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Homer

25 Man All Time Team

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SP - Pedro Martinez

SP - Randy Johnson

SP - Bob Gibson

SP - Sandy Koufax

SP - Greg Maddux

RP - John Smoltz

RP - Walter Johnson

RP - Dennis Eckersley

RP - Lefty Grove

CL - Mariano Rivera

BN - Cal Ripken Jr.

BN - Ken Griffey Jr.

BN - Rickey Henderson

BN - Albert Pujols

BN - Johnny Bench

BN - Stan Musial

SS - Honus Wagner

LF - Ted Williams

CF - Willie Mays

DH - Babe Ruth

RF - Hank Aaron

1B - Lou Gehrig

3B - Mike Schmidt

C - Yogi Berra

2B - Rogers Hornsby

Let the debate begin...

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Let the debate begin...

Starting at the top, I still have to say that Greg Maddux just does not belong. He was great, but not great enough for this list. In more recent times, Tom Seaver has to get the nod over him while Steve Carlton and Warren Spahn are pretty easy arguments to make as well. From a full historical perspective, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson should be insulted that people are claiming Maddux belongs above their names on any list. I don’t like the idea of moving Walter Johnson over to the bullpen because that was not really his role; he started more than 83% of the games he pitched in.

By removing Johnson from the bullpen, that opens up the obvious slot for Goose Gossage who has to be in there. I also believe that Bruce Sutter must be in that pen, and I think Lefty Grove needs to be seen as a starter having pitched in relief just ¼ of the time he was on the mound. I would have much less of a problem with the idea of using John Smoltz as a reliever – as more than a third of his appearances came in relief and he was dominant in that role – but then that would leave this roster without a lefty in the bullpen, so I’d probably have to fall back to Billy Wagner.

When I was comparing Honus Wagner to Derek Jeter, I also threw Cal Ripken Jr. into the mix just to see if he might be worthy of a top two slot; he wasn’t. Obviously I agree that Wagner should be the starting SS, but the backup on the bench has to be Jeter.

I certainly have no problem with putting Yogi Berra behind the dish instead of Mike Piazza. Yogi was a much better defender, made the All-Star Team in 15 consecutive seasons, and won the AL MVP Award three times all in seasons when he caught 140+ games.

I don’t love the idea of adding the DH here because it feels like a bit of a copout. The fact is that Babe Ruth played as much in LF as he did in RF, and he was a far superior defender to Ted Williams at any position. People often say Williams was the best hitter of all time, or the best lefty hitter of all time, but the numbers actually show that the Babe seems to get short shrift when those statements are tossed around. Even without considering his tremendous pitching, Ruth is the better player.

I absolutely loved to watch Rickey Henderson play. There’s just one problem with putting him on the bench of a team like this. The whole reason Rickey was Rickey was because of the impact he had on the game as the leadoff man day in and day out. If you make him a bench player, he becomes little more than a pinch runner who is almost sure to get you a stolen base whenever you need it; aren’t there dozens of players like that? If you can’t start him, then I don’t think you can make a great case to include him.

So, you drop the DH, move Ruth to LF, put Williams on the bench, and replace Henderson with Pete Rose who would serve as the ultimate pinch-hitter and be the primary backup at both 2B and 3B while also offering the ability to come in and play 1B and anywhere in the OF.

I would truly love to find a spot for Roberto Clemente, but the only logical place would be instead of Stan Musial, and despite being a tremendous hitter, defender and human being, Clemente was just not a better ballplayer than Musial.

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If we are talking all-time greatest, I think Ted Williams has to be starting. Also, to add another element to this roster, everyone can include a specific year of a player on their team. For example, Lou Gehrig (1934) starting at 1st base and Ken Griffey Jr. (1997) starting in centerfield.

This should be fun.

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Starting at the top, I still have to say that Greg Maddux just does not belong. He was great, but not great enough for this list. In more recent times, Tom Seaver has to get the nod over him while Steve Carlton and Warren Spahn are pretty easy arguments to make as well. From a full historical perspective, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson should be insulted that people are claiming Maddux belongs above their names on any list. I don’t like the idea of moving Walter Johnson over to the bullpen because that was not really his role; he started more than 83% of the games he pitched in.

By removing Johnson from the bullpen, that opens up the obvious slot for Goose Gossage who has to be in there. I also believe that Bruce Sutter must be in that pen, and I think Lefty Grove needs to be seen as a starter having pitched in relief just ¼ of the time he was on the mound. I would have much less of a problem with the idea of using John Smoltz as a reliever – as more than a third of his appearances came in relief and he was dominant in that role – but then that would leave this roster without a lefty in the bullpen, so I’d probably have to fall back to Billy Wagner.

