Hippies have bad acid flashbacks. Padre fans have bad catcher flashbacks. I mistakenly referred to Ramon Hernandez as Carlos Hernandez yesterday. Hope I didn’t freak anybody out with that one. Thanks to a couple of Jeffs for letting me know.

Anyway, today’s letter comes from Bill Robens, who writes, in response to the March 9 entry:

I’ve been going through the new Prospectus and I too have found something to get irritated with. On Ichiro(!)’s comment, the first line is “This is the player people think Tony Gwynn was”. The implication being that Ichiro’s the real deal, and BETTER than Tony.

Comparing their age 27-29 seasons:

Ichiro      SB/CS OPS+
350/381/457 56/14 127
321/388/425 31/15 125
312/352/436 34/8  110

Gwynn       SB/CS OPS+
370/447/511 56/12 158
313/373/415 26/11 129
336/389/424 40/16 133

1987 was a hitter’s year on par with Suzuki’s era, but ’88 and ’89 were big pitcher’s years. Both players are roughly equal in fielding and baserunning (this is still the ‘thin’ Tony). Seattle’s a slightly tougher park to hit in, and Tony missed 25 games in ’88 but it doesn’t matter because at this point it’s not particularly close.

Did you notice this comment? Immediately drove me nuts.

Wow. Actually, I hadn’t noticed this because I kind of lost momentum after reading through the Padre section.

Just for grins, here are the yearly OPS+ for Gwynn during his seasons as a regular, in descending order of quality:

OPS+  Yr
169   94
158   87
156   97
141   84
138   95
136   93
135   86
135   98
133   89
129   88
127   96
121   92
120   99
118   91
117   85
112   90

No offense to Suzuki, who really is a great player (as Prospectus points out), but his best season so far in North America would match Gwynn’s 11th best season. There really is no shame in that. But to insinuate that Suzuki is a better player than (or even as good a player as) Gwynn was in his prime is silly.

I absolutely don’t mean this as a slam on Suzuki. It’s like saying Halle Berry isn’t as hot as Lucy Liu. Nothing wrong with Berry, other than she ain’t no Liu.

Same with Suzuki. Tremendous ballplayer. If anything, the fact that a player of Suzuki’s stature falls so far short of Gwynn in terms of actual production only serves to emphasize what a special player Gwynn was.

Thanks for writing, Bill. Hope to hear from you again in the future.

Couple other quick items of interest, them I’m outta here.

Okay, time to go destroy evil beings from another world. Later…

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