MLBRT 6/4: Will the RBI record remain unbroken???

mlbrt 4 images1a

Record, record who’s got the RBI record??? Or, maybe the better question is… does anybody know what order the all-time RBI player list really is? We know Hank is decidedly first… but… Is the Babe second or maybe 6th on the list? It appears it all depends on who’s doing the listing… Confused?

The baseball crew tries to sort it all out, and more, this week in the Round Table.

rbiAbout those RBI record lists…

1) Recently, according to Elias Sports Bureau, baseball’s official statistician, ARod hit a 3-run HR to move 2 RBIs past Lou Gehrig (1,993) on the all-time RBI list. ARod had previously surpassed another Yankee icon, Babe Ruth (1,992) before over taking Gehrig.

Lou Gehrig & Babe Ruth
Lou Gehrig & Babe Ruth

However, RBIs did not become an official stat until 1920. So, while the web site baseball-reference.com lists Gehrig with 1,995 RBI and Babe Ruth with 2,214 (Curiously almost every web site… ESPN.com, MLB.com, BaseballAlmanac.com etc… list Ruth with 2,213 which also disputes Elias), Elias puts Rodriguez ahead of both of them and behind only Barry Bonds (1,996) and Hank Aaron (2,297).

Should Elias reconfigure their stats by researching old archival records (newspapers, etc…) to better represent player’s RBI totals as far as the career leaders go (ala baseball-reference.com, et. al.) or stay with their present format?

Baseball-Reference 2015 preseason career RBI list
Baseball-Reference 2015 preseason career RBI list

Archie1Archie: E-LIE-Who? Never use them for stats.

And, what about Cap Anson? Does Elias not have his numbers? BBR.com has him 3rd all -time with 2075.

Now, I know as you stated that the RBI did not become an official stat until 1920, but, that in itself does not negate the accomplishments that were measured prior to that date, and, would include, of course, Cap Anson’s 2075 and 3rd place.

So, maybe ALL record books need to have a big ass pow-wow and come together in agreement on what the “official” stat is. IF, we were still doing the Throwdowns over on FN this could lead to someone getting called a liar. I personally go by Baseball-Almanac and Baseball Reference.com to look for my information.

E.J. 12Earl: The catch here to me is the words “All-Time”. If they are going to use the words “All-Time” then it’s clear to me that the records have to reflect RBI’s before the year 1920. Especially, if, other Major League Baseball record keepers have a total that is higher than Elias.

While I personally think stats like these are a bit meaningless, it would be nice if all the stat keepers were on the same page.

64432_1353574773361_2104488_nJoe: Short and quick answer is: Yep

I mean, if, every other prominent baseball website lists 2,213 RBIs as Ruth’s RBI totals then I think its pretty evident that is his real accepted total. Elias needs to get on board and change how its figures some of those official records if there is that big of a discrepancy… the RBI record list in this case being one of the records that definitely needs “correcting”.

Just wonder why Baseball-Reference says the Babe’s RBI record is 2,214 RBIs, when most others (excluding Elias) say 2,213… curious… very curious.marisaaronf_copy-563-500-500-80

Steve 01Steve: As far as I am concerned, stats in general are really meaningless. For example, first, there are many pundits that state that Roger Maris still holds the single season HR record, or, Hank Aaron still owns the record for All Time homeruns. This is all due to the steroid era, and the perception that some players used the juice in order to gain a competitive advantage.

If, you are going to have an all time record, then I think they need to go back as stated in the question and verify the RBI’s before 1920. It will never happen, because it will take way to much time, and I honestly don’t think that people care that much.  

2) How did the Oakland A’s fall so rapidly to being one of the worst teams in MLB at this point in 2015?

Archie1Archie: When, I initially looked at their numbers I began scratching my head as well until I dug deeper.As

Let’s start with this staggering figure: they lead ALL of MLB with 30 unearned runs given up. Their defense has more holes than Swiss cheese on a hot day. When as a team you do not even average a .980 fielding percentage you are going to give up many unearned runs and IF those come at crucial times, then, they WILL equate to losses in the W/L column.

Now, let’s take a quick peek at their pitching; while their starting pitching has been fairly solid, or decent, their Bullpen sucks with a capital SUCKS. They are only 6 of 14 in saves opportunities. After the 7th inning or later, they are dead last in the AL in team ERA at 4.69. So, basically, they CAN’T close a frigging game.

E.J. 12Earl: Billy Beane finally outsmarted himself? It happens.