When I was comparing Honus Wagner to Derek Jeter, I also threw Cal Ripken Jr. into the mix just to see if he might be worthy of a top two slot; he wasn’t. Obviously I agree that Wagner should be the starting SS, but the backup on the bench has to be Jeter.

I certainly have no problem with putting Yogi Berra behind the dish instead of Mike Piazza. Yogi was a much better defender, made the All-Star Team in 15 consecutive seasons, and won the AL MVP Award three times all in seasons when he caught 140+ games.

I don’t love the idea of adding the DH here because it feels like a bit of a copout. The fact is that Babe Ruth played as much in LF as he did in RF, and he was a far superior defender to Ted Williams at any position. People often say Williams was the best hitter of all time, or the best lefty hitter of all time, but the numbers actually show that the Babe seems to get short shrift when those statements are tossed around. Even without considering his tremendous pitching, Ruth is the better player.

I absolutely loved to watch Rickey Henderson play. There’s just one problem with putting him on the bench of a team like this. The whole reason Rickey was Rickey was because of the impact he had on the game as the leadoff man day in and day out. If you make him a bench player, he becomes little more than a pinch runner who is almost sure to get you a stolen base whenever you need it; aren’t there dozens of players like that? If you can’t start him, then I don’t think you can make a great case to include him.

So, you drop the DH, move Ruth to LF, put Williams on the bench, and replace Henderson with Pete Rose who would serve as the ultimate pinch-hitter and be the primary backup at both 2B and 3B while also offering the ability to come in and play 1B and anywhere in the OF.

I would truly love to find a spot for Roberto Clemente, but the only logical place would be instead of Stan Musial, and despite being a tremendous hitter, defender and human being, Clemente was just not a better ballplayer than Musial.

I think what you are leaving out of the Ruth/Williams argument is that Ted missed 3 years of his PRIME (1943-1945) (Age 25-27) to serve in the military. When Williams played, he was the greatest on the field. He hit .388 at the age of 39!

Edited by GoRedsox34

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I think what you are leaving out of the Ruth/Williams argument is that Ted missed 3 years of his PRIME (1943-1945) (Age 25-27) to serve in the military. When Williams played, he was the greatest on the field. He hit .388 at the age of 39!

Look, it's not like I'm trying to bash Ted Williams. That would be ridiculous. But would 3 prime years have given him an extra 193 HRs? Maybe it would have given him right around the 374 RBIs and 376 Runs Scored which separate them.

For all of the praise about Williams' batting, his AVG was .344 compared to Ruth's .342. His OBP was .482 compared to Ruth's .474. And of course nobody can compete with Ruth's SLG of .690 (Teddy had .634).

Williams had 19 more Doubles (525-506), but Ruth had 65 more Triples (136-71).

Ruth stole 123 bases compared to 24 for Williams.

And it's worth noting that while they are either very close or Ruth has a big lead in all the key stats, Ruth had only 832 more Plate Appearances; that's just over one season for Ted Williams. If you were to add in those three extra years of prime play for Teddy, then he'd have closed the gap in several categories but would have needed about 1300 extra chances in the batter's box to do so.

Each player had exactly 16 seasons with 400+ Plate Appearances, and in those years, this is how often they led the league in key categories:

CAT -- BABE -- TED

HRs -- 12 -- 4

RBI -- 6 -- 4

RUN -- 8 -- 6

BBs -- 11 -- 8

AVG -- 1 -- 5

OBP -- 10 -- 12

SLG -- 13 -- 9

PLUS...

100+RBI 13 -- 9

100+RUN 8 -- 6

100+BBs 13 -- 11

Those numbers in their respective eras are pretty hard to argue against.

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I see what you guys are saying, but when I put mine together I'm also considering other factors like depth, balance, defense, speed, etc. I wasn't just looking at the most offensively dominant players. As far as I'm concerned, the no-argument about them guys are on there. If you bring up the topic of greatest players of all time, Ruth, Aaron, Williams, Mays, Mo, Eck, and Wagner are automatics. There's on question about those guys. There's no one else that's so greatly superior at what they did that there's absolutely no question about it. You have to remember all the greats that aren't even on here as well, a list that includes guys like Foxx, Cobb, Cy Young, Satchel, Clemente, Mantle, Yaz, etc. Frankly the only tough choice I still am considering is having Jackie Robinson rather than Pujols because of the flexibility for defense and speed. Only reason I went with the ladder was because he was a RH option at 1B that was far superior offensively to others of his generation and also plays great defense.

