout who lived out of his car to the general manager of the Kansas City Royals.

Baird saw him in the early days, those 200,000-mile-a-year days when Baird fueled on fast food and hope and followed the lights from small town to small town in search of a ballplayer. He didn’t fully know what he was doing yet. He was still learning how to judge a young player’s potential, and he was learning how on the famous 20-to-80 scouting scale. You probably know the scout’s scale better than I do, but just in case: Scouts rate players on five tools (hitting, power, defense, speed and arm) on a 20-to-80 scale.*

*Scouts do more than this, particularly now, but the 20-to-80 scale on five tools is remarkably durable.

The scale itself works like so:

20 means poor.  There are not many players with 20 tools in the big leagues. Maybe the single slowest player in the big leagues (Albert Pujols now?) would be a 20 speed.

30: Well below average. Someone who would hit fewer than five homers in a full season has 30 power.

40: Below average. Pretty self-explanatory.

50: Average. Pretty self-explanatory.

60: Above average or in scout terms, “Plus.” If someone is an above-average defender but perhaps not quite Gold Glove elite, you might put a 60 on their defense.

70: Well above average or “Plus-Plus.” Walker Buehler has a plus-plus fastball. Cody Bellinger has plus-plus power. And so on.

80: OK, now we’re getting into some inexact territory. I’ve heard some scouts refer to an 80 tool as “Hall of Fame” level. I’ve heard others say that it’s even better than that — it’s the best of the best of the best. So basically an 80 for each tool would be:

Hitting: Ted Williams

Power: Babe Ruth

Speed: Rickey Henderson

Defense: Ozzie Smith

Arm: Roberto Clemente

The point I’m trying to get at is that, for someone scouting a high school game, an 80 is no-go territory. You just don’t give them out. What is the likelihood that you’re going to see a high school player who could throw like Clemente or hit like Williams? Right: It’s less than zero. Baird had been scouting for a while, and he had never once given out an 80. He’d hardly ever given out any 70s.

And then came to the day he went to see Westminster Christian School play so he could get a look at the junior shortstop they had there. Baird didn’t go unprepared: He knew that this kid was talented. He was the talk of the scouting community and had been for a while. But Baird had not yet seen him up close.

And what he saw? He’s never forgotten it. He never will.

First Baird watched the kid take some groundballs before the game … and he couldn’t believe his eyes. That balance! That range! That quickness! The ball just seemed to stick to his glove, and then he would transfer it to his throwing hand so fast that Baird felt like a sucker in a three-card monte exhibition. It was utterly incredible. This 16-year-old kid, Baird thought, could hold his own at shortstop in the big leagues immediately.

Then there was that arm! It was more amazing than the fielding. Baird had never seen anything like it. This kid just flicked his wrist and the ball turned into a laser beam shooting across the infield.

That was the first time Baird thought: Holy cow, this kid has an 80 arm.

Hitting? That’s Baird’s specialty. He has studied the human body, looked hard into movement and rhythm and weight shifts, man, that stuff thrills him. How the arms come through. How the legs power the swing. The hands. Baird could talk all day and night just about the hitter’s hands.

He watched this kid swing the bat and … his jaw dropped. It was perfect. He had never seen a better high school hitting stroke. He had never dreamed of seeing a better high school hitting stroke.

The power was easy. The kid hit two home runs that day, both of them absolute bombs.

The speed was easy. The kid stole two bases that day, one of them standing up (this after one of two intentional walks). The kid was 35-for-35 in stolen bases that season.

It didn’t seem real. But as impressive as those tools were, there was something else that Baird saw, something that blew his mind: The kid played baseball with such infectious delight. Scouts, if they’re good, look for so many things. They look to see how a player responds to teammates (this kid was in the front of the dugout cheering them on). They look to see how teammates respond to the player (they so obviously loved this kid, they met him at home plate happily after each home run). They look to see if the player is coachable. This kid seemed utterly coachable.

You just don’t see a player like this. Not ever.

