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(SB Nation)   Derek Jeter is a better player than Honus Wagner. Difficulty: Better = taller   (sbnation.com) divider line 36
    More: Asinine  
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741 clicks; posted to Sports » on 12 Aug 2014 at 8:45 PM (46 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



36 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-08-12 08:28:47 PM  
That article had way too many words to say "Jeter has the benefit of modern nutrition, medicine, and training, so he is better." As opposed to the concept of "if Wagner had had access to those same benefits, how would he compare to Jeter?"

It's like asking "Who is smarter, Archimedes or Newton?" Then saying "Newton, Archimedes didn't do anything involving calculus."
 
2014-08-12 08:47:04 PM  
Wagner vs. Jeter? Probably a tie, now as then or vice versa. Wagner didn't smoke, drink, eat fried food, butter or drink MILK. He felt that only a "true" agrarian diet could produce a good athlete. He was damn right and it took 80 years of science to prove it. Guy was a frickin' genius who could've been a professor instead of a ballplayer.
 
2014-08-12 08:49:17 PM  
I didn't realize there was even a serious debate. It's Jeets. Easily. It's about RE2PECT.
 
2014-08-12 08:54:47 PM  
Jeter wasn't better than Nomar when they were playing at the same time. Too bad Nomar broke down.
 
2014-08-12 09:04:36 PM  

skinink: Jeter wasn't better than Nomar when they were playing at the same time. Too bad Nomar broke down.


i.cdn.turner.com

Only one of these guys is a sure-fire HoFer. FACT. Nomar wasn't even INVITED to this photo!
 
2014-08-12 09:10:55 PM  

Jedekai: Wagner vs. Jeter? Probably a tie, now as then or vice versa. Wagner didn't smoke, drink, eat fried food, butter or drink MILK. He felt that only a "true" agrarian diet could produce a good athlete. He was damn right and it took 80 years of science to prove it. Guy was a frickin' genius who could've been a professor instead of a ballplayer.


Imagine how a modern player who adopted that philosophy (like Honus) would be looked at.

I loathe the Yankees, but, its almost impossible to not have respect for Jeter. The guy has been a class act his entire career. I sincerely tip my hat to him and wish him well
 
2014-08-12 09:11:36 PM  

The Bestest: skinink: Jeter wasn't better than Nomar when they were playing at the same time. Too bad Nomar broke down.

[i.cdn.turner.com image 666x469]

Only one of these guys is a sure-fire HoFer. FACT. Nomar wasn't even INVITED to this photo!


...

I'll be in my bunk.
 
2014-08-12 09:15:56 PM  

saintstryfe: The Bestest: skinink: Jeter wasn't better than Nomar when they were playing at the same time. Too bad Nomar broke down.

[i.cdn.turner.com image 666x469]

Only one of these guys is a sure-fire HoFer. FACT. Nomar wasn't even INVITED to this photo!

...

I'll be in my bunk.


For a second I thought I was looking at the latest Menudo lineup.
 
2014-08-12 09:38:20 PM  
Mmm, swill milk
 
2014-08-12 10:13:58 PM  
"Jeter?"

"Eat 'er? I don't even know 'er!"
 
2014-08-12 10:14:59 PM  
This may have been the stupidest article that I have (partially) read today.

/ then again, I haven't hit the Politics tab yet
 
2014-08-12 10:32:59 PM  
Not to take anything away from Jeter, but Honus Wagner led the league in batting 8 times to Jeter's none. Honus Wagner led the league in RBI five times to Jeter's none. Honus Wagner led the league in slugging percentage (more important than home runs as an indicator of power in the dead ball era) six times to Jeter's none. The flying Dutchman led the league in stolen bases five times to Jeter's none. Beginning to notice a trend?

Baseball historian and statistician Bill James named Honus Wagner as the second best player of all time after Babe Ruth. That's before Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays. Jeter is an all time great, but he's just not in that company.

When I was growing up in the 60's, there were arguments about who "the best fielding shortstop of all time was, but there was never--ever--any argument about who the best shortstop of all time was. That was always a given--Honus Wagner.
 
2014-08-12 10:44:08 PM  

varmitydog: Not to take anything away from Jeter,


Not to take anything away from Wagner, but the league was half the size then it was today. It is fair to say Jeter never led in any of those categories, but he also was competing against twice as many contemporaries.

You can truthfully say that Wagner was a far more dominant player than Jeter using those metrics, but more dominant does not necessarily mean "better" (when comparing two players not from the same pool).
 
2014-08-12 11:03:34 PM  
Les Expos Tony Gwynn and Matt Williams get screwed 20 years ago and this is the baseball story we get?
 
2014-08-12 11:10:42 PM  
Jeter wins just by the tail he bagged over the years.
 
2014-08-12 11:27:02 PM  

varmitydog: Not to take anything away from Jeter, but Honus Wagner led the league in batting 8 times to Jeter's none. Honus Wagner led the league in RBI five times to Jeter's none. Honus Wagner led the league in slugging percentage (more important than home runs as an indicator of power in the dead ball era) six times to Jeter's none. The flying Dutchman led the league in stolen bases five times to Jeter's none. Beginning to notice a trend?

