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MBW Project: The Best Athletes of Our Lifetime


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#1 mweb08

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 11:05 PM

Recently Ricker had the idea to have some sort of rankings that span the course of multiple podcasts, so here's what we are going to do with that:

 

Ranking the best male athletes whose pro career started no earlier than 1979 (not sure on how long the list will be yet).

 

Before we do that, though, we will rank the top players in each sport starting with baseball this week, where we will rank the 20-11 best players before doing the top 10 the following week.

 

We will do the same for football and basketball. Otherwise, we will do an Other category with hockey, soccer, tennis, golf, boxing, mma, Olympics, and whatever else. We could potentially break that up into separate categories.

 

Eventually we'll mix sports for the top overall list.

 

I think this should generate some good discussion on the podcast. Hopefully you guys like this idea and will engage in debates on here about the lists. 


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#2 mweb08

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:26 AM

It's not easy ranking the best baseball players of my lifetime.

 

Maddux vs Randy Johnson vs Pedro is tough for me. How do you weigh peak vs career value? Does playing pretty well for a lot of extra games heavily affect how one is rated?

 

How does a great reliever get mixed in with the starters and then position players?

 

How do I rate incredible offensive players who sucked at defense (Thomas, Manny, MCab, Jeter, Piazza)?

 

How much do I consider defensive numbers when they're far from perfect?

 

How much does postseason play matter?

 

I've come up with a preliminary top 20, but I could easily change quite a few things.



#3 Pedro Cerrano

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:28 AM

Are you asking us for input or are you just making us aware of the list so that we can be prepared to listen and debate it?

 

For me, I think you have to separate pitching from position players and for hockey likely separate goaltenders from forwards/defensemen.  The nature of the position(s) are too different to try to put them all in one list.


There is baseball, and occasionally there are other things of note

"Now OPS sucks.  Got it."

"Making his own olive brine is peak Mackus."

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#4 Ricker Says

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:28 AM

All interesting things to consider, which makes this fairly subjective, and will make the debate intriguing and fun. I appreciate you guys putting in the time to do this, I'm really looking forward to it.


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"You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the damn plate and give the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all." ~ The Earl of Baltimore

#5 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:29 AM

Just to clarify, it looks like the discussion is best performance by athletes, not most 'athletic', correct?



#6 mweb08

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:33 AM

Are you asking us for input or are you just making us aware of the list so that we can be prepared to listen and debate it?

 

For me, I think you have to separate pitching from position players and for hockey likely separate goaltenders from forwards/defensemen.  The nature of the position(s) are too different to try to put them all in one list.

 

Input would be good. 

 

I agree that's a lot easier to do, but I like the idea of ranking all athletes even though it has its challenges.



#7 BSLRobShields

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:33 AM

Just to clarify, it looks like the discussion is best performance by athletes, not most 'athletic', correct?

Correct.

 

For example, a guy like Bo Jackson will not appear on our list in all likelihood(although maybe you could argue the football side of things but i think sample size was too small).


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#8 mweb08

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:33 AM

Just to clarify, it looks like the discussion is best performance by athletes, not most 'athletic', correct?

 

Correct. For example, Bo Jackson isn't going to make any list of mine.

 

Edit: I see Rob beat me to it. Us both using Bo Jackson isn't as crazy as it would seem since we mentioned him in an email about this.  :lol:



#9 BSLRobShields

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:35 AM

Another thing we will have to weigh is the steroids stuff.
 

Neither Mike, nor myself, care all that much about it but if perhaps when you are deciding between one or another, that may come into play.

 

I have my prelim list as well...Have 21 names...have to take away one of them obviously.


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#10 BSLRobShields

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:37 AM

BTW, the concept of a  continuing discussion will be a frequent thing for the near future.

 

Once we are done this, we will move into our next several episode discussion.


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#11 mweb08

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:39 AM

Another thing we will have to weigh is the steroids stuff.
 

Neither Mike, nor myself, care all that much about it but if perhaps when you are deciding between one or another, that may come into play.