As far as I'm concerned, Jeter has no business being on an all time great list. I can't see any time during his career where he was the best SS in the game let alone being head and shoulders above the rest. We can argue back and forth about his defense, but I see him being as great as he was because he was a consistent hitter--and that's it. There are several other SS's I would still take over him. Ripken gives me flexibility for the infield off the bench and a solid bat.

Maddux no doubt belongs on there. He absolutely dominated his era, and this is not just compared to his peers. He pitched in an era that so inflated offensively and made those guys look like fools.

I see your points on other lefty's, but as far as I see, the top LHP are on this team. Someone's going to get left out, and yes it's close. But Johnson, Lefty, and Koufax are the best.

As for the bullpen, I'm a full believer in having a balanced one, not just the best closers of all time. There are plenty of options for guys who can close, those that can handle lefty's, and those that can stretch out in long relief and spot start as needed. Goose was great, and I would have no problem with him being on the team. But when you've got Mo AND Eck, there's no need for Goose. Smoltz gives you a solid third option to close, set up, and go long.

DH is my call. Whether everyone agrees with it or not, it's apart of the game. I wouldn't pay to come see these guys play to see a pitcher hit. I want to see the best hitters battling it out against the best pitchers. With the depth the OF will obviously have, you can rotate whoever you wish through there, but the guys that are starting are there. I would probably put Williams there now that I think about it, but that doesn't change much.

There's plenty of power to put in the OF. Coming off the bench, I wanted to see some more speed, versatility and defense. Rickey's the man for that. Yes he was a great leadoff hitter, but that wasn't all he was. You only leadoff off once a game, and there was a great deal more to his career than that.

Rose was a tough one because of his versatility. There's nothing to argue there, but those were supposed to be tough choices. I've still got every role I need covered.

I love Griffey, and that's an understatement. But push come to shove, he played in a hitter's era. He also greatly benefited from hitting in the Kingdome (though it also hurt him). Despite that he had a great career and should be on there, and gives a tremendous amount of speed, LF option, power, and defense off the bench. No way I can put him above Mays. Mays is still the gold standard and no one's been good enough for there to be no argument. Mays was the man. You have to beat the man, not just get close or equal.

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As far as I'm concerned, Jeter has no business being on an all time great list. I can't see any time during his career where he was the best SS in the game let alone being head and shoulders above the rest. We can argue back and forth about his defense, but I see him being as great as he was because he was a consistent hitter--and that's it. There are several other SS's I would still take over him. Ripken gives me flexibility for the infield off the bench and a solid bat.

Let's get the obvious out of the way first here Homer. I'm a Yankee fan and therefore I am a Derek Jeter fan and that means I root for this guy and I appreciate what he's done for the Yankees since he's been with them. But there is no way I would put this guy on my all time great list. When I compare him to other shortstops in the history of the game I can not with a straight face put him on it. And anyone that makes an argument that he does deserve to be on this list is misguided.

Maddux no doubt belongs on there. He absolutely dominated his era, and this is not just compared to his peers. He pitched in an era that so inflated offensively and made those guys look like fools.

I agree here 100%.

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I'm considering other factors like depth, balance, defense, speed, etc. I wasn't just looking at the most offensively dominant players.

As far as I'm concerned, Jeter has no business being on an all time great list.

Maddux no doubt belongs on there.

As for the bullpen, I'm a full believer in having a balanced one, not just the best closers of all time. There are plenty of options for guys who can close, those that can handle lefty's, and those that can stretch out in long relief and spot start as needed. Goose was great, and I would have no problem with him being on the team. But when you've got Mo AND Eck, there's no need for Goose. Smoltz gives you a solid third option to close, set up, and go long.

DH is my call. Whether everyone agrees with it or not, it's apart of the game.

There's plenty of power to put in the OF. Coming off the bench, I wanted to see some more speed, versatility and defense. Rickey's the man for that. Yes he was a great leadoff hitter, but that wasn't all he was. You only leadoff off once a game, and there was a great deal more to his career than that.

Rose was a tough one because of his versatility. There's nothing to argue there, but those were supposed to be tough choices. I've still got every role I need covered.

I too am giving significant consideration to depth, balance, defense, speed, et al.

I just can't see how Ripken can even be considered over Jeter for SS.

Jeter has 5 Gold Gloves and Ripken has 2, so straight up I'm just calling Jeter the better defender.

Jeter's .313 AVG is way, way better than Ripken's .277.

Jeter's game is not about power, yet he trails in RBIs by less than 100 (should easily pass that by) and is also less than 100 HR behind.

Jeter's strengths show up in a major way with an advantage of more than 500 Runs Scored, over 700 more Hits, more Doubles, more Triples, over 300 more Stolen Bases, a much better OBP and even a SLG which is virtually identical.

This one shouldn't really be much of anyone's debate.

