FanDuel - WFBC

August 02, 2006

Can you compare apples to oranges?: Bill Simmons gives it a shot with Larry Legend vs. Big Papi.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia to baseball at 02:57 PM - 16 comments

Bill Simmons random column generator at The Chicago Sports Review. (Link via Deadspin)

posted by holden at 03:11 PM on August 02

An old addage indeed and one that continues to raise its ugly head in every sport - Ali vs Tyson, Pele vs Maradona and even the same team but from different era's. My personal comment on the subject would be No you cant compare fairly - better equipment, fitness etc - having said that Larry Legend takes it for me Bill.

posted by Duke101 at 03:57 PM on August 02

Ortiz is one of the current top players of Baseball and, assuming he isn't touched by the steroid mess of the last decade, will likely be remembered as one of the best players of all time. Another season or two like he's been having and he is a shoe in for the hall of fame. I love what he has done for the Red Sox. I would point out that even Yankees fans have said positive things about him here at SpoFi. Big Papi is amazing. That being said, he's no Larry Bird. I mean, damn.

posted by Joey Michaels at 04:03 PM on August 02

Another season or two like he's been having and he is a shoe in for the hall of fame. More like another season or ten. HoF isn't for guys who were great for three years. It's for guys who dominated an era. HoF talk for Ortiz is coming way too soon.

posted by rocketman at 04:08 PM on August 02

Papi is a nice guy. Bird was a stone cold killer. He didn't believe in mercy and puppies and the rehabilitation of criminals. You could see it in the eyes. It was a fight to the death. Papi loves America, Boston, and hitting dingers. Bird loved watching his enemies lament at their demise. And there's probably a white/black thing there, too. I mean, isn't there always?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 04:11 PM on August 02

According to this Sportsnet poll, Ortiz is trailing Jordan, Woods, Messier, and Montana as the greatest "clutch player" of all time (at least when I surfed by). Note that Bird isn't even a candidate. I do have to admit it though, as embarrassing as this may be, I had NO IDEA who "Big Papi" was until this post. Bird-man all the way, baby!

posted by Spitztengle at 04:28 PM on August 02

Weedy: that's part of what makes the comparison such a bitch, really- probably more than any of the other major American sports, basketball lets you get in the face of your opponent and give them that look. Had Bird's personality been transplanted into the body of a baseball player, I don't think you'd say he'd have that 'stone cold look'- you just can't give it to someone 60'6" away the same way you can to someone when you're shooting a pullup J over them. Doesn't mean he wouldn't be a killer in baseball- just not able to demonstrate it the same way. And v-v for Papi- stifle the laughter and imagine Papi without the gut, and with a few more inches, and I'm sure that in crunch time in basketball he'd be just as cold as Bird was. By the way, it is a great article- all kinds of anecdotes both ways, some serious (some great stats on Papi), some funny. And hard to argue with the conclusion.

posted by tieguy at 04:45 PM on August 02

Holden, that random column generator had me laughing my ass off- funny stuff.

posted by redsoxrgay at 06:54 PM on August 02

Bird in a landslide. Ortiz is just getting started and has a long way to go.

posted by 27 at 07:27 PM on August 02

Larry Bird at the first 3 Point Compeition: "Which one of you motherfuckers is coming in second?" Bird. You don't get on Rushmore after your First 100 Days.

posted by yerfatma at 08:30 PM on August 02

Ortiz is one of the current top players of Baseball and, assuming he isn't touched by the steroid mess of the last decade, will likely be remembered as one of the best players of all time. He's got a looong ways to go. He started late, and looking at his build, well, he might break down earlier than most. I look at him more like a very bright shooting star. But he's a lock for the sox hall of fame, and in the end, isn't that more prestigious?

posted by justgary at 11:15 PM on August 02

The fact that people are even talking about Big Papi in these terms, speaks about how good a player he is. HOFmer or not, you could place his bronce statue with that big swing of his, in front of Fenway, and not many fans would mind.

posted by zippinglou at 01:49 AM on August 03

I know this string is probably dead but I am a huge Boston fan and by any measure David Ortiz is nowhere close to the HOF. Here are the numbers that would keep him out: ( BA / HR / RBI) Ortiz .283 / 214 / 731 Looks Good .300 / 400 / 1000 Locked Up .325 / 500 / 1500 Also in his 997 career games he has played just 231 in the field (the rest at DH) and the hall is historically very judgemental of Closer/DH types who play in a limited capacity. You don't need all three of the above catagories but as a guy who only hits I would think that he would need to meet at least one (which even if you figure 40 HR per year is at least 5 years off).

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 06:22 AM on August 03

In the present tense, Ortiz is as good as anyone. But he hasn't always been like this, and he'll have to have at least five more years of playing the way he is now for the HoF conversation to even begin. Oh, and even Simmons makes a point of mentioning the steroid thing. Big Papi is a power hitter who late into his career got just-this-much better. Thanks to the actions (and non-actions) of others, that automatically means he'll be part of the steroid discussion, regardless of how he's conducted himself on or off the field. You can chalk that up to the fact that Messrs. Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro, Giambi et al have not been honest or forthcoming about what they used and how, but that steroid cloud is one more thing he'll have to overcome to get into any discussion about all-time anything.

posted by chicobangs at 07:07 AM on August 03

Weedy: that's part of what makes the comparison such a bitch, really- probably more than any of the other major American sports, basketball lets you get in the face of your opponent and give them that look. Had Bird's personality been transplanted into the body of a baseball player, I don't think you'd say he'd have that 'stone cold look'- you just can't give it to someone 60'6" away the same way you can to someone when you're shooting a pullup J over them. Ortiz could journey to Bird's level in two ways: First - he has to keep it up for a few more years. Not necessarily the 4 walk-off homers per year thing, but just consistently be one of the top three hitters in the game. Second - he has to charge the mound, threaten a teammate and make disparaging remarks about the other team. Fun!

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 07:47 AM on August 03

Holden - I think he uses that. He should. It's terrifyingly accurate.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:05 AM on August 03

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