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10 hours ago, gsoda3 said:

Long time ago, the 80s?

and WHOOOOOO

I cant be expected to GOOGLE everything can I?

 

Do you enjoy throwing up every five minutes Claude?

I didnt think so

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17 minutes ago, huge said:

and WHOOOOOO

I cant be expected to GOOGLE everything can I?

 

Do you enjoy throwing up every five minutes Claude?

I didnt think so

google heysel stadium disaster.  

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Stark: Presenting the MLB Best of the Decade Awards

Jayson Stark 7h ago comment-icon@2x.png 93 save-icon@2x.png

Wait. The 2010s are over already? How’d that happen? We haven’t even figured out what to call them yet. The Teens? The Tens? The ’10s? Aw, whatever. All that matters is they happened. So let’s hand out our Best of the ’10s awards. The envelopes, please!

The five best players of the 2010s

1. Mike Trout — You were expecting maybe Rusney Castillo? Trout just crushed this field in pretty much every category that didn’t involve counting — and even a few categories that did. But the biggest headline was this: According to Baseball Reference, his 72.5 Wins Above Replacement in the ’10s meant he was worth 18.3 more wins than any other position player in the sport, despite the fact he essentially gave everyone else a two-year head start! And there has never — we said never — been any player who blew out the field in WAR by that crazy a margin in any — we said any — decade. The old record was 16.3, and that was set by Honus Wagner over 100 years ago (1900-09). So … Mike Trout. He’s pretty good.

2. Joey Votto — Only two players in the sport had a .300/.400/.500 slash line in the ’10s. One was Trout. The other was Votto (.306/.428/.516). This guy has been way too underappreciated. More on him later.

3. Adrián Beltré — There were just four players who were worth at least 50 wins in the ’10s, according to the Baseball Reference WAR computations. Beltré was one of them even though he didn’t play a game in 2019. Did you know that only one player in baseball finished in the top 10 on the offensive and defensive WAR leaderboards for this decade? Yep, that was Adrián Beltré.

4. Miguel Cabrera — The Miggy of 2010-16 was the greatest offensive force in the game. Unfortunately, the last three seasons also count, so No. 4 on this list will have to cut it. But what does it tell us that Cabrera was a veritable shadow of his old self in those three years and still had the highest batting average (.317) of any player in the ’10s? He also landed in the top five in OBP and slugging — and only one other hitter kept him company in that top five of all the slash-line categories: Trout.

5. Robinson Canó — The first four on this list were easy. The fifth was a free-for-all, with Canó, Josh Donaldson, Nolan Arenado, Buster Posey and Paul Goldschmidt the best of a great group. I could have deducted points for Canó’s PED suspension. But there’s no character-and-integrity clause in the Best of the 2010s competition. So let’s recognize how good the Robbie Canó of yesteryear was. Nobody got more hits in the ’10s than Canó (1,695). Only Trout had more six-win seasons (five) or seven-win seasons (four), according to bWAR. And guess who led all position players not named Mike Trout in WAR in this decade? That would be — yessir — Robinson Canó (54.2).

The five best pitchers of the 2010s

1. Clayton Kershaw — Let’s debate Kershaw’s October struggles some other time, OK? That’s because we’re talking about a man who had an ERA under 2.00 for 197 consecutive regular-season starts between 2011 and 2018. That’s amazing. And we’re talking about a man whose 164 ERA-plus is the greatest by any starter, in any decade, since Walter Johnson hung a 177 in the first quasi-decade (1913-19) after earned runs became an official stat in 1913. That’s mind-blowing. And if we use 1,500 innings as the minimum, we’re talking about a man whose ERA (2.31) was 72 points lower than the next-best pitcher of this decade. And that’s unheard of. Just a reminder that Clayton Kershaw in his prime was something special.

 2. Max Scherzer — Scherzer led the sport in strikeouts (2,452) and wins (161) in the ’10s. And he’s about to make his seventh top-five Cy Young finish in a row. The only other pitchers in history who can say that? Greg Maddux and Kershaw.

3. Justin Verlander — Verlander is going to finish with five top-two Cy Young finishes in this decade. That’s dominance. And if we use WAR as a measuring stick, nobody had more 6.0-win seasons (six) or 7.0-win seasons (four) in the ’10s than Justin Verlander did.

4. Chris Sale — What Votto is to that hitters’ list, Sale is to this pitchers’ list. A better ERA (3.03) than Verlander. A better strikeout rate (11.08 per nine innings pitched) than Scherzer. A better WHIP (1.03) than anybody except Kershaw. More on Sale in a moment.

