Picking the “10 greatest living baseball players”

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In honor of Stan Musial’s 90th birthday Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch wrote an interesting article laying out his picks for the “10 greatest living baseball players” (retired only, with no active guys).

Here are his 10 picks: Hank Aaron, Yogi Berra, Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson, Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Frank Robinson, Tom Seaver, Mike Schmidt.

Goold is one of my favorite mainstream baseball writers, so not surprisingly his list is a good one and his reasoning behind the picks are sound, but I disagree with a few of his selections.

However, instead of focusing on my opinion I thought it would be interesting to select the “10 greatest living baseball players” based strictly on the numbers, and more specifically their career totals in Wins Above Replacement. In other words, which 10 living, retired players were worth the most runs and wins above a replacement-level player at their position.

Here’s the WAR-based list: Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Roger Clemens, Stan Musial, Rickey Henderson, Mike Schmidt, Frank Robinson, Tom Seaver, Joe Morgan.

The only difference between Goold’s list and WAR’s list? Goold has Yogi Berra and Sandy Koufax, while WAR has Roger Clemens and Joe Morgan. Greg Maddux wasn’t on Goold’s list and also narrowly missed the WAR top 10, which surprised me as he’d probably crack my top 10.

And, of course, Neifi Perez.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.