I'll just keep saying this: Greg Maddux was great, but he's not even a Top 10 all-time SP much less Top 5. Without even spending any time thinking about it, all you have to do is think Sandy Koufax, Randy Johnson, Tom Seaver, Pedro Martinez, Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton, Warren Spahn... how many is that? When you throw in Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson... it's just not fair to consider Maddux better than those guys and others.

I would have to take Goose over Eckersley simply because he's an old school closer who would regularly come in during the 7th inning with every intention of finishing the game. How often did LaRussa bring Eck in to close during the 7th? Goose has so much more of a track record and history as a reliever over Smoltz so I'd lean to him there as well.

DH may be your call, but the reason I don't like it in this discussion is because most of the guys on this list played when there was no such thing as a DH.

Leading off is not just about the time you lead off in the 1st inning. It's the idea that you set a tone for the lineup which dictates that every time you cycle back around to the top, the gameplan begins again with Rickey doing his thing. That just doesn't work with him as a pinch-hitter or pinch-runner. Plus, Rickey Henderson was a notoriously bad pinch-hitter. He hit around .280 as a starter and around .230 when coming off the bench. He slugged .420 as a starter and less than .320 when he didn't start. He also did not steal as well when being asked to come in off the pine. His percentage was 75% as a replacement but 81% in games he started. I don't think Rickey had the focus to stay intense when not starting; when you think about it, his whole mindset was to be the very start of every game. This shows up well in his BB/K ratio. As a starter, he walked MUCH more than he struck out; as a bench player, his walks and Ks are exactly even. It's also hard to dismiss those 81 HRs he did hit to lead off games in the 1st inning.

I add Rose to the squad because he absolutely deserves to be there, but also because I need a backup 3B other than Pujols. With Ripken off the team, somebody has to be there to play behind Schmidt, and Pujols would be much better used at 3B only in a pinch rather than as the regular #2 man.

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I too am giving significant consideration to depth, balance, defense, speed, et al.

I just can't see how Ripken can even be considered over Jeter for SS.

Jeter has 5 Gold Gloves and Ripken has 2, so straight up I'm just calling Jeter the better defender.

Jeter's .313 AVG is way, way better than Ripken's .277.

Jeter's game is not about power, yet he trails in RBIs by less than 100 (should easily pass that by) and is also less than 100 HR behind.

Jeter's strengths show up in a major way with an advantage of more than 500 Runs Scored, over 700 more Hits, more Doubles, more Triples, over 300 more Stolen Bases, a much better OBP and even a SLG which is virtually identical.

This one shouldn't really be much of anyone's debate.

you're right it's not a debate. Ripken is actually considered one of the better SS's of all time. Jeter's never even been the best SS of his time and hasn't even always been the best SS on his team. there are a handful of SS's that were better than Jeter throughout his career. he's just always been a consistently good hitter, which has helped him to accumulate enough counting stats to put him in the top ten. the fact that you're even hinting at rating their defense based on anything remotely close to how many gold gloves they won says all there needs to be said. you might as well compare their defense on how many teen choice awards they won. jeter has no business being on the list. ripken gives you much better options off the bench than jeter. jeter only plays SS and has done so with very suspect defense. i'm not saying Ripken is the greatest SS of all time, but he's up there and provides versatility off the bench since he can actually play something other than SS. again comparing numbers from different generations. Jeter still played his career in an offensively stacked era which has inflated his career numbers.

I'll just keep saying this: Greg Maddux was great, but he's not even a Top 10 all-time SP much less Top 5. Without even spending any time thinking about it, all you have to do is think Sandy Koufax, Randy Johnson, Tom Seaver, Pedro Martinez, Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton, Warren Spahn... how many is that? When you throw in Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson... it's just not fair to consider Maddux better than those guys and others.

It's not even close. Koufax, Seaver, Gibson, Carlton, Spahn, Johnson, Mathewson...they all played in eras that were significantly more favorable for pitchers. all of them. there are three guys during the juiced era that dominated: Johnson, Pedro, and Maddux. I'm taking Johnson over the other lefty's, and Maddux simply because of the fact that he was that good. all of the those guys put up numbers that were better, worse, or comparable to Maddux, which is why they're in the discussion. But seeing as Maddux had even a better career than Pedro, and I consider Pedro the number one pitcher of all time, no way Maddux gets left off. you compare all of those guys to the peers of their respective generations and you can see how good Maddux was.

I would have to take Goose over Eckersley simply because he's an old school closer who would regularly come in during the 7th inning with every intention of finishing the game. How often did LaRussa bring Eck in to close during the 7th? Goose has so much more of a track record and history as a reliever over Smoltz so I'd lean to him there as well.

again, apple to oranges. both have pros and cons, but Eck's my guy. I loved Goose and would have no problem including him. but in the ninth inning, there's two guys I want. the other is Mo.