Baseball historian and statistician Bill James named Honus Wagner as the second best player of all time after Babe Ruth. That's before Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays. Jeter is an all time great, but he's just not in that company.

When I was growing up in the 60's, there were arguments about who "the best fielding shortstop of all time was, but there was never--ever--any argument about who the best shortstop of all time was. That was always a given--Honus Wagner.


I knew Honus, I played with Honus, he was a friend of mine and Jeter, you are no Honus

/get off my sward
 
2014-08-12 11:40:00 PM  
How is it someone who apparently has received - at least - a better than average education, can be so stupid when it comes to anyone and anything that comes from the past; and I see this all the time. They seem to believe previous generations who actually built and accomplished great deeds did so despite their 'inadequacies'; like drooling inbred chimps mashing crap together until something miraculously works.

I am constantly amazed how much people accomplished with so little, and (in our modern eyes) often under horrific conditions.

As to - modern conditioning. OMG. 40 years ago my father used to laugh - Laugh - at all the millions spent on health and fitness (I'd guess billions now); primarily to look good; but totally incapable of doing - in his words - enough work to break the Sabbath. He'd say: 'If they really want to get in shape, they should go dig a ditch or shovel snow'.

This was made abundantly clear to me when, as a know it all teenager my Dad sent me to help out at his father's farm for one weekend. I'd grown up on a farm, working well before I was double digits, and started working nights/weekends at a lumberyard when I was 13. I certainly was no stud, (especially after breaking my leg at 11), but I wasn't clueless about a day's work either.

The man was 87, maybe 5'6" - a tubby old man, with fat stubby fingers and bowed legs. While he didn't smoke or drink, his diet by modern standards would be considered pretty horrible. For one thing, he probably averaged eating two dozen eggs and three or four sticks of butter a week. It wasn't a meal unless you ate a full plate of potatoes, and a large slab of meat. And he salted everything, even his pie..

After milking we went out and he worked me right into the ground - He'd put away a tool after finishing up a chore and run - Run - to the next task. He worked long, hard hours; 7 days a week. He may have had health issues, but conditioning wasn't one of them.

I have a picture of my Father taking the Percheron horse team out with the plow... maybe he's 8 - he could darn near walk under them without ducking. It wasn't some 'posed' picture: he wasn't getting them ready for his Dad; he was going to work.

/All respect to Mr. Jeter, but these half sized men... were men.
 
2014-08-13 12:53:56 AM  
Jeter is a Yankee and like any other Yankee is automatically better than any player who never had the "honor" of playing for New York. In fact the Hall of Fame should only have Yankees in it because how could a player be good if he didn't wear the pinstripes...(Not my belief but just the crap I have to listen to from Yankee fans)
 
2014-08-13 01:03:19 AM  
Of course Jeter is better than Wagner. Wagner is dead.

/just realized I'm better than Wagner too.
 
2014-08-13 01:05:28 AM  
Jeter's a bum because Large Hadron Collider.

Comparing things from 100 years ago is dumb.

/dnrtfa
 
2014-08-13 01:20:41 AM  
Wagner's a bum because Pasteurization.

Comparing things from 100 years ago is dumb.

/dnrtfa
 
2014-08-13 01:30:17 AM  

Misconduc: Jeter wins just by the tail he bagged over the years.


Did Honus know the value of a good gift basket?
 
2014-08-13 01:32:25 AM  

JohnAnnArbor: Misconduc: Jeter wins just by the tail he bagged over the years.

Did Honus know the value of a good gift basket?


Yeah Jeets... yeah Jeets...
 
2014-08-13 08:18:32 AM  

Mole Man: Les Expos Tony Gwynn and Matt Williams get screwed 20 years ago and this is the baseball story we get?


To be fair, most of the people who remember that and care about are likely dead now. This sport is not doing well with the "have their own hips" crowd.
 
2014-08-13 09:31:42 AM  

Jedekai: Wagner vs. Jeter? Probably a tie, now as then or vice versa. Wagner didn't smoke, drink, eat fried food, butter or drink MILK. He felt that only a "true" agrarian diet could produce a good athlete. He was damn right and it took 80 years of science to prove it. Guy was a frickin' genius who could've been a professor instead of a ballplayer.


That should get some bites.
 
2014-08-13 10:19:13 AM  

skinink: Jeter wasn't better than Nomar when they were playing at the same time. Too bad Nomar broke down.


Yeah, steroids will do that to you.
 
2014-08-13 11:53:24 AM  
Ride the train for all away games Mr. Jeter then get back to me.
 
2014-08-13 11:56:18 AM  
Jeter doesn't have a baseball card worth $2.8 million.
 
2014-08-13 12:25:19 PM  
When arguing level of greatness among non-contemporaries, I tend to lean toward the one that doesn't have the tools of modern training to aid his natural ability.  We have no visual indication of what Wagner of was able to accomplish.  His stats support his being arguably the greatest shortstop of any era and if given the tools of the succeeding eras would probably have dominated each of those as well.