Baird left that game and headed back to send in his report. But he felt dizzy. No, it was like he felt like Jack from the beanstalk story — who would ever believe he’d seen an actual giant? As he looked at the report where he was supposed to fill out those numbers, he honestly did not know what to do. And then he realized that he had no choice: If he wanted to be a good scout, he had to be entirely honest.

And so he put an 80 on the kid’s arm, an 80 on the kid’s power, and an 80 on his hitting talent.

He put 70 on his speed and defense.

He had never expected to send in a report like that. And he never would again.

And when Allard Baird finally faxed in his scouting report on Alex Rodriguez, he was literally shaking.

There’s no point in trying to clean up Alex Rodriguez’s brilliant, infuriating, dazzling, inauthentic, breathtaking, destructive and altogether messy baseball career. No point at all. It’s all there. And it’s everything.

A-Rod is the power hitter of his time. For 20 years, he seemed certain to break the all-time home run record. Even in falling short, he hit 696 home runs.

He’s also a liar who was suspended for an entire year for using PEDs (this after threatening to sue Major League Baseball).

A-Rod is a Yankees postseason hero, a guy who carried the Yanks to their last World Series title in 2009, almost by himself.

He’s also a multi-time Yankees postseason goat who inspires more fury among New York baseball fans than anyone in the team’s history.

A-Rod is a player who broke the bank and also a player who tried to give up the money to try and win some love. He’s a Gold Glove shortstop who gave up the position for a player who was not, by any measure, his defensive equal.

He’s a three-time MVP who spent a baseball lifetime hitting lazy-looking fly balls that sent outfielders to the wall with hope, only to keep on going and going, like children leaving for college, soaring so far out of reach. Nobody hit a baseball quite like him, balls that would never come down, balloons being taken by the wind.

He’s also a tabloid back-page punchline, being fed popcorn by Cameron Diaz, hobnobbing with Madonna, being labeled “A-Fraud” in headlines so often that at some point that became his name.

He’s a player who talked again and again about how much he loved the game.

He’s a player who so rarely seemed to be enjoying himself on the field.

He’s a player with more wins above replacement than any position player of the last 50 years who is not named Barry Bonds.

He is a player who, it has been reported, has not one but two paintings of himself as a centaur.

How can you clean up the A-Rod story? Which parts would you leave out?

Sure, the people who loathe him — so, so many of those — would happily leave out the extraordinary ballplayer, the incredible defense, the untouchable arm, the breathtaking power, the stunning speed. They would happily write him out of baseball history. That would be convenient … but impossible. Try this experiment: Think of the first person who comes to mind when I say: “Five-tool player.”

I tried this on Twitter and maybe 50 or so names came up, not counting various jokey choices like lovable slugger Steve Balboni.

The players named most were: Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Trout, Mickey Mantle, Barry Bonds, Clemente, Henderson, Henry Aaron, Larry Walker, Bo Jackson, Eric Davis.

All of them are wonderful choices, wonderful players, but you do notice the thing they all share, right? They were all outfielders. And that makes them fundamentally different from A-Rod. Could Bo or Davis hit like A-Rod even at their best? Could Bonds throw like A-Rod? Could Griffey or Aaron or Walker run like A-Rod? Could Rickey or Clemente slug like A-Rod? Could Mantle or Trout field like A-Rod?

Even Mays — the ultimate of the ultimate five-tool players — could he play shortstop like A-Rod?

No, he’s alone in this game. There has never been a player with so much breathtaking skill.

Alex Rodriguez was 20 years old when he had a season for the ages. He hit .358 and led the league in runs (141), doubles (54) and total bases (379). He also hit 36 home runs, drove in 123 runs, stole 15 bases and played a superior shortstop.

He created 157 runs that season. It was the most runs created for a shortstop since … ever.