Leading off is not just about the time you lead off in the 1st inning. It's the idea that you set a tone for the lineup which dictates that every time you cycle back around to the top, the gameplan begins again with Rickey doing his thing. That just doesn't work with him as a pinch-hitter or pinch-runner. Plus, Rickey Henderson was a notoriously bad pinch-hitter. He hit around .280 as a starter and around .230 when coming off the bench. He slugged .420 as a starter and less than .320 when he didn't start. He also did not steal as well when being asked to come in off the pine. His percentage was 75% as a replacement but 81% in games he started. I don't think Rickey had the focus to stay intense when not starting; when you think about it, his whole mindset was to be the very start of every game. This shows up well in his BB/K ratio. As a starter, he walked MUCH more than he struck out; as a bench player, his walks and Ks are exactly even. It's also hard to dismiss those 81 HRs he did hit to lead off games in the 1st inning.

yes, this is all the more reasons why I picked Henderson. none of these guys spent their careers pinch hitting unless it was in the twilights of their careers. that's a really skewed stat to look at. i picked him for everything he gives: gets on base, great defense, speed. i can pick plenty of outfielders that provide power, but his versatility is what sets him apart. no one in the history of the game is going to give you better base running than him. those leadoff homeruns are great but you can only hit a leadoff homerun once a game. that's not reason enough to start him over the other OF's--he doesn't belong in the starting lineup with the rest of the OF'ers that are available but there is definitely room for him on the team.

I add Rose to the squad because he absolutely deserves to be there, but also because I need a backup 3B other than Pujols. With Ripken off the team, somebody has to be there to play behind Schmidt, and Pujols would be much better used at 3B only in a pinch rather than as the regular #2 man.

Pujols isn't a 3b. he's on there for being a great hitter, a good defender, and a RH option at 1B. Rose I can understand but his career wasn't so great that he absolutely deserves to be there. there's a pretty elite class of players that get that kind of nod--he's just not one of them. the good thing about Rose is also the problem: he never excelled at any position, thus makes it difficult to compare him to others. his main strength was his hitting and there's plenty to make up for it in this lineup. again, i can easily swap him or Robinson with Pujols.

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at some point though, you guys are gonna have to throw yours up to dissect ;)

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at some point though, you guys are gonna have to throw yours up to dissect ;)

I don't know Homer. This guy who keeps insisting that Jeter belongs ahead of these players is really pissing me off.

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Quickly, the only reason I mentioned that Jeter has the 5-2 edge in Gold Gloves was because I didn't want to dwell on the defense between the two so I thought I'd just let the voters' voice be heard there. The fact is that Ripken was never a great defensive SS. I'm not claiming that Jeter is Ozzie Smith, but he is certainly no worse than Ripken and I'd have to give him the slight edge if forced to decide. You claim his defense is very suspect; that is simply a fabrication. If you've watched his career, the worst way you would ever depict Derek Jeter's defensive play would be as solid.

Okay, enough on that, I really wanted to talk about Henderson.

You said that you picked Rickey, "for everything he gives: gets on base, great defense, speed."

Since when has Rickey Henderson ever been a great defensive player? For the most part, his play in the outfield would be accurately described as below average. That's a big part of his reputation, and it's true. He wasn't terrible, but we can't begin making up stories about his great defense because it was never there. In an era with smaller ball parks which made it easier for OFs to cover the available ground, a Fielding Percentage of .979 was not good. You want to be in the mid .980s for that, and the upper .980s into the .990 to be seen as great. If it seems like nitpicking to claim that the mid .980s is not far from .979, that would mean you're not really grasping the statistic very well. Every percentage point in the Fielding Percentage for an OF is a huge difference so it is fair to say that .983 and .979 are really not even close.

Now, unless I'm missing something, your roster does not have a backup 2B, but it does have 7 regular OFs plus some other guys who can play in the OF. If Henderson is not going to be used in the way which would make him the effective stud that he was, why fill that slot with an OF at all? There are several guys who could fill the backup 2B role while also providing great defense, great speed and the ability to get on base.