The A’s feel like they are constantly a roster in turnover and sometimes you just get the formula wrong. This season feels like just that. The starting pitching isn’t spectacular, the bullpen is bad, and the lineup doesn’t really impress me. However, it’s only June and the AL West still feels a bit up for grabs so there is still time for Beane to figure it all out.

Billy Beane
Billy Beane

64432_1353574773361_2104488_nJoe: Ya know what? I think this is simply a case of filing this under “Stuff Happens”. Every team goes through certain down periods from time to time.

This is just Oakland’s turn.

Either that… or… Billy Beane and Money Ball just ran its course and it’s time to rethink the old strategy and maybe make a change in GMs.

Steve 01Steve:  I think the problem started last season when they let one of their franchise players, Yoenis Cespedes go to Boston, in order to get Jon Lester for a half of a season. If, you think about it, that is when the A’s really went on this downward spiral that nearly cost them a playoff spot, when they had it all but wrapped up at the beginning of September.

Even though they signed a quality second baseman in Ben Zobrist, and got a decent bat in Billy Butler, they lost two top quality rented pitchers in Lester and Samardszia. This was a Billy Bonehead move as Beane tried to go for broke mid-season and it backfired for the first time in his GM career. 

Matusz ejected for foreign substance
Matusz ejected for foreign substance

3) In the last month or so two pitchers have been caught using a foreign substance while on the mound. They were eventually both assessed 8 game suspensions (one is still being appealed).

However, many players, batters included, plus other baseball people (managers, coaches) are saying that the practice is widespread and every team has pitchers using some type of illegal substance while on the mound. The usual reason is not for any other purpose than being able to grip the ball better.

An outcry has been growing that is saying the rule on pitchers using foreign substances needs to be changed and some allowable substance should be approved.

What’s your opinion? Is a rule change is needed or not?

Archie1Archie: Uh, I dun know ’bout that.

Let’s leave it as it is and still have the great debates about all the pitchers from the past that admitted using spit, snot, rosin, tar, stickem, etc…

Gaylord Perry
Gaylord Perry

When, we get into changing rules to accommodate pitchers then the batter’s start trying to find an edge to overcome those rules and the first thing you know you have them cheating on their end. As things are, pitchers and batters alike know the rules and are willing to pay the piper if they get caught. So, I see no big deal with this.

Having said that, there SHOULD be a penalty for being blatantly obvious or stupid with the violation.

E.J. 12Earl: Leave it as it is.

Why?

Institute a rule, and, players will still find a way to cheat and get around it.

64432_1353574773361_2104488_nJoe: I have heard a lot of conversation on this on the various games that I have watched on the MLB and ESPN channels… from all different announcers.olney

Seems every one is saying that some type of substance should be available to the pitchers that would allow them to get a better grip on the ball. A lot of the announcers have said the batters are also in favor of it because it means that the pitchers will have better control and they wouldn’t have to worry as much about a 95 mile per hour heater slipping from the pitcher’s hand and maybe sailing towards their noggins.

If, that is the prevailing and what seems to be the overwhelming opinion going around then I guess something could be agreed upon that the pitchers could use.

I do think the rule prohibiting pitchers using illegal substances should still be intact and enforced  if a pitcher was found using any other substance.

Will Smith - obvious foreign substance...
Will Smith – obvious foreign substance…

Steve 01Steve:  I went back and forth on this as I never thought that any pitcher needed a foreign substance on their arm in order to get a better grip on the ball. Far too many pitchers have been successful without it. But, I like how ESPN analyst Dallas Braden put it. If you are going to use anything, and he admitted that he did, do a better job at hiding it.

I mean Jesus H. Christ, Will Smith of the Brewers you could see that shit on his arm from the nose bleed section.

Whether or not there should be a rule change really is irrelevant to me because if is against the rules now, then pitchers need to abide by the rule, like it or not. 

4) An ESPN.com article recently asked: “Should MLB consider adding additional twin bills to either provide players more off days or to shorten the regular season so the World Series doesn’t drag so late into the year?”

What’s your opinion on that idea?

Twin bill box score -  thing of the past?
Twin bill box score – thing of the past?

Archie1Archie: First off, this would REALLY play into those teams whose starters go deep into games habitually. It would also play to the strengths of those teams that are “hot”. Other than that, I don’t think much of it.

Twin bills are usually a result of a rain postponement from a previous day. If, you look at the schedule there are NO double dippers on the regular season schedule now. IF THEY were in the future season and THOSE games were both rained out then what?

E.J. 12Earl: This should absolutely be done.

