- 10/10/2012, 07:47PM ET
Mrlns Fn said 10/11, 10:57 PM
I think I need to explain this topic. It's about the difference between watching an athlete's career (in which case we notice their positive accomplishments as well as the negative things they did on the field) and merely learning about all-time greats and watching highlight reels of their achievements. Obviously watching an athlete's entire career gives you a way better picture of what said athlete was truly capable of doing, both positively and negatively.
For example, Pete Rose is the hit king. I never saw Rose play, so I don't know abut his limitations. In my mind he is a flawless hit machine. I'm sure there's video of him striking out and making errors but I've never seen it.
Derek Jeter has a (small) chance to pass Rose for the most hits ever. Jeter I have seen. His whole career. He is a great but flawed player. I'm familiar with his ups and downs, and he doesn't carry the same mystique that players I never saw have, in my mind.
So what's more cool for a fan: watching players' careers and noticing their flaws or experiencing the magical purity of history; getting an incomplete view of yesterday's sports heroes?
It's the latter. Perceived value is better.
TnerB57 said 10/12, 10:56 PM
Ok, MF, good luck!
I find it very interesting that you chose a Rose/Jeter comparison. You say Jeter is a great, but flawed player. Well, if you look beyond mere stats and highlight reels, you'll find that Rose was a great, but flawed player as well. Very flawed. But, I find myself fortunate to have been able to see him play. He was a bull of a player. He did things that just don't stand out on the stat sheet. He may not have invented the head-first slide, but he sure did popularize it. Why Rose even frequently dove head-first into first base!
Rose was a master at stretching a single into a double. Rose only knew one way to play the game, and that was with 150% effort and enthusiasm. This attitude contributed to him effectively ending Ray Fosse's career during an All Star game collision at home plate.
Having been able to see Rose play the game, rather than read about it or see it on film, I think actually enhances the memory of him for me. I got to see his whole game, not just the numbers he left behind.
Mrlns Fn said 10/13, 01:14 AM
Good argument, Nerby. I had an immediate reaction of thinking, "Aww man, I bet it is better to watch their whole career" but after reading through a couple of times I have come to the conclusion that your argument supports mine, in a way.
You stated that Rose was a very flawed player. I believe you. And that's why I say the perceived value of a player is preferable to their actual value.
Bear me out. What I'm saying is this: I have watched virtually all of Jeter's career. Obviously not every PA or anything but I've been tuned in to the goings-on of Jeter's entire career. And to be quite honest although I have an immense amount of respect for DJ it's nothing like the way I feel about Willie Mays, Or Hank Aaron, or Jackie Robinson, or Ty Cobb, etc. Even Pete Rose.
And I believe that if I hadn't seen all of Jeter's career, I would put him into that same upper echelon of all-time greats, just based off stats. He deserves to be there based off stats.
But Jeter never brought out that hallowed reverence in me. I never felt Jeter was worth 1/10 the respect of Mays or Ruth.
Watching Jeter's career mortalized him. Mays is immortal.
TnerB57 said 10/13, 05:14 AM
I think I see the problem here.
You have ultra tremendous respect for Derek Jeter. And deservedly so. I too respect DJ. He is a very good player, and will always be considered a great Yankee.
BUT, Mr. Jeter will not, in 20-30 years, be perceived to have a value on a par with Ruth, Mays, Rose, or any of the Icons of the game. Jeter is very good, extremely consistent, and durable. No flash, power, or any of the things that carry a team. He is the ultimate teammate. Dependable. But nothing more than this.
Chipper Jones will have a greater legacy than Jeter. Of the current players that I think you will realize have a real value that equals perceived value, Pujols, Cabrera (the Triple Crown cements his place in history), ARod (like it or not), and Buster Posey immediately come to mind. Enjoy watching these players. They are the ones that stand apart.
Every player has flaws. Which makes the spectacular things that the special players do all the more magical.
I hate to make this about Derek Jeter, because he is indeed a very good player, but ultimately, his perceived value will not exceed what you see now as real.
Mrlns Fn said 10/14, 12:27 AM
Actually no, I don't have a tremendous amount of respect for Jeter, and that's what led me to realize that perceived value is actually preferable to real value.
Jeter's real value places him among history's best. Jeter is the Yankees all-time leader in hits, steals, games played, at bats, etc. 13 All-Stars, 5 Gold Gloves, 4 Silver Sluggers, 2 Hank Aarons, and a Roberto Clemente award. More hits than any other SS, ever. He bats over .300 in the pstseason and over .350 in the WS. He wears 5 WS rings. He's 8th all-time in hits, and counting. If Jeter plays another 3-4 years he will go down as one of the most highly decorated players, EVER. He will definitely be placed in MLB history's upper echelon. His contemporaries WILL be Ruth, Mays and Rose.
Yet I don't see him as a hero. He carries no magic, no mystique, no wonder, no awe. He's NOT a Ruth, Rose or Mays, regardless of what the stats say.
And therein lies the rub.
Regardless of how history will view DJ, I saw him and I know he's human.
Somewhere deep down I must know Ruth, Mays and Rose were human too. But they're flawless heroes.
Seeing Jeter ruined his legacy.
Perception is better.
TnerB57 said 10/14, 04:59 AM
With profound sympathies to all the Jeter/Yankees fans out there, lets get back to the original premise of this TD.
Perceived vs. Reality
Trust me when I say this, MF. Reality beats perception any day of the week.
One of my first favorite players that I actually got to watch their entire career was Johnny Bench. You can read up on him, if you like. Helped develop the hinged glove. Great power hitting catcher. Cannon arm. The highlight reels you might be able to look up to nothing compared to actually seeing the man play. I grew up an Angels/Dodgers fan, and one of my greatest memories is being at Dodger Stadium and getting to see Bench hit a home run (bonus was Dodgers won the game). Thats real value.
More on the homer front. Nolan Ryan struck out more batters than anyone in history. Won more than 300 games. But, nothing you can read or watch about Ryan can compare to the value of having been able to see him play. Real wins again.
I've read about Cobb, Ruth, et al. It only makes me wish I had been able to see them live.
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