 

I have my prelim list as well...Have 21 names...have to take away one of them obviously.

 

I'm not considering that other than maybe as a tie-breaker. 

 

It will be interesting to see if we have pretty much the same names. There's around 10 guys that could be argued for the last few spots that didn't make my top 20. Of course I still may change that.



#12 Pedro Cerrano

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:46 AM

Well if you're not taking steroids into account I don't see how Barry Bonds can be anywhere but #1 on any list for baseball.  I'd probably put Clemens #2.


There is baseball, and occasionally there are other things of note

"Now OPS sucks.  Got it."

"Making his own olive brine is peak Mackus."

"I'm too hungover to watch a loss." - McNulty

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#13 BSLMikeRandall

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:50 AM

Hate to ask the question, but what about known steroid users? Or Clemens who technically has never been proven in a court of law to use roids?

Not counting those guys, I think there are enough players dominant enough in one or two aspects, that it shouldn't matter if they lack in another, like Miguel Cabrera. Cal Ripken obviously, and even though he never had gaudy season numbers like 40 homers, he still had the total package.

Pujols, Ripken, MCabrera, Mauer, Randy Johnson, Maddux, Glavine, Griffey, Ichiro, Gywnn, Pudge, Nolan Ryan (did play 13 years after '79).

Those are just some obvious ones off the top of my head.
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#14 BSLMikeRandall

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:51 AM

Sorry. Didnt see the previous response on roids. Bonds would have to be number 1 then.
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#15 bnickle

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:56 AM

Well if you're not taking steroids into account I don't see how Barry Bonds can be anywhere but #1 on any list for baseball.  I'd probably put Clemens #2.

Bonds is is arguably #1 regardless. Well assuming he wasn't roiding before the late '90s. Clearly #1. He's also top 5 for the overall list.

 

Also are you weighing in seasons on guys who's careers started before '79. So Mike Schmidt is a perfect example. Are you just weighing '79 through the end of his career or does he get credit for the 6 seasons before '79. BTW.....Schmidt is also  a top 10 baseball player even if you are only counting his career from '79 on.



#16 mweb08

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:58 AM

Hate to ask the question, but what about known steroid users? Or Clemens who technically has never been proven in a court of law to use roids?

Not counting those guys, I think there are enough players dominant enough in one or two aspects, that it shouldn't matter if they lack in another, like Miguel Cabrera. Cal Ripken obviously, and even though he never had gaudy season numbers like 40 homers, he still had the total package.

Pujols, Ripken, MCabrera, Mauer, Randy Johnson, Maddux, Glavine, Griffey, Ichiro, Gywnn, Pudge, Nolan Ryan (did play 13 years after '79).

Those are just some obvious ones off the top of my head.

 

Ryan isn't eligible.

 

A few of those guys you listed actually aren't in my top 20, some aren't close. There's a lot of great candidates.



#17 mweb08

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:59 AM

Their career had to start in '79 or later.



#18 BSLRobShields

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 11:01 AM

Bonds would be #1 anyway.

 

Bonds was top 50 in WAR before the suspected steroid use...and then he played several more years.

 

He has a 52 WAR lead over Ricky Henderson, who is the first position player on the list that doesn't have those allegations over his head.

 

Even if you knock Bonds down some, he still likely would be in the lead.


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#19 bnickle

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 11:23 AM

Eddie Murray is one of the greatest baseball players of my lifetime even though his careers started before '79. Could have worded the excerise better or at least chaned the standards for qualifications. Maybe anyone who played the majority or all of their career after '80.



#20 BSLRobShields

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 11:28 AM

Eddie Murray is one of the greatest baseball players of my lifetime even though his careers started before '79. Could have worded the excerise better or at least chaned the standards for qualifications. Maybe anyone who played the majority or all of their career after '80.

Had to have some cutoff point and we decided to do the year we were born.

 

Guys like Eddie, Ozzie Smith, Trammel, Whitaker and Molitor just miss out.

 

And btw, Eddie may not make the list anyway.


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