-- Joe Morgan, Hall of Famer, 689 SB, .392 OBP, 268 HR and 5 Gold Gloves

-- Roberto Alomar, Hall of Famer, 474 SB, .371 OBP, 210 HR and 10 Gold Gloves

-- Eddie Collins, Hall of Famer, 741 SB, .424 OBP (actually a better OBP than Rickey)

On the other hand, if that spot must be filled by an OF, there are several choices to look at:

-- Barry Bonds, 514 SB, 762 HR, .444 OBP and 8 Gold Gloves (.984 Fielding %)

-- Larry Walker, 230 SB, 383 HR, .400 OBP and 7 Gold Gloves (.987 Fielding %)

-- Tony Gwynn, 319 SB, 135 HR, .388 OBP and 5 Gold Gloves (.987 Fielding %)

-- Kenny Lofton, 622 SB, 130 HR, .372 OBP and 4 Gold Gloves (.984 Fielding %)

-- Ryan Braun in just 6th year, 116 SB, 194 HR, .372 OBP with a .991 Fielding %

If it's all about roles, there are a ton of ways to go, but having Rickey Henderson on the bench as a 7th OF makes very little sense.

Finally, if you're looking for a negative thing to say about Greg Maddux, there is one I can point to (but remember that I still think he was tremendous). Anyone who used to watch the Braves games on TBS will remember what the announcers often referred to as "The Sign." Maddux had this move where he would gesture to the dugout which became familiar to attentive viewers. Usually in the 6th or maybe the 7th inning, he'd be out on the mound cruising along with about 70 to 80 pitches thrown, and suddenly he would just decide that he was done for the day. There was something lacking in his will to push himself the way so many other pitchers take such pride in looking within for a bit more. There is that saying which is a bit of an anachronism now about how, "Pitchers like to finish what they start." I realize that Maddux did throw over 100 complete games, but when he didn't feel like staying on the hill, all he was interested with was himself.

Consider the fact that he did throw 109 CGs, and then look at this comparison to some other greats when it comes to Innings Pitched per Start; also remember that this is another stat where extrapolated out over the entire career, every single digit's difference is huge:

IP/GS

7.88 Bob Gibson

7.67 Warren Spahn

7.61 Bob Feller

7.61 Juan Marichal

7.47 Gaylord Perry

7.40 Jim Palmer

7.38 Tom Seaver

7.34 Ferguson Jenkins

7.29 Steve Carlton

7.24 Bert Blyleven

7.18 Don Drysdale

7.15 Catfish Hunter

7.14 Ron Guidry

7.11 Jack Morris

7.06 Curt Schilling

7.01 Sandy Koufax

7.01 Roy Halladay

6.76 Greg Maddux

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hey these disagreements are what makes this interesting. but let me have at it:

come on now, don't use the old "if you've watched his career" argument. believe it or not, yes i have watched baseball before, and others have too. but using gold gloves as a comparison is absolutely ridiculous no matter how you want to justify it. there's so many flaws in that it's not even funny. there's nothing solid about jeter's defense. there never was. he was passable as a defensive shortstop only because of his strengths offensively. you're talking about the shortstop position, not 1B. this is historically a position that is very strong defensively much like 1B ranks high offensively. comparing jeter's defense to the greats at that position over the years isn't even close. if you want to compare fairly it's mediocre compared to his peers at best. this isn't really that big of a knock against the guy because SS is so competitive defensively. it is what it is, and he's near the bottom of the list defensively amongst SS's. raving about his defensive is just stretching reality well beyond what it really is. if you're a SS like him where defense isn't that great, you need to put up ungodly offensive numbers to be considered head and shoulders above your peers. jeter is again not that guy. his offensive numbers have just been really good and consistent. comparing his offensive stats to Ripken apple to apples isn't the same either. we're talking about putting this guy on the all time great list, and yet he has never even been ranked the best SS in the game in his own era. Ripken and Ozzie were the two best in their time. Ripken had far and away the best offensive numbers for a shortstop. no one came even close to him during his era. not to mention this guy is the friggin iron man. jeter's offensive numbers are great for a SS even during his era, but they were never head and shoulders above his peers. there were a lot of great offensive shortstops during his time too, and many of them had far superior offensive seasons than him. again his biggest strength has been consistency, and no one can take that away from him. he's been a really good hitter. but it's laughable to consider him the second best SS. if you want to just strictly talk best shortstops of all time, there's no way he ranks above Wagner, Arky Vaughn, Joe Cronin, Ozzie Smith, or Alex Rodriguez. i would also easily add Barry Larkin to that list. so adding him to a 25 man roster of the all time greats? not even close. again, i picked Ripken since he can fill in at 3B too, otherwise i would've gone with someone else not Jeter.