162 games in about 180 games is just too much. Some double headers thrown in there just to give players some more down time seems like the right way for the game to go.

64432_1353574773361_2104488_nJoe: Without a doubt… Yes!

They should not just consider it but just do it.

In fact, I would strongly suggest MLB bringing back the Sunday single admission afternoon doubleheaders that were on every team’s schedule back when I was a kid. 

I remember going to one of those back in 1961… Twins vs Yanks at the Stadium… August 6… Mantle hit 3 HRs…

banksCuriosity got the better of me so for belly laughs I went to good old Baseball-Reference.com…

1st game of the twin bill… Mantle 4 hits… 2 HRs, double, 2 walks, stolen base, 3 runs scored and 3 RBIs… hits 1 HR after the Twins went ahead in the 10th to retie the game… Yankee win 7-6 in 15 innings on a Yogi bases loaded one out grounder to 2nd…

2nd game went only 9 innings and Mantle was only 1 for 3 but that 1 hit was a homer… he scored the winning run in the bottom of the 9th…

I remembered after that game I was one very tired 12-year-old with a hoarse throat… now I see why…

Steve 01Steve:  Stupid.

Bring back the twin bill ticket - yes or no?
Bring back the twin bill ticket – yes or no?

Playing a double header more often puts more wear and tear on these guys than not having more days off. How can you expect everyday players to perform at their best for over 6 hrs. No other professional sport has these sort of issues. Would you ever see a double header in the NBA, NFL, or NHL? Not a chance.

While the occasional double header has to happen, and, I get that, having them more often is a huge mistake. They have 3 sometimes 4 months off in the off season, they can recoup then. Your every day Joe gets maybe a two week vacation, and has to work a standard 8 hour day, 5 days a week, longer if overtime. They don’t get paid anywhere close to what these players make, and they only get at best a two week vacation a year. So hell no, I’ve said it before, suck it up.  

5) The season is at the quarter pole mark… have the Houston Astros convinced you that they are the real deal yet?

Archie1Archie: Not entirely.Houston_Astros

MOST of their wins are against the weaker or struggling AL teams. You can look for them to slow down a bit.

E.J. 12Earl: The Astros have convinced me that they have a bright future but as far as this season goes, I still expect someone other than the Astros to get their collective shit together and win this division.

Out of the Angels, Mariners, and A’s, I got to think at least one of those teams go out there over the next few weeks and trade for players that can help them win the West.

64432_1353574773361_2104488_n

Joe: Yes they have…

At least to the point that even if they do tail off sooner or later in the season, I think they are still good enough to at least contend for the AL West title or a wild card spot.

Steve 01Steve: At first I was not sold on the Houston Astros, and, I thought things would fall in to place for teams like the Angels, Mariners, A’s, and even the Rangers. But, with Kuechel pitching like a Cy Young Award winner, and, Jose Altuve, Chris Carter, and Preston Tucker all playing very good baseball. This team has pitching, hitting, defense, and ,they always find a way to win games. They never quit.

So, yes, this team is a contender in the American League, not just the West. 

 Extra Innings…

64432_1353574773361_2104488_nAs the editor of this column I want take a moment to say something…

For all he did as pitcher for the bad Yankee teams between 1964 thru 1974 (164-139 W/L record, 2.97 ERA, won 20 games 3 times,152 complete games, 40 shutouts, 5 time All-Star) and as the pitching coach for the Joe Torre led World Series teams… this is the player whose number should have been retired by The Yankees this year… The player? Mel Stottlemyre… mel-stottlemyre-1

in 2000, an oncologist diagnosed Mel Stottlemyre with multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer, and told him he had three to five years to live… he continued coaching the Yankees pitchers during those Joe Torre managed championship teams with a chemo pump attached to him, tucked inside a fanny pack that he wore around his uniform.

A decade later, Stottlemyre was happily retired thinking he beat enormous odds…

In 2011, the cancer returned… he’s back getting chemo since, trying to beat the odds one more time. According to various reports the side effects from the chemo and other meds have caused heart and thyroid conditions, a form of diabetes and even a torn Achilles tendon for which he can’t have surgery because he gets chemo.

Mel: “… I’m determined that I can beat this thing. There are times when I have my doubts but it’s not going to get me down… I’m determined not only to be a long-time survivor, but, also to have something close to the quality of life I had before… and the quality of life I expect for a 73-year-old former athlete.”

Please, give up a prayer for this brave, kind and good man as he fights his fight against all odds…

And… personally… I would not bet against the man.

 

 

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