Underrated? I say Overrated.

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Andy T., May 9, 2006.

  1. Andy T.

    Andy T.
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    Just finished watching ESPN's top 20 most underrated athletes of all-time. No. 1 was Stan Musial. No argument there. Otto Graham was no. 2. Also very deserving. But there were two baseball players that made the list that I would actually put on my overrated list:

    Jim Rice
    Edgar Martinez

    There are some guys who maybe start out underrated, but then everyone and his brother takes up his cause to the point that the man actually becomes overrated. That is definitely the case for E. Martinez. Considering his era, his stats are nothing special. And he was completely one-dimensional. If he makes the Hall of Fame, I will write my Congressman.

    Jim Rice was always given his just due as a player. He was a great hitter for about 6-7 years, and a decent hitter for another 6-7 years. He is borderline Hall material, which is why he's considered underrated, because his supporters whine louder and louder every year that he does not make it. If he makes the Hall, I'll be o.k. with it, but I'm also fine if he doesn't make it.

    Here are the two guys I would replace on the underrated list for Rice and Martinez:

    Al Kaline
    Dwight Evans

    Kaline goes without saying - one of the best all-around players of his era, World Series Champion, 3,000 hits and 399 homers (getting to 400 would have helped his cause). But yet, no one ever talks about him. Remember, he played in a pitcher-dominated era, so his stats do not jump off the page compared to today's numbers. And he was probably one of the nicest guys to suit up.

    Evans was Rice's teammate for most of their careers. Evans is way more underrated than Rice. In fact, I would rate Evans higher than Rice in overall value and Hall consideration. Yet, is Evans even considered for the Hall? Nope - not even on the radar. At least Rice is being considered. Evans was a much better fielder than Rice and his offensive value is nearly equal with Rice, especially when you consider on-base average.

    Oh, and for all you Pistons-haters out there, Joe Dumars was no. 5. They said he was the only guy who could give MJ fits. And another one for Motown - Jack Morris made the list, too. Good choice. Should be in the Hall, along with Alan Trammell.
     
  2. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    I would agree that Dumars and Morris were both underrated.
     
  3. Nicholas25

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    Jack Morris was a winner and a big game pitcher. He killed the braves in the 1991 World Series.
     
  4. TomVols

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    Killing the Braves in the postseason isn't all that hard [​IMG]
     
  5. PastorSBC1303

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    Another thought I had about Dumars. To me he was like Brett Favre in the respect that he was a player that I really enjoyed watching I just wish he played for a different team. I cannot cheer for the Packers or the Pistons, but I always enjoyed watching Dumars and if had played for another team I would have been a bigger fan.
     
  6. ChurchBoy

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    I completey disagree with your assessment of Edgar Martinez, Throughout his career he was amongst the best hitters in the AL. He has a career 147 OPS+ wich means his combined slugging and on bases percantage was 47% above league average. The M's were dumb for keeping him down in the minors so long. He didn't have his first full season in the majors until age 27. Given that, Martinez will have a tough time getting into the HOF since the HoF voters don't like DHs. If Edgar had stayed at third base we wouldn't even be having this discussion. He would easily get in.
     
  7. Andy T.

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    And why didn't he stay at 3rd base? Could it have been something to do with his pathetic .946 fielding pct. when he did play 3rd? Thank you for making part of my point - that he was one-dimensional is beyond question.

    I do not doubt that Edgar was one of the better hitters in the league for about a 5-7 year stretch, but that is really his only claim to fame. His career numbers are not good enough on their own (esp. considering the era). When a players' career numbers are not good enough, then the next question to ask is, did the player do anything extraordinary to merit admittance into the Hall? Think Sandy Koufax - career numbers not that impressive, but for about a 5-7 year stretch, he was the greatest pitcher anyone has ever seen. Can we say something similar about Edgar? No. We can't even say he was the best hitter in the league during his best years, let alone one of the best ever. And don't forget he was one-dimensional. So looking at the whole of his career numbers, his prime year numbers, and his lack of defense, there's no way he should make the Hall. I can think of 15-20 guys that should be in the Hall before him.
     
  8. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    As long as there is the DH in the AL I do not think we can say someone does not belong in the Hall of Fame for being one-dimensional. If their hitting numbers warrant their induction, then they should get it. I think you can make a pretty good case that Edgar during his prime was the best hitter in baseball.
     
  9. Andy T.

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    Then that is a good reason to get rid of the DH. I used to like the DH, but over the years I've come to dislike it.

    Yes, I think a case can be made for Edgar in that regard, but it is not indisputable (I could throw in a few other names that could win the argument too). But Koufax's dominance was indisputable. I could give you a long list of guys who maybe were the best hitter/pitcher during their prime, but come nowhere near Hall worthiness.
     
  10. PastorSBC1303

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    I would agree, get rid of the DH. I have never liked it.
     
  11. Convicted by the Spirit

    Convicted by the Spirit
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    I really wish they would get rid of the DH, but saying that Martinez or David Ortiz are less of players because they are DH is just silly to me. I still think Ortiz should have won the MVP last year and while Edgar will not make it to the HoF he was still an amazing hitter for those 7 years.

    Overrated ... A-Rod ... what has he done except make teams worse?
     
  12. ChurchBoy

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    Your point is meaningless. Being "one dimensional" is a weak reason to keep someone out of the HoF. There are many one dimensional players in the HoF (Hack Wilson beign one). Edgar had injury problems that were chronic. He was more valuable as a DH because he didn't give up runs with poor defense.