Henderson: yeah i can see what you're saying, and what I said probably overhyped his D a bit. but the overall package is there. but using fielding percentage to rank the defense is ridiculous. it only tells one small portion of the whole story and is pretty well agreed upon as a ridiculous stat to decide who is better defensively. but yes i agree with you i'm missing a back up 2B. i've said it many times which is why i was back and forth with adding Jackie Robinson. let's stop beating that dead horse. but given the farly inferior history of offense at the position, i sacrificed it for better OF's and Pujols. not really a problem as i see it. Pujols is the only righty at 1B i had and i'd rather have his bat. pretty much expect to have more outfielders seeing as it's a pretty competitive position. Musial can fill in at 1B or outfield as well, besides that there's no way i'm not including him. i have no regrets of including the other OF'ers.

no need to bother arguing Bonds or Braun. i'm not going to bother acknowledging either one. Walker was awesome, but he also greatly benefitted from his era and his ballpark. Lofton's not even close. there are several other CF'ers that would go ahead of him in a heartbeat. Gwynn...yeah i get it. would love to have him, but the guys i picked were simply better. again, many great OF'ers aren't on here.

Maddux: pretty easy for others to knock him for doing those types of things, but ask yourself how many other of those pitchers had a career like him again? i watched just about every game he pitched and i know exactly what you're talking about. here's one other way to interpret it: the guy was a friggin genius. his peers regard him as one of the best pitching minds of all time, and his career completely backs it up. knowing your strengths and limitations is a skill, and not many knew them as well as he did. that's what allowed him to exploit batters so easily. even the innings pitched stats show support this. he was ridiculously efficient at what he did. he pitched in a time where there are five man rotations and significant innings limits; and the fact that he pitched "so few innings" and yet still had 108 CG's in spite of that. even if you want to spin the other way, that doesn't exclude the fact that he's easily one of the top three pitchers of his time, and that's a pretty huge feat given how good the opposing offense was. because after those three guys, there's no one even close to them. taking himself out of the game because he thinks he's reached his limit doesn't change his accomplishments.

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Gold gloves should not be in this argument if you want to discuss fielding then have at it with a player's UZR. Gold gloves are similar to all-star game appearances, it is often a popularity contest.

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Homer, I agree fully about what you said about Jeter. Anyone who thinks that guy belongs on any all time list has listened to Michael Kay's hype for far too long.

Gold gloves should not be in this argument if you want to discuss fielding then have at it with a player's UZR. Gold gloves are similar to all-star game appearances, it is often a popularity contest.

You are 100% right.

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exactly. and it's no knock on jeter at all. but when i'm considering guys for this team, i'm looking at guys that are considered one of the top handful of players in the game in their respective generations. as good as jeter's been, he just never reached that level. quite frankly, if you look at some of the standard defensive stats like fielding percentage, errors, putouts, assists, etc, his numbers are comparable to Ozzie Smith. but it's completely absurd to consider his defense anywhere on the same planet as the wizard.

now i know i like to have fun knocking his D, but just looking at this from an unbias point of view, it's mainly when we're looking at it in comparison with the other greats. but when the guy was coming up through the system, i remember being impressed with his defense too. and i'm not saying it's bad, just not as good as i thought it was. do you guys know what i mean when i say that when you watch some guys hit the ball, you just know it's a homerun without having to see it land? when they built safeco field, a lot of those hits seemed to fool me more than usual because of the field. i don't know how many times i've seen a hit off the bat thinking it's clearly a homerun only to see it barely make the warning track.

my point with this is that i started seeing something similar with jeter's range after awhile. i don't know how many times i've seen grounders hit towards that side of the field where i think to myself it's an out, and how many times i was surprised to see him not get to it. at first i thought nothing of it until we started getting better ways to evaluate defense with more advanced statistics. those stats time and again show him significantly at the bottom, which is very poor for a position where you really need someone who is able to cover a large amount of ground. numbers are never perfect, but it should say something very clear when he ranks so low. if it was somewhere in the middle or in the upper half, it wouldn't mean. but the fact that it's so low has got to make you at the very least wonder. frankly i really don't understand why it is for jeter. they guy's decently fast and is athletic, but he simply doesn't have the range of his peers. we don't really ever get to watch the tapes that allow us to analyze this, so it's hard to see. is it because he doesn't get a good jump on it? i don't know. maybe some of you who have seen more of his plays might be able to tell me.

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i jumped in late to this thread, and haven't read any of it, probably won't keep up with the debate either...but here's mine.

SP - Bob Gibson

SP - Randy Johnson

SP - Roger Clemens

SP - Sandy Koufax

SP - Greg Maddux

RP - Goose Gossage

RP - Bruce Sutter

RP - Dennis Eckersley

RP - Billy Wagner

CL - Mariano Rivera

BN - Alex Rodriguez

BN - Willie Mays

BN - Ken Griffey Jr.