Most runs created for a shortstop through 1996:

Alex Rodriguez, 1996, 157

Arky Vaughan, 1935, 147

Alan Trammell, 1987, 137

Robin Yount, 1982, 136

Ernie Banks, 1958, 135

It was also the most runs created in a season for a 20-year-old — and it still is. Even Mike Trout at 20 did not surpass it. A-Rod just lost the MVP that year to Juan González in one of the worst MVP voting blunders in baseball history (though you could make a solid argument that Griffey should have won it over González, too).

Two years later, at age 22, A-Rod became the first — and still the only — player in baseball history to have a 42-42 season, that being 42 homers and 42 stolen bases. He also led the league in hits, in WAR, he scored 123 runs, drove in 124 runs, he played superb defense again, and this time he finished ninth in the MVP voting, which again, bizarrely, went to González — voters loved Juan Gone and RBIs in those days.

González’s combined WAR in his two MVP years was not as high as A-Rod’s WAR at age 20.

Two years after that, A-Rod had perhaps his best season. He hit .316/.420/.606 with 41 homers, 134 runs and 132 RBIs, he should have won the Gold Glove at shortstop and was by all the measurements one of the best baserunners in the game.*

*A-Rod’s speed and baserunning savvy always were wildly underappreciated. He took the extra base like few others. He scored from second on a single 16 out of 19 times that year. He scored from first on a double 11 out of 19 times.

 

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18 minutes ago, Long Ball Larry said:

Controversial I'm sure, but:

10.06 - MLB Greatest Infielder - Alex Rodriguez

He's a complicated man and no one understands him but J-Lo.

From Joe Posnanski:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Let’s begin with how Allard Baird saw him.

Baird is one of the most admired and remarkable talent evaluators in all of baseball. He’s now the New York Mets’ assistant general manager for scouting and player development, and for more than a decade, he did the same for the Boston Red Sox as they won three World Series titles. Before that, he worked his way up from a low-level scout who lived out of his car to the general manager of the Kansas City Royals.

Baird saw him in the early days, those 200,000-mile-a-year days when Baird fueled on fast food and hope and followed the lights from small town to small town in search of a ballplayer. He didn’t fully know what he was doing yet. He was still learning how to judge a young player’s potential, and he was learning how on the famous 20-to-80 scouting scale. You probably know the scout’s scale better than I do, but just in case: Scouts rate players on five tools (hitting, power, defense, speed and arm) on a 20-to-80 scale.*

*Scouts do more than this, particularly now, but the 20-to-80 scale on five tools is remarkably durable.

The scale itself works like so:

20 means poor.  There are not many players with 20 tools in the big leagues. Maybe the single slowest player in the big leagues (Albert Pujols now?) would be a 20 speed.

30: Well below average. Someone who would hit fewer than five homers in a full season has 30 power.

40: Below average. Pretty self-explanatory.

50: Average. Pretty self-explanatory.

60: Above average or in scout terms, “Plus.” If someone is an above-average defender but perhaps not quite Gold Glove elite, you might put a 60 on their defense.

70: Well above average or “Plus-Plus.” Walker Buehler has a plus-plus fastball. Cody Bellinger has plus-plus power. And so on.

80: OK, now we’re getting into some inexact territory. I’ve heard some scouts refer to an 80 tool as “Hall of Fame” level. I’ve heard others say that it’s even better than that — it’s the best of the best of the best. So basically an 80 for each tool would be:

Hitting: Ted Williams

Power: Babe Ruth

Speed: Rickey Henderson

Defense: Ozzie Smith

Arm: Roberto Clemente

The point I’m trying to get at is that, for someone scouting a high school game, an 80 is no-go territory. You just don’t give them out. What is the likelihood that you’re going to see a high school player who could throw like Clemente or hit like Williams? Right: It’s less than zero. Baird had been scouting for a while, and he had never once given out an 80. He’d hardly ever given out any 70s.

And then came to the day he went to see Westminster Christian School play so he could get a look at the junior shortstop they had there. Baird didn’t go unprepared: He knew that this kid was talented. He was the talk of the scouting community and had been for a while. But Baird had not yet seen him up close.

