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Tony's Top Ten Reactions to Rich’s List
by Tony Aubry,
August 13, 2006

Tony Aubry

10- Bill Terry


Sure, Bill Terry’s .340 average looks fantastic to the naked eye, but how good does it look when put into context? Not very. Throughout Terry’s career, the league hit a ridiculous .289. In 1930 Terry was .401/.452/.619. However the league went .309/.367/.460 As you all know, Terry was a first baseman, a first baseman that played in the biggest hitting era who never hit 30 HR, drove in 120+ only twice, and scored 120+ only three times. Terry scored 1200 runs and drove in 1100. Had an OPS+ of 136, which is good. However, if you’re going to put a first baseman in your top 65 who played in the biggest hitting era of all time and only had an OPS+ of 136 you better think again.


We all know that defensive metrics are always in flux, but from what we have, we quickly learn that he was a good fielding first baseman. However, it certainly was not outstanding and not good enough to put him in the top 200.


9- Joe Morgan


About 2 months ago, when I first started to construct my top 100, I was going to put Morgan in the bottom 50.  Then I saw the light.


Yes, Morgan only hit .271 for his career, but he makes up for it with an OBP just a shade below .400. Morgan led his league in OBP 4 times and walks 4 times as well. Morgan also ran wild on the base paths. A man who can walk a ton and steal many bases is nothing but danger. Little Joe stole 689 bases at a great 81% clip. Morgan almost never grounded into double plays. He averaged fewer than 5 per year. So far, we have a player walked a ton, stole bases at an amazing clip, and never grounded into double plays.


Take a look at Morgan from 1972-1977. If you try to find a player in the league that was better, you’re going to be looking for a while, because there weren’t any. He walked 100+ times every year, scored 100+ runs every year, hit .290 or better 4 out of the five years, led his league in OBP four out of the five years, and led his league in SLG once, OPS+ twice. He also stole 359 bases at 83% clip. All of this would be great for anyone, but it’s ever greater since all of this is coming from a second baseman.


Morgan, in my opinion, was overrated with the glove. He had -89 fielding runs and averaged 5.7 fielding win shares per 162 games. However, he did have a good fielding percentage compared to his league.


8- George Sisler


See Bill Terry


7- Manny Ramirez


I’ll give you a little pass on this one. I actually had Manny at 40, which is close to where you have him. When I had Manny at 40 I pretty much forgot about everything but his hitting. He is an absolute butcher in the field and is a bad base runner. His high assist rate is due to the fact that many players try to stretch singles into doubles off the Monster. Yes, Manny is one hell of a hitter, but there are other things that count too.


Also, if Manny retired today, do you really think he’d be a top 35 player? I hope not.


6- Ichiro


It looks like you’re giving him credit for what he did in Japan, which is something I disagree with. If he hasn’t done it on American soil, it just doesn’t count. I’m sure he had averages of .350+ every year and tons of runs scored, but I’d take those numbers with a grain of salt. If I’m not mistaken, Hideki Matsui was a huge power hitter who hit 50+ homeruns year in and year out. However, since coming to the Yankees, he hasn’t hit more than 31 in a season.


5- Active Players


Derek Jeter, Vladimir Guerrero, Ivan Rodriguez, Chipper Jones, Manny Ramirez, and Ichiro are all good to great players. However, if their careers ended today, a good chunk of them don’t belong in the top 100. Jeter and Chipper are A- hitters, but D+ fielders. Ichiro has only played 5 years in the majors. Manny definitely belongs in the top 100, but not the top 35, as I mentioned before. Guerrero is well on his way into the list, but has only played 8 full seasons and has yet to have an earth shattering year, plus looks to be in a small but steady decline.


4- Cy Young


You seriously underrate Mr. Young here. How is Walter Johnson THAT much better than Young? I just don’t see it. Maybe you’re discounting the seasons he had pre-1901. Well, if that’s the case, I don’t think it’s fair that you give Negro Leaguers and people who played in Japan credit and Young no credit. Young did play in the major leagues while most Negro Leaguers didn’t. Or maybe you think the quality of play has gotten better as years have passed. If that were the case, Walter Johnson wouldn’t rank in your top 10. Anyway, a guy with an ERA+ just below 140 with 800 pitching runs and 77 pitching wins doesn’t belong in the mid 40’s. He also held opponents to a minuscule .287 OBP.


3- Reggie Jackson and Harmon Killebrew….. or lack thereof.


Richard, get over it, batting average doesn’t mean everything. It barely means anything. Anyway, Killebrew played in the second biggest pitching era of all time; while Reggie played in probably the most balanced era in the history of the sport. Many people think the 70’s and 80’s were weak because they were very few 50 homerun, 150+ RBI seasons, and very few dominating pitching seasons. Well, if you got the best players of all time to play against each other, are you going to expect monster years like that? I wouldn’t.


Killebrew’ average was a little bit below the major league average, but his SLG was a whopping .117 points above the league norm. Also, many people tend to forget that the Killer played third base. He may not have been the best fielding third basemen in the world, but offense from third base has great value, no matter how the position is played. He led his league in walks and homeruns numerous years. A man who was such a dominant offensive force in the modern dead ball era belongs in the top 100.


Reggie was sort of the 70’s and 80’s version of Killebrew. Jackson hit for a low average, but also walked a lot. He was a prolific slugger in a league where very few of those existed. Reggie posted an OPS+ of 150 or higher 9 times, which is a pretty damn good feat if you ask me. He led his league in HR four times and walked 75 or more in a season 9 times.


2- Pete Rose


Rose is remembered for three things: hits, playing many positions, and hustling. Rose does have the most hits in baseball history, but also the most AB in history. He only led his league in batting average three times. Rose played OF, 2B, 3B, and 1B throughout his career, but wasn’t great at any of them. He did turn a lot of singles into doubles by busting his ass. However, how are those doubles worth more than doubles that are hit into the gap or down the line? To me, Rose just was not dominant enough to belong in the top 50.


1- KGO


Ken Griffey frigginJr is in your top 20. How? Do you give credit for injury seasons or something? I really don’t know where to start.


For a great power hitter, Griffey doesn’t walk all that much. He’s never eclipsed 100 and has only surpassed 90 three times. He’s walked more than he has struck out in only one season. Hell, Willie Randolph’s OBP is only one measly point lower than Griffey’s. Griffey led his league in HR four times, but led his league in RBI once, and runs only once. As Keith mentioned in his commentary, “Most people would assume that Junior has more career steals than Sheffield, more doubles than Larry Walker, and a better batting average than Jose Vidro.’’ If you’re one of those people Rich, you’re wrong.


The main reason that Griffey is overrated is because of his defense. He won a Gold Glove every year from 1990-99. He won those mainly because of his bat. Gold Gloves are a poor way to judge defense. He has -16 fielding runs. Hhis FA is below the league average as a center fielder. Many of those flashy plays Griffey made weren’t that great They just looked great due to his poor range and judgment of fly balls. The plays you see him make on Sports Center would be a can of corn for guys like Edmonds and Andruw Jones. Griffey was a great player, but not where near an immortal.

Disagree with something? Got something to add? Wanna bring up something totally new? Tony Aubry lives in Queens, New York, and can be reached at

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