Have any of the rest of you been following with amu***t the "All-Time
Greatest Hitter Playoffs" in USA Today Baseball Weekly? Essentially,
they've specially-created Strat-O-Matic 3.0 cards for 32 famous hitters,
and are playing computer "seasons" against an all-star pitching staff of
Walter Johnson, Bob Feller, Cy Young, Sandy Koufax, Jim Palmer, Bob Gibson,
Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Christy Mathewson, and Ed Walsh. (That's right;
they left off the best pitcher in history...). Each game picks one
pitcher, and 9 of Player A bat for one time, while 9 of Player B bat
for the other.
When the contest started, I filled in a "for-kicks" guess at what the
final results would be. This week was my first miss: Joe DiMaggio beat
Mike Schmidt by 91 games to 71. Personally, I think this points to an
insufficient era adjustment in making up the cards, but that could just
be sour grapes :^).
The original pairings were:
Babe Ruth Lou Gehrig
Pete Rose Rod Carew
Eddie Collins Willie Mays
Hack Wilson Johnny Mize
Mickey Mantle Joe DiMaggio
Harmon Killebrew Mike Schmidt
Willie McCovey Enos Slaughter
Tris Speaker Hank Greenberg
Jimmie Foxx Ty Cobb
Willie Stargell Joe Morgan
Hank Aaron Honus Wagner
Mel Ott Stan Musial
Harry Heilmann Ralph Kiner
Frank Robinson Jackie Robinson
Carl Yastrzemski Reggie Jackson
Rogers Hornsby Ted Williams
So far, Ruth has annihilated Rose (anyone surprised?), Gehrig has trounced
Carew, Collins beat Wilson handily, Mays stomped Mize, Mantle clubbed Killer,
Speaker ousted McCovey, and (to my chagrin) DiMaggio beat Schmidt.
I have to say that the choice of contestants has some pretty bizarre aspects.
Enos Slaughter, but not Paul Waner? Harmon Killebrew, but not Duke Snider?
Rod Carew, but not Nap Lajoie? Hack Wilson, but not*** Allen?
I'm also personally offended that two of the three contestants for "Best
Hitter in NL History" are up against each other in the first round (Wagner
and Musial; Hornsby is the other), and then have to face Cobb in the next
round. Unfair! I'd have liked to see an AL/NL split in the brackets, with
the AL and NL champs meeting for the title.
Is there anyone who does *not* think that the Final Four will be Ruth,
Gehrig, Foxx, and Williams?
David Tate | "My team are men of choice and rarest tools
_King_Fleer_, Act I | And in the most exact regard support
scene iv, lines 263-266 | The salaries they draw... "