5. Zack Greinke — I could have gone with Jacob deGrom here. Or Cole Hamels. Or Corey Kluber. Or Jon Lester. Or David Price. Or Madison Bumgarner (if postseason bonus points apply). But Greinke has done it longer than deGrom or Kluber. And his peak has been greater than those of the other four. But there are no wrong answers on this quiz. They’ve all been tremendous. The bWAR leaderboard looks like this:

MOST WINS ABOVE REPLACEMENT, PITCHERS, IN THE 2010s

Kershaw, 59.3
Verlander, 56.2
Scherzer, 56.1
Hamels, 46.2
Sale, 45.4
Greinke, 44.0
Price, 38.6
Kluber, 33.2
deGrom, 32.7

Best reliever of the 2010s: Craig Kimbrel

There’s a case to be made for Aroldis Chapman, I guess. But do me a favor: Ignore your last impression of the Kimbrel of 2019 and gaze upon the totality of this guy’s work. He had 45 more saves (346, to 301 for Kenley Jansen) than anyone else in the ’10s — the largest margin by any reliever in any decade since the dawn of the modern save rule. He led all relievers who worked at least 300 innings in ERA (2.08). The entire sport hit .158 against Kimbrel for a whole decade, which also ranked No. 1. He struck out 41.1 percent of all the hitters he faced, which tied Chapman for the best whiff rate by a modern reliever in any decade. And the opponent slash line against him (.158/.250/.257) means he basically turned every hitter he pitched to into Tuffy Gosewisch. Case closed!

Best postseason hitter of the 2010s: George Springer

Just so you know my criteria, I decided I wasn’t going to hand out this award to anybody whose team didn’t win a World Series in this decade. So I came down to Springer, David Freese and Pablo Sandoval, all of whom won a World Series MVP trophy. It wasn’t easy!

Springer: .271/.362/.562/.924/15 HR in 50 G/232  PA
Freese: .299/.370/.549/.919/10 HR in 69 G/230 PA
Sandoval: .344/.389/.545/.935/6 HR in 39 G/167 PA

So, why Springer? Because it wasn’t just our imagination that told us he was the best World Series hitter of this decade. That’s the truth. His .839 World Series slugging percentage ranks No. 1 in history among players with 50-plus plate appearances. His 1.295 World Series OPS ranks second behind David Ortiz. His World Series home run ratio (one every 9.7 PA) ranks second to Chase Utley. Springer never got benched in a World Series (as Sandoval did in 2010). And he’s an excellent defender, which isn’t something you’d say about Freese or the Panda. So here’s to George Springer, the Mr. October of the ’10s.

Best postseason pitcher of the 2010s: Madison Bumgarner

Based solely on the pure raw numbers, maybe you’d give this to Stephen Strasburg, the guy with the 1.46 career postseason ERA. But just when I started mulling that thought, I looked back on MadBum’s epic October of 2014, his shutouts in two wild-card games, his absurd and unprecedented 0.25 career ERA over four World Series starts. And I thought: Will we ever see anybody do that again? Did you know that in those four World Series starts, Bumgarner gave up a total of one run? Did you know that in his 16 career postseason starts, he has allowed zero runs in six of them (not even counting his five shutout innings in relief in a Game 7 you might remember)? Did you know that he and Randy Johnson are the only two left-handers since Sandy Koufax to throw multiple shutouts in the same postseason? Did you know that in the Giants’ three championship runs, MadBum made at least one postseason start of at least seven innings and no runs in all three of them? Oh, and he gets like a billion extra-credit points for basically winning the 2014 World Series all by himself. (All other Giants starters in that World Series combined for a 9.37 ERA and got through only the third inning twice in five starts.) So one more time, let’s ask: Will we ever see anybody do that again?

Best 2010s player who never won an MVP: Adrián Beltré

Adrián Beltré had one top-five MVP finish in this decade. How the heck did that happen? Looking back at his life and times in the rearview mirror, I think it’s safe to say it took us way too long to comprehend what we were watching. Let’s go back to the bWAR well. Beltré had seven 5.0-win seasons in the ’10s out of the nine seasons he played. Just one guy in the sport had more. Yeah, it’s that Mike Trout again (with eight). And if I rolled out the batting-average leaderboard for the ’10s, I bet you’d be shocked by where Beltré sits.

BEST AVG. IN THE 2010s

Miguel Cabrera, .317
José Altuve, .315
Adrián Beltré, .307
(min. 3,000 PA)

Like most everything else Beltré did in the ’10s, we barely even noticed all that was going on.

Best pitcher who never won a Cy Young: Chris Sale

Not only is Chris Sale by far the best pitcher who never won a Cy Young in this decade, but he’s also a contender for best pitcher who never won a Cy Young, period. For instance, Sale’s WHIP for the ’10s was an awesome 1.03. Ready for a list of all the other pitchers in the last 100 years who had a WHIP that low in any decade (with at least 1,500 innings)?

Clayton Kershaw, 0.96 (2010s)
Sandy Koufax, 1.01 (1960s)
Juan Marichal, 1.05 (1960s)
-That’s a wrap –

It was Kershaw who dominated this decade. But it was Sale who finished in the top two in ERA, strikeout rate, opponent average, opponent slugging, opponent OPS and FIP — among other stuff. He has six top-five Cy Young finishes to show for it but no trophies. Juan Marichal and Curt Schilling feel his pain.