BN - Rickey Henderson

BN - Albert Pujols

BN - Ivan Rodriguez

BN - Pete Rose

SS - Derek Jeter

CF - Barry Bonds

LF - Ted Williams

RF - Stan Musial

2B - Rogers Hornsby

1B - Lou Gehrig

3B - Mike Schmidt

C - Mike Piazza

(pitcher (DH is for wussies))

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The Starting Rotation:

-- LHP Sandy Koufax

-- RHP Bob Gibson

-- LHP Randy Johnson

-- RHP Pedro Martinez

-- RHP Tom Seaver

The Bullpen:

-- RHP Mariano Rivera

-- LHP Billy Wagner

-- RHP Bruce Sutter

-- RHP Dennis Eckersley

-- RHP Rollie Fingers

For the lineups, I don't see how to avoid to specifying the scenarios in order to identify who is on the bench and who starts at what positions. I had to pick something, so the rule I went with is that players are eligible for defensive positions at which they've played 100+ career games.

Versus a RHP without DH:

-- 1 - S - 3B Pete Rose

-- 2 - R - CF Willie Mays

-- 3 - L - LF Ted Williams

-- 4 - L - RF Babe Ruth

-- 5 - L - 1B Lou Gehrig

-- 6 - R - 2B Rogers Hornsby

-- 7 - L - C Yogi Berra

-- 8 - R - SS Honus Wagner

BENCH PLAYERS:

-- Johnny Bench

-- Mike Schmidt

-- Alex Rodriguez

-- Hank Aaron

-- Rickey Henderson

-- Stan Musial

-- Frank Robinson

Versus a RHP with a DH:

-- 1 - S - LF Pete Rose

-- 2 - R - CF Willie Mays

-- 3 - L - DH Ted Williams

-- 4 - L - RF Babe Ruth

-- 5 - L - 1B Lou Gehrig

-- 6 - R - 3B Alex Rodriguez

-- 7 - R - 2B Rogers Hornsby

-- 8 - L - C Yogi Berra

-- 9 - R - SS Honus Wagner

BENCH PLAYERS:

-- Johnny Bench

-- Mike Schmidt

-- Hank Aaron

-- Rickey Henderson

-- Stan Musial

-- Frank Robinson

Versus a LHP without DH:

-- 1 - R - LF Rickey Henderson

-- 2 - R - SS Honus Wagner

-- 3 - R - CF Willie Mays

-- 4 - L - RF Babe Ruth

-- 5 - R - 1B Hank Aaron

-- 6 - R - 3B Mike Schmidt

-- 7 - R - C Johnny Bench

-- 8 - R - 2B Rogers Hornsby

BENCH PLAYERS:

-- Yogi Berra

-- Lou Gehrig

-- Pete Rose

-- Alex Rodriguez

-- Ted Williams

-- Stan Musial

-- Frank Robinson

Versus a LHP with a DH:

-- 1 - R - DH Rickey Henderson

-- 2 - R - CF Willie Mays

-- 3 - L - LF Babe Ruth

-- 4 - R - RF Hank Aaron

-- 5 - R - 3B Mike Schmidt

-- 6 - L - 1B Lou Gehrig

-- 7 - R - 2B Rogers Hornsby

-- 8 - R - C Johnny Bench

-- 9 - R - SS Honus Wagner

BENCH PLAYERS:

-- Yogi Berra

-- Pete Rose

-- Alex Rodriguez

-- Ted Williams

-- Stan Musial

-- Frank Robinson

Yogi Berra

Johnny Bench

Lou Gehrig

Rogers Hornsby

Mike Schmidt

Pete Rose

Honus Wagner

Alex Rodriguez

Babe Ruth

Willie Mays

Hank Aaron

Ted Williams

Rickey Henderson

Frank Robinson

Stan Musial

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I'll just throw my two cents in for a great starter. I may replace Pedro Martinez with Whitey Ford. I also wouldn't include any active players, Arod and so forth. I am not a big Red Sox or Yankees fan so I am neutral in my opinions. Bill Dickey would also have my vote over Johnny Bench. I have been wishing someone would replace the All-time players in 2k12 with alternate choices but I have no clue about modding and don't even know if it is possible or not.

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i know a lot of you will just bash me for this, but............ you can't compare baseball players who played in the 1990s to the one of 1920s, 1930s, 40s, and on. The game changed way too much starting from the 70s and 80s. You can't really make a list of the 25 man all time list. I would say that their should be two different list, the 25 man all time list from 1890 - 1960 or 70, and another the other list staring from the 1970 or 80 - present. The games was way too different in the 20s, and 30s, compared to the 80s and 90s. Pitchers threw harder, there was a different variety of pitches at those time, and so on. So to me there can't be a 25 man all time list, it should be split into two separate era.

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that would be the challenge to all of this. if you change the rules, it's no longer the same game.

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