And what he saw? He’s never forgotten it. He never will.

First Baird watched the kid take some groundballs before the game … and he couldn’t believe his eyes. That balance! That range! That quickness! The ball just seemed to stick to his glove, and then he would transfer it to his throwing hand so fast that Baird felt like a sucker in a three-card monte exhibition. It was utterly incredible. This 16-year-old kid, Baird thought, could hold his own at shortstop in the big leagues immediately.

Then there was that arm! It was more amazing than the fielding. Baird had never seen anything like it. This kid just flicked his wrist and the ball turned into a laser beam shooting across the infield.

That was the first time Baird thought: Holy cow, this kid has an 80 arm.

Hitting? That’s Baird’s specialty. He has studied the human body, looked hard into movement and rhythm and weight shifts, man, that stuff thrills him. How the arms come through. How the legs power the swing. The hands. Baird could talk all day and night just about the hitter’s hands.

He watched this kid swing the bat and … his jaw dropped. It was perfect. He had never seen a better high school hitting stroke. He had never dreamed of seeing a better high school hitting stroke.

The power was easy. The kid hit two home runs that day, both of them absolute bombs.

The speed was easy. The kid stole two bases that day, one of them standing up (this after one of two intentional walks). The kid was 35-for-35 in stolen bases that season.

It didn’t seem real. But as impressive as those tools were, there was something else that Baird saw, something that blew his mind: The kid played baseball with such infectious delight. Scouts, if they’re good, look for so many things. They look to see how a player responds to teammates (this kid was in the front of the dugout cheering them on). They look to see how teammates respond to the player (they so obviously loved this kid, they met him at home plate happily after each home run). They look to see if the player is coachable. This kid seemed utterly coachable.

You just don’t see a player like this. Not ever.

Baird left that game and headed back to send in his report. But he felt dizzy. No, it was like he felt like Jack from the beanstalk story — who would ever believe he’d seen an actual giant? As he looked at the report where he was supposed to fill out those numbers, he honestly did not know what to do. And then he realized that he had no choice: If he wanted to be a good scout, he had to be entirely honest.

And so he put an 80 on the kid’s arm, an 80 on the kid’s power, and an 80 on his hitting talent.

He put 70 on his speed and defense.

He had never expected to send in a report like that. And he never would again.

And when Allard Baird finally faxed in his scouting report on Alex Rodriguez, he was literally shaking.

There’s no point in trying to clean up Alex Rodriguez’s brilliant, infuriating, dazzling, inauthentic, breathtaking, destructive and altogether messy baseball career. No point at all. It’s all there. And it’s everything.

A-Rod is the power hitter of his time. For 20 years, he seemed certain to break the all-time home run record. Even in falling short, he hit 696 home runs.

He’s also a liar who was suspended for an entire year for using PEDs (this after threatening to sue Major League Baseball).

A-Rod is a Yankees postseason hero, a guy who carried the Yanks to their last World Series title in 2009, almost by himself.

He’s also a multi-time Yankees postseason goat who inspires more fury among New York baseball fans than anyone in the team’s history.

A-Rod is a player who broke the bank and also a player who tried to give up the money to try and win some love. He’s a Gold Glove shortstop who gave up the position for a player who was not, by any measure, his defensive equal.

He’s a three-time MVP who spent a baseball lifetime hitting lazy-looking fly balls that sent outfielders to the wall with hope, only to keep on going and going, like children leaving for college, soaring so far out of reach. Nobody hit a baseball quite like him, balls that would never come down, balloons being taken by the wind.

He’s also a tabloid back-page punchline, being fed popcorn by Cameron Diaz, hobnobbing with Madonna, being labeled “A-Fraud” in headlines so often that at some point that became his name.

He’s a player who talked again and again about how much he loved the game.

He’s a player who so rarely seemed to be enjoying himself on the field.

He’s a player with more wins above replacement than any position player of the last 50 years who is not named Barry Bonds.