    Here are Edgar's OPS+ from 1993, 1995-2001

    1993-163
    1995-183
    1996-166
    1997-164
    1998-157
    1999-151
    2000-161
    2001-163

    Here are his league leading performances

    5-Silver Sluggers
    2-Batting titles
    3-OBP titles

    He led the league in doubles twice, and in runs, RBI, OPS+, and runs created once.

    Oh and Koufax was NOT the greatest pitcher ever. He was overrated. He pitched in an extreme pither's era in an extreme pitcher's park with a really high mound. Pedro Martinez at his peak was superior to Koufax.

    Can you name the 15-20 players that should go in before Edgar.
     
  13. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    Now let's not get crazy here...
     
  14. Andy T.

    Andy T.
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    Churchboy,

    I don't have time right now to address all of your points, but real quick:

    It is poor reasoning to say that because Player A is in the Hall, and Player B is equivalent, then Player B should be in the Hall, too. Player A might not be deserving in the first place, so "two wrongs don't make a right" if we are to elect another undeserving player in based on that reasoning. Otherwise, we end up with a very water-downed Hall.

    With that, Hack Wilson is considered by most baseball historians to be one of the worst Hall selections of all-time. So using him in your argument does not help your cause. Also, I don't have a problem with one-dimensional players per se, but that one dimension better be pretty impressive. Bottom line, Edgar doesn't have the career numbers to make it, nor does he have anything special that makes him deserving. Reggie Jackson is an example of a one-dimensional player, but he racked up 500+ homers, so he's in. I feel bad that Edgar had injuries and was called up late, but you can't base selection on what "would have been" - you can only go by what actually happened.

    On your Pedro comment, you need to come back to Earth a little bit. If you want to say that Pedro was equivalent to Koufax, then I'm willing to have that conversation. But to say he was "superior" is just plain silliness. BTW, I think Pedro is a Hall of Famer, probably a first balloter, if he can garner a few more wins.

    Real quick, a few guys off the top of my head who should get in before Edgar:

    Ron Santo
    Jack Morris
    Alan Trammell
    Andre Dawson
    Bert Blyleven

    I'll give you some more at a later time.
     
  15. Andy T.

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    A couple of others:

    Dwight Evans
    Jim Rice

    Note, I do not advocate that all the guys I list should be in, but I think they are all more deserving than E. Martinez.
     
  16. Andy T.

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    Also, I never claimed that Koufax was the greatest pitcher ever. I just used him as an example of someone making the Hall with low career numbers that made it based on superior prime years. Koufax was certainly the greatest pitcher of his era, hands down. You can't say the same about Edgar. You can make an argument that he was in the top 5 or even 3, but it is not hands down that he was the best of his era.
     
  17. Andy T.

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    Note, that I'm not even counting automatic ones like Gwynn, Ripken and Henderson, who will be making it in the next few years ahead of Edgar.

    More guys that are more deserving than Edgar:

    Dale Murphy
    Jeff Bagwell (retired last year, right?)
    Tim Raines
    Orel Hershiser
    Tommy John
    Fred McGriff

    I need a couple more - getting a little thin, but I honestly think all the ones I mentioned are more deserving.
     
  18. ChurchBoy

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    Now let's not get crazy here... </font>[/QUOTE]Nothing crazy at all. If you take careful consideration at the context of Koufax's and Martinez's peak seasons it's obvious that Pedro was better.

    Pedro's 1999-2000 seasons were incredible

    1999: 23-4, 2.07 ERA, 245 ERA+, 313 Ks, 37 BB
    2000: 18-6, 1.74 ERA, 285 ERA+, 284 Ks, 32 BB

    In 1999 the American League ERA was 5.07. In 2000 it was 4.97.

    Koufax's best two seasons were probably 1964 and 1966.

    1964: 19-5, 1.74 ERA, 187 ERA+, 223 Ks, 53 BBs
    1966: 27-9, 1.73 ERA, 190 ERA+, 317 Ks, 77 BBs

    But Koufax pitched in an extreme pitching dominant environment. In 1964 the National League ERA was just 3.25. In 1966 it was 3.28. So what is more impressive, a pitcher with a 1.74 ERA in league that has a 5.07 ERA or a pitcher with a 1.74 ERA in a league with an ERA of 3.25?
     
  19. Andy T.

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    ERA is important, but it is not everything. Another factor to consider is the number of innings a pitcher throws. Two pitchers with the same ERA but with vastly different innings are not equivalent. Koufax threw over 300 innings three seasons, while Pedro only reached 240 one time, was below 200 some, and most seasons was in the low 200's. So in that respect, Koufax's ERA is worth more, since it covered more innings. And Pedro gets the nod when you look at relative ERA. When the two are factored together, I think it is a draw.

    Now, we can argue about the wisdom of letting a pitcher throw 300+ innings to where they ruin their arm, but that does not dimish the accomplishment. Pedro has already surpassed Koufax for career greatness, but as far as peak seasons go, I still think it is a draw.
     
  20. ChurchBoy

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    Again the different eras come into play here. Koufax was able to pitch 300+ innings because of the supressed offense of the 1960s. Koufax could pitch 300+ innings because the era allowed him to. Many pitchers of that era pitched 280-300 innings per season. The game has changed since then with the five-man rotation.

    You know if Koufax were active today he'd have a totally different career. His team would take the same approach they do with Pdero. "We have to protect Sandy's arm at all costs!" A team would keep a strict pitch count on Sandy, and have him skip a start every once in a while to allow him to rest his "tired arm". So instead of going 26-7 he's go 17-7 but he would probably pitch into his 40s.
     

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