Most underrated player of the 2010s: Ian Kinsler

In my prep for the writing of this opus, I churned out dozens of leaderboards for the 2010s. The most surprising name who showed up on a bunch of them was Ian Kinsler. Did you know he was in position to lead the entire sport in runs scored for the ’10s (879) until Trout (903) passed him in August this season? You might think run-scoring is just a product of the teams a guy plays for. But baserunning savvy matters, too. And of all the players in the ’10s who scored 800-plus runs, nobody had a better rate of runs scored per times on base than Kinsler:

PLAYER RUNS/TOB
Ian Kinsler 44.0%
Brett Gardner 42.7%
Justin Upton 40.9%
Mike Trout 40.9%

But beyond that, the only players who accumulated more “defensive runs” in the ’10s than Kinsler, according to Baseball Reference, were the Fielding Bible big four of Andrelton Simmons, Lorenzo Cain, Yadier Molina and Kevin Kiermaier. Kinsler’s per-162-games average in the ’10s were an excellent 104 runs scored, 21 homers, 35 doubles, 18 stolen bases. And he had as many 4.0-win seasons (five) as José Altuve, Freddie Freeman or Buster Posey. That’s a really good player. Probably should have mentioned that sooner — like five years ago!

Most underrated pitcher of the 2010s: Cole Hamels

We now reprise your WAR pitching leaders — Baseball Reference edition — for the 2010s.

1. Clayton Kershaw, 59.3
2. Justin Verlander, 56.2
3. Max Scherzer, 56.1
4. Cole Hamels, 46.2

One of those dudes is not like the others. I think you know which one. Not only has Cole Hamels never won a Cy Young, but he also has never gotten a first-place vote. He owns one top-five Cy Young finish, and that was in 2011. But that’s understandable because even though he has a no-hitter and a World Series MVP Award on his list of credentials, he hasn’t had that kind of career. He has been more Tim Hudson than Tim Lincecum, more Roy Oswalt than Roy Halladay. But there is no more important quality in sports (or life) than dependability. And Hamels has been so dependably good for so long, you barely even notice him. But the teams he pitches for definitely notice him. Hamels had seven 4.0-win seasons in the ’10s. Just Kershaw, Scherzer and Verlander (eight apiece) had more. Here’s to dependability. It sure beats the alternative.

And finally …

BEST ON-BASE MACHINE OF THE 2010s — Votto walked 1,046 times in this decade. Only one other player — Carlos Santana — was within 200 of him. Only four other players — Santana (944), José Bautista (812), Trout (803) and Andrew McCutchen (769) — were even within 400 of him!

BEST WORKHORSE OF THE 2010s — Verlander faced 8,635 hitters, just in the regular season, in the ’10s. Only two other pitchers — Scherzer (8,300) and Lester (8,236) — were within (gulp) 500 hitters of him. We continue to show way too little appreciation for pitchers who provide that much volume, especially when it comes with Verlander-esque domination.

MOST PROLIFIC TROTTER OF THE 2010s — On Opening Day 2010, the man who was about to lead the decade in homers was three months from turning 30. He’d hit 55 career home runs. He was playing for his fourth organization. So of course Nelson Cruz was about to go out and hit 346 home runs during the ’10s — 11 more than anyone else. Of course he was about to rip off four 40-homer seasons and another with 39. Of course he was about to become the only player in baseball to hit more than 35 homers six years in a row. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that Cruz did serve a 50-game suspension in 2013 after getting caught up in the Biogenesis circus. But we would also be remiss if we didn’t mention that since returning from that suspension, he has averaged 41 home runs a year.

MOST CONF-YU-SING PITCHER OF THE 2010s — If you had to pick one word to describe Yu Darvish’s decade, that word definitely wouldn’t be, say, awesome. And yet, guess who led all starting pitchers in the sport in strikeout rate in the ’10s? Right. Yu Darvish (11.12 per 9 IP). And guess who ranked No. 2, behind only Kershaw, in lowest opponent batting average in the ’10s? Yep. Darvish again (at .218). No one translated that much talent into that much disappointment like Yu Darvish.

Those other leaderboards

What goes up must come down — except possibly at the Trop. So lastly, here’s to the men who “led” the ’10s in all those departments they’d rather we never looked up!

LOWEST BATTING AVERAGE (min. 3,000 PA) — Danny Espinosa, .221

LOWEST OBP — Adeiny Hechavarría, .290

LOWEST SLUGGING PCT. — Billy Hamilton, .326

LOWEST OPS — Billy Hamilton, .623

MOST STRIKEOUTS — Chris Davis, 1,597 (most by any player in any decade in history)

MOST LOSSES — Rick Porcello, 109

MOST GOPHERBALLS — James Shields, 262

HIGHEST ERA (min. 1,000 IP) — Edwin Jackson, 4.83

LOWEST WIN PCT. — Andrew Cashner (57-87, .396)

 

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