Comments on: Pitching Hero Trivia Quest This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: tomepp Thu, 24 Sep 2009 20:03:09 +0000 I missed the opportunity to chime in on the whole “decade debacle dialog” last time around as I was away from for awhile, so let me get my 2.09 cents-worth (adjusted for inflation) in here…

The 210th decade of the Gregorian calendar does indeed span the years 2001 – 2010, but as B30b30 correctly points out, a decade can be any span of ten consecutive years. The Gregorian calendar is based on an erroneous estimate of the birth of Jesus – an event of little significance to 2/3 of the world’s population anyway – and one that has no direct significance to baseball.

I personally think that we should start MLB decades in 1876 – the first year of operation of the National League; or perhaps 1869 – the first year of operation of the National Association (the first recognized “major league of baseball”). A third option, though it would preclude some of the earliest years, would be to use 1903 (the year the AL and NL signed the National Agreement) as the first year.

Using my preferred “first year” (1876), the first MLB decade spans the years 1876 – 1885, and the 13th MLB decade ended in 2005. We’re only about a third of the way through the 14th MLB decade, so we have a long way to go to see who the leaders will be.

No matter what span we pick for our “official” decade, there’ll be players who missed the first year(s) and others who retired before the last year, some whose best years fit (nearly) perfectly in that frame while others’ best straddle the border between “decades”.

For the decade 2000 – 2009, we see Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter’s names near the tops of many of these lists. That’s helped by the years of their births; For A-Rod, the decade covers his age 24 to age 33 seasons, and for Jeter it covers his age 26 to age 35 seasons – essentially their prime years. That’s not to take away from their achievements, but on the other hand, players like Ken Griffey Jr. and Jim Thome saw their peak years split between the 90’s and 00’s. For Junior, the decade 2000 – 2009 represents his age 30 to age 39 seasons, and for Thome it represents his age 29 to age 38 seasons. For these two, their primes started before the decade (but too far into the 90’s to rise to the tops of those lists) and by the end of the decade they were both past their prime and into their declining years.

Perhaps the best solution (at least when it comes to comparing players) is to simply compare their “best decades” – the span of any 10 consecutive years in which they produced the most (however you want to measure that).

The bottom line – these lists are fun to look at and reflect upon, but have little statistical significance beyond that. Still… keep them coming, Raphy!

By: dave Wed, 23 Sep 2009 20:44:54 +0000 Why don't you guys have "franchise played for" choices for the pitching season finder? It's there for batting...