He is a player who, it has been reported, has not one but two paintings of himself as a centaur.

How can you clean up the A-Rod story? Which parts would you leave out?

Sure, the people who loathe him — so, so many of those — would happily leave out the extraordinary ballplayer, the incredible defense, the untouchable arm, the breathtaking power, the stunning speed. They would happily write him out of baseball history. That would be convenient … but impossible. Try this experiment: Think of the first person who comes to mind when I say: “Five-tool player.”

I tried this on Twitter and maybe 50 or so names came up, not counting various jokey choices like lovable slugger Steve Balboni.

The players named most were: Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Trout, Mickey Mantle, Barry Bonds, Clemente, Henderson, Henry Aaron, Larry Walker, Bo Jackson, Eric Davis.

All of them are wonderful choices, wonderful players, but you do notice the thing they all share, right? They were all outfielders. And that makes them fundamentally different from A-Rod. Could Bo or Davis hit like A-Rod even at their best? Could Bonds throw like A-Rod? Could Griffey or Aaron or Walker run like A-Rod? Could Rickey or Clemente slug like A-Rod? Could Mantle or Trout field like A-Rod?

Even Mays — the ultimate of the ultimate five-tool players — could he play shortstop like A-Rod?

No, he’s alone in this game. There has never been a player with so much breathtaking skill.

Alex Rodriguez was 20 years old when he had a season for the ages. He hit .358 and led the league in runs (141), doubles (54) and total bases (379). He also hit 36 home runs, drove in 123 runs, stole 15 bases and played a superior shortstop.

He created 157 runs that season. It was the most runs created for a shortstop since … ever.

Most runs created for a shortstop through 1996:

Alex Rodriguez, 1996, 157

Arky Vaughan, 1935, 147

Alan Trammell, 1987, 137

Robin Yount, 1982, 136

Ernie Banks, 1958, 135

It was also the most runs created in a season for a 20-year-old — and it still is. Even Mike Trout at 20 did not surpass it. A-Rod just lost the MVP that year to Juan González in one of the worst MVP voting blunders in baseball history (though you could make a solid argument that Griffey should have won it over González, too).

Two years later, at age 22, A-Rod became the first — and still the only — player in baseball history to have a 42-42 season, that being 42 homers and 42 stolen bases. He also led the league in hits, in WAR, he scored 123 runs, drove in 124 runs, he played superb defense again, and this time he finished ninth in the MVP voting, which again, bizarrely, went to González — voters loved Juan Gone and RBIs in those days.

González’s combined WAR in his two MVP years was not as high as A-Rod’s WAR at age 20.

Two years after that, A-Rod had perhaps his best season. He hit .316/.420/.606 with 41 homers, 134 runs and 132 RBIs, he should have won the Gold Glove at shortstop and was by all the measurements one of the best baserunners in the game.*

*A-Rod’s speed and baserunning savvy always were wildly underappreciated. He took the extra base like few others. He scored from second on a single 16 out of 19 times that year. He scored from first on a double 11 out of 19 times.

 

 

Best baseball player i've ever seen play the infield, worst human being i've ever seen play the infield. Woulda been the best, had already proved he was, without the needle, which separates him from Bonds. Armstrong disease, Soprano disease, Trump disease, becauseicanbecauseiwanna disease, whatever you call it, set in and took over. Shame.

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, joffer said:

10.05 Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon, greatest NBA center

seems like the last one in a tier.

Question - higgins picked Lew Alcindor as best men’s college bb player but in the spreadsheet he’s listed as a NBA center.  did he change it?

There have been better centers, but THIS is the guy who would have figured out dominating at the center position in today's game. Woulda looooved to seen it

 

ETA: and, yeah - higgsy picked another college b-ball player (Big O) and slid Kareem

Edited by wikkidpissah
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51 minutes ago, joffer said:

10.05 Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon, greatest NBA center

seems like the last one in a tier.

Question - higgins picked Lew Alcindor as best men’s college bb player but in the spreadsheet he’s listed as a NBA center.  did he change it?

