guys never say: (Not mine this time, lifted from
1. I think Barry Manilow is
one cool motherfucker.
2. No I don't want
another beer. I have to work tomorrow.
3. Her boobs are just
4. You never tell me
you love me in the little ways.
5. That chick on
"20/20" gives me a woody.
6. Sure! I'd love to
wear a condom.
7. We haven't been to
the mall for ages, let's go shopping and I can
hold your purse.
8. Screw Monday Night
Football, let's watch "Ally McBeal".
9. It's late. Put
your clothes back on and I'll take you home.
10. Honey, I'm going
to the store, do you need more tampons???
11. I know we just
made love, but I need to be held.
12. I'm sick of beer,
give me a fruit juice with a lemon twist.
13. Great, your
mother's coming to stay with us again.
14. I wonder if our
gorgeous neighbor knows that her drapes are open
when she's getting ready for bed? Maybe I should
15. No way, you
weeded the garden last week. It's my turn.
16. Better get rid of
these old Penthouse magazines. I don't look at
them any more.
17. This movie has
WAY too much nudity.
18. Damn, we're late
19. No! I don't want
to see your sister's boobs.
20. Put some panties
on for Christ's sake.
21. Eat something!!
You are starting to look like a Victoria's Secret
22. Let's talk, I
23. Gay men have
24. I am just too
tired to have sex again today!
My take on the shortstops.
Not a tough choice. Wagner wasn't only the best
shortstop in the game. According to his peers, he
was the best at every position on the field
except catcher. It's just that shortstop was the
most important, so that's where he ended up. He
came up as an outfielder. In his second year, he
alternated between first base and third. He never
played a single game at shortstop until his fifth
year in the majors, when he was already the
defending batting and slugging champion. In fact,
to put in in modern terms, imagine this. Imagine
if the best slugger in baseball - McGwire or
Bagwell or Griffey whoever it is - was suddenly
discovered also to be a slicker shortstop than
Ozzie Smith. You think he'd command a decent
salary come contract time? Well, Wagner was that
player. In fact, he's kind of frustrating for
fantasy gamers because his best batting year was
1900 (OBP .434, slugging .573 - astronomical
numbers in that day) - and he never played an
inning at shortstop, so you can't make him your
fantasy shortstop based on that year.
But could he really hit?
Absolutely. Baseball writers make a big deal
about the triple crown, but the really important
thing is the double crown - on base percentage
and slugging average. Wagner won the double crown
three years in a row and he was a shortstop then.
(Ernie Banks led in slugging only once, never in
Now that I've said that, let me
add that it seems pretty certain to me that the
best shortstop of all-time is playing now, but I
don't know yet who he is. Jeter, Rodriguez, and
Garciaparra are all kids, and it seems highly
probable that at least one of them, maybe even
all three, will come to be considered better than
Wagner. But for now ol' Hans, dead now for nearly
half a century, still holds the title.
In response to a point made by
Lawdog in his analysis, I think several modern
players could have been the biggest stars of the
deadball era. Not Bagwell or McGwire, because
they don't have the basic skills needed to
succeed in that era. But Henderson or Bonds, with
only minor changes in their strategy, would
excel. Gwynn would need no changes at all. He
could transport back to 1901 with his 1990 skills
and kick ass. It's important to realize that
Gwynn and Boggs hit close to .400 in modern
times, against real pitchers. (Boggs actually had
a hidden .400 season - the second half of one
year matched with the first half of the next).
Pitchers today have a zillion pitches, and there
are always fresh arms coming in from the bullpen,
either left or right to match the situation, and
these pitchers are much bigger and stronger and
faster and better conditioned than the athletes
of 1901. In Wagner's time there were no tricks
except that they kept the same crappy ball in
play for the whole game. Aside from that, the
pitchers had about one pitch - try to get it
across the plate, and vary the velocity to try to
foil the batter's timing. Remember they had just
started throwing with the modern rules - overhand
from 60 feet- only four years before Wagner came
up, and they still hadn't much of a clue how to
do it. Take Boggs or Gwynn with their peak skills
and I think they might hit .500 if they
time-traveled back to Wagner's era. You have to
remember one thing. Your petite little daughter,
if she's on her high school swimming team, could
go back and swim laps around Jim Thorpe or any of
those great athletes from the turn of the
century. The bar just keeps getting raised in
every sport which is measured against an absolute
standard. Baseball is not, of course. It is
measured against a shifting panorama of changing
equipment, strike zones, arenas, and competition.
As batters improve, their measured performance
doesn't necessarily improve because pitchers
improve, and because baseball tinkers with the
rules to maintain a certain batter-pitcher
equilibrium or to improve the game's
marketability. But these guys are getting better
every generation, just like swimmers and runners
and other athletes.