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Tuesday, August 21, 2007


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So, wait, who are the nice guys we're talking about?

Kidding, kidding.

A-Rod averaging 175 hits for another 11 years? I don't think so, as great a player as he is. And Jeter to add 1700 hits after the age of 33? Forget it - that's 8 years of 200+ hits. Not gonna happen.

Top 10 would be an amazing (and, as you say, doable) accomplishment. Both will get there, I think.

I've got an example for you of a record held by a good guy:

Last hitter to win the Triple Crown: Carl Yastrzemski, 1967.

And no, you don't have to be decent and likeable to set a record. But you do if you want the fans to respect you for it.

Yaz is popular in Boston, but he also opposed Marvin Miller and his work to secure the rights of players less priveleged than himself, and has generally been associated with ultra-right wing political ideas. So I guess the definition of "good" is a serious matter of perspective. The Babe wasn't perfect. Mickey was a complete lout. Those guys are loved pretty universally.

Lou Gehrig. Iron Horse.
Lifetime BA: .340
Career OBP: .447
Career slugging: .632
Lifetime average RBI/season: 149
Lifetime average HR/162-games: 37
Games streak until Ripken came along
Character: Impeccable

Enough said

While I don't agree with most of his political beliefs, I think it's unfair to lump Yaz in with the likes of Ty Cobb.

Arod, and well... I'm guessing close to 50% or more MLB players cheat on their wives. So they are out of the running I guess too.

Jeter has wisely sidestepped that issue by not having a wife. I dare ya to find something wrong with him, besides the, ah, herpes thing.

ultra-right wing political ideas.

I guess this a., depends on your definition of "ultra" right wing, and b., needs an explanation of why certain political beliefs apparently make you a worse person.

I'm curious if YF would have typed that sentence if Yaz had ultra-left wing political ideas?

For the record, I'm ultra-moderate, or something like that.

do we get a game thread?

my point regarding yaz (and with this whole post), was that thinking about whether ballplayers are "good" or not is pointless, especially when definitions of "good" are shifting, and there is a great divide between the public and actual behavor of players.

being a conservative doesn't make you a bad person. but holding certain opinions, and supporting certain ideas, that are most assuredly not good, makes someone, to my mind, less than admirable.

jackie robinson voted republican. i admire him immensely. but some right wing positions are abhorent, and the people who support those positions are responsible for supporting abhorent postions. Yaz supported a lot of truly abhorent ideas. I admire his ability to play baseball, and pretty much nothing else about him.

This is through last year, since this season hasn't ended yet:

Age 32 Season:
Derek Jeter was up to 2150 hits.
Pete Rose was up to 2152 hits.

Age 30 Season:
Alex Rodriguez was up to 2067 hits.
Pete Rose was up to 1724 hits.

So it's not out of the question to both reach Pete Rose. Especially if they play til their early 40's.

If you look at the stats through age 30 A-Rod also has a chance at being number one in career runs scored, runs batted in, total bases, strikeouts, runs created, and extra-base hits.

I don't think "thinking about whether players are 'good' is pointless at all," considering that they are among the best-paid and most venerated members of our society (for better or worse).

As a kid, I followed sports avidly -- baseball, football, tennis, skiing, you name it. Kids today are no different.

Isn't it at all important to us that athletes either try to be role models, or at least not set horrendous examples (e.g. Barry's "oils," A-Rod and the bimbo, Vick's abuse of animals)? I don't expect these guys to be pure as the driven snow, but at least they could try to keep the seamy stuff to themselves.

could i get some links to yaz's "ultra right-wing" politics? thanks.

also, jackie robinson later apologized for the work he had done in support of nixon.

Not sure whether it's worth bringng this back up, but I was also curious what ideas Yaz supported that were so abhorrent. If he supported Hitler (like Lindbergh did), then sure. Not good. But it's hard to say someone is a bad person, even if they support political ideas you believe are abhorrent.

After all, look at abortion. The country is basically equally split on this issue, with each side considering the other's an abhorrent position. So which side consists of the "bad people"? As another example, I think it's abhorrent to deny the right of civil marriage to a person based on the gender of his or her proposed spouse. My parents disagree; are they bad people? No.

So, outside of being a Klan member or supporting genocidal dictators or something similar, I still question why we should be determining the goodness or badness of a person based on deeply held moral beliefs -- which they may hold for a variety of reasons unknown to any of us.

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