Great pick, I was lining that one up for next

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50 minutes ago, joffer said:

10.05 Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon, greatest NBA center

seems like the last one in a tier.

Question - higgins picked Lew Alcindor as best men’s college bb player but in the spreadsheet he’s listed as a NBA center.  did he change it?

Yea, to me, he's the last one that's at least in the conversation for best ever. 

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12 minutes ago, jwb said:

Yea, to me, he's the last one that's at least in the conversation for best ever. 

No, there is another 😉

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12 minutes ago, jwb said:

Yea, to me, he's the last one that's at least in the conversation for best ever. 

Don't forget Sam Bowie.  I mean he was drafted over Michael Jordan.....so he has to be in the conversation...….

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6 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

No, there is another 😉

I agree.

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Posted (edited)

Never mind 

Edited by BobbyLayne

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21 hours ago, Ilov80s said:

Rd 9 Male Tennist Novak Djokovic 

Lucky timing catching this pick right after Nadal. While competing against Federer and Nadal, he won 17 Grand Slams (3rd most), was the first person since 1969 to hold all 4 major titles at one time, only player to have won all 9 of the Masters 1000s, current No.1 in the world and at 33 still could pass Nadal and Federer. 

The Big 3 are going to be tough to rank. One can make a strong case for any of them.

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10.07 - Cristiano Ronaldo

 Often considered the best player in the world and widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Ronaldo has won five Ballons d'Or and four European Golden Shoes, both of which are records for a European player. He has won 29 trophies in his career, including six league titles, five UEFA Champions Leagues, one UEFA European Championship, and one UEFA Nations League. A prolific goalscorer, Ronaldo holds the records for the most goals scored in the UEFA Champions League (128) and the joint-most goals scored in the UEFA European Championship (9). He is one of the few recorded players to have made over 1,000 professional career appearances and has scored over 700 senior career goals for club and country.

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17 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

No, there is another 😉

Posted a laughing emoji because whenever someone posts something like this ... I imagine Obi-Wan's spooky voice:

Kenobi: That was the last center in the top tier ...

Yoda: No -- there is another.

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2 minutes ago, Getzlaf15 said:

10.07 - Cristiano Ronaldo

 Often considered the best player in the world and widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Ronaldo has won five Ballons d'Or and four European Golden Shoes, both of which are records for a European player. He has won 29 trophies in his career, including six league titles, five UEFA Champions Leagues, one UEFA European Championship, and one UEFA Nations League. A prolific goalscorer, Ronaldo holds the records for the most goals scored in the UEFA Champions League (128) and the joint-most goals scored in the UEFA European Championship (9). He is one of the few recorded players to have made over 1,000 professional career appearances and has scored over 700 senior career goals for club and country.

Nice pick! He was on my short list for my next spot. 

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3 minutes ago, Doug B said:

Posted a laughing emoji because whenever someone posts something like this ... I imagine Obi-Wan's spooky voice:

Kenobi: That was the last center in the top tier ...

Yoda: No -- there is another.

NARRATOR: the actual quote was

Another, there is

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9 minutes ago, Getzlaf15 said:

10.07 - Cristiano Ronaldo

 

Great soccer goal scorer and I understand the selection. He'll certainly score points in this category. Unfortunately, he is a 12 year old whiny girl inside an adult male body. Cry, dive, flop, etc. In my personal top 3 of folks I regularly hope breaks a leg. With him on your squad you'll be spending quite alot on tampons :) 

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10 minutes ago, BobbyLayne said:
15 minutes ago, Doug B said:

Posted a laughing emoji because whenever someone posts something like this ... I imagine Obi-Wan's spooky voice:

Kenobi: That was the last center in the top tier ...

Yoda: No -- there is another.

NARRATOR: the actual quote was

Another, there is

Check it. I always thought it was weird that was the one line where the screenwriters normalized Yoda's grammar.

Or maybe that line was recorded for the special-edition home releases in the 90s?

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