Monday February 17, 2020

Joe's Top 100: 41-50

No. 41. Both ways. 

This is the part of the list where Joe gets a little cute. Too cute? He was a bit cute placing Joe DiMaggio 56th, for the streak, but check out what he does here:

No.  PLAYER CHANGE bWAR ALL-TIME POS
50 Nolan Ryan 37 81.2 60 P
49 Warren Spahn -6 99.7 32 P
48 Ken Griffey Jr. 3 83.8 56 OF
47 Wade Boggs 5 91.4 43 3B
46 Eddie Mathews -8 96.6 33 3B
45 Bob Gibson -6 89.1 47 P
44 Cal Ripken Jr. -9 95.9 36 SS
43 Yogi Berra 2 59.8 191 C
42 Jackie Robinson 0 61.4 170 2B
41 Tom Seaver X 109.9 21 P

Three of the last five are in the same place as their uniform number: Gibson 45th, Robinson famously 42nd, and Tom Terrific at 41. 

Gibson and Jackie I can see, but bWAR ranks Seaver 21st overall, so 41st feels like a demotion for the sake of the number. Not sure what's next. Rickey Henderson at No. 24? Frank Robinson at 20? A-Rod at 13? Killebrew at No. 3? 

Kidding. I‘ve resigned myself to Killer not making the cut. 

That said, the pitchers who will rank ahead of Seaver are also legends: Grover Cleveland, Maddux, Unit, Lefty, Christy, Cy. What are you gonna do? The one argument is Pedro Martinez. I know Joe ranks his 1999 and 2000 seasons among the best ever, but he didn’t have the longevity that Seaver did. 

Speaking of pitchers, they‘re dominating. The first 60 greatest players by position:

  • P: 20.5
  • C: 5
  • 1B: 8
  • 2B: 3.5
  • SS: 5.5
  • 3B: 5
  • OF: 12

I figure 10 more pitchers, too, making a third of the lineup. Is bWAR weighted too much for pitchers and too little for catchers? I still make that argument. By bWar, Phil Niekro, Gaylord Perry and Bert Blyleven were all better than Johnny Bench—and it’s not close. They‘re also better than George Brett, Rod Carew, Pete Rose and Ken Griffey Jr. 

Speaking of: Nice to see Junior here. In the earlier list, he got stuck at 51. So two of the guys I watched regularly in the ’90s will make the top 50 all-time. No, wait: three! A-Rod as well. Are there three other guys in the top 50 who were teammates for at least three seasons and whose team never won a pennant? Ah, the joy and sadness of being a Seattle fan. We saw greatness just not there. 

It's interesting to see which legends he's going to eliminate. He's running out of room. Forty spots left. If he includes both Mike Trout and Turkey Stearns, which I think he's gonna, one of the legends is gone. I assume Cap Anson. 

You know what else this means? Just 40 days to Opening Day.

Posted at 08:50 AM on Monday February 17, 2020 in category Baseball  
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Twitter: @ErikLundegaard

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