/YMMV
 
2014-08-13 01:16:34 PM  

Misconduc: Jeter wins just by the tail he bagged over the years.


Does he get points for all the people he's spread STDs to?
 
2014-08-13 01:56:52 PM  

The Bestest: Not to take anything away from Wagner, but the league was half the size then it was today. It is fair to say Jeter never led in any of those categories, but he also was competing against twice as many contemporaries.


But not all of those extra players are good. In fact, you can expect to see a greater number of less-talented players as the league expands. If it were the same size as it was in Wagner's day, it would still be comprised of the same talented players who finished ahead of Jeter in the categories mentioned. The exception to this, of course, would be that baseball wasn't integrated in Wagner's time-- there's certainly an argument to be made there.

You could also say that since Wagner's days, there have been many, many more players who have played the game than there were before Wagner was around. I'm not the best stats guy around, but it seems to me to figure this whole thing out you'd have to look at how other modern players have done against the old timers' stats, and then see how Jeter compares to these contemporaries.

Career hits:
Aside from Jeter, the most recent additions that comprise the top 10 are Molitor, Yaz, Rose, Aaron, and Musial-- and only the latter three of those are ranked higher. I think that puts Jeter in pretty elite company!

Career OPS:
Wagner is 143rd, and there are dozens of modern era players ahead of him. Jeter is close to 300th.

Career AVG:
Honus is 35th, and there are a few modern players ranked higher. Jeter is 100th.

WAR (position players):
Honus is 7th, and there are a couple modern players ahead of him (Mays, Aaron). Jeter is 57th, behind dozens of modern players, including Cal Ripken.

DEFENSIVE WAR:
Wagner is 45th, and Jeter doesn't even make the list of 1000 players-- no secret there. A couple other modern shortstops, Ozzie Smith and Cal Ripken, are in the top 5.

I like Jeter. I think he's one of the all-time greats. If there's a flaw in my logic here, that's fine. I'm just trying to find a way to compare. But it seems like the only real claim that can be made with regard to Jeter Vs Wagner is that Jeter had more hits.
 
2014-08-13 02:34:14 PM  

Jedekai: Wagner vs. Jeter? Probably a tie, now as then or vice versa. Wagner didn't smoke, drink, eat fried food, butter or drink MILK. He felt that only a "true" agrarian diet could produce a good athlete. He was damn right and it took 80 years of science to prove it. Guy was a frickin' genius who could've been a professor instead of a ballplayer.


I've read that he had a problem with alcohol, definitely later in life, but I thought occasionally during his career as well.  On the flip side, I've read he was just about the only baseball player in his own time and for a long time after who lifted weights.
 
2014-08-13 03:02:24 PM  
I liked the article, by the way.  Whatever you think of where the author winds up, he takes you by some interesting scenery on the way.
 
2014-08-13 04:23:56 PM  

keypusher: Jedekai: Wagner vs. Jeter? Probably a tie, now as then or vice versa. Wagner didn't smoke, drink, eat fried food, butter or drink MILK. He felt that only a "true" agrarian diet could produce a good athlete. He was damn right and it took 80 years of science to prove it. Guy was a frickin' genius who could've been a professor instead of a ballplayer.

I've read that he had a problem with alcohol, definitely later in life, but I thought occasionally during his career as well.  On the flip side, I've read he was just about the only baseball player in his own time and for a long time after who lifted weights.


During his career he prided himself on his regimen. After, however, he didn't want to keep that ultra-strict diet (since he was already damn rich) and let loose. Supposedly, today, if Honus Wagner was born in 1922 he would live to be 150. He was the ultimate physical "specimen" while playing.
 
2014-08-13 07:37:53 PM  

2wolves: Ride the train for all away games Mr. Jeter then get back to me.


Not exactly as bad as it sounds when St. Louis was both the furthest west and south that you had to go.

Hospitaller: When arguing level of greatness among non-contemporaries, I tend to lean toward the one that doesn't have the tools of modern training to aid his natural ability.  We have no visual indication of what Wagner of was able to accomplish.  His stats support his being arguably the greatest shortstop of any era and if given the tools of the succeeding eras would probably have dominated each of those as well.


This argument never makes sense. Wanger w/o modern training got to play agaisnt others who also had no modern training, while Jeter with modern training, had to play against others that were training as he was.

Bermuda59: Jeter is a Yankee and like any other Yankee is automatically better than any player who never had the "honor" of playing for New York. In fact the Hall of Fame should only have Yankees in it because how could a player be good if he didn't wear the pinstripes...(Not my belief but just the crap I have to listen to from Yankee fans)


It pretty much does.
 
2014-08-14 07:11:05 AM  
Shouldn't the better comparisons be between A-Rod, Jeter, and Ripken?   A-Rod had the better bat and is probably hands down the best shortstop of his era.  So why bother comparing the number 2 or number 3 shortstop of his era to the greatest of all time?  What a waste of an article.
 
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