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ESPN is ranking the top 100 players of all times and Old Hoss Radbourn is tearing them to shreds

Dec 12, 2012, 4:20 PM EDT

Book of Lists

December is list season. Usually end-of-year lists. But has decided to do an all-time list, asking their scores of baseball writers, editors and experts to rank the top 100 players of all time.

They’re calling it the Hall of 100, and it’s their stab at a Hall of Fame of sorts. The good news: the voters were explicitly instructed to ignore PEDs and character stuff. They were merely to go on on-the-field performance.

The bad news: (1) they’re releasing their rankings piecemeal, so as of today they’re still only through 26, with the top 25 coming tomorrow; and (2) based on rankings it appears that the old timers — 19th century players, deadballers and, most notably, the Negro Leaguers — are getting short shrift. Maybe understandable given that you tend to favor what you know, but still a bit of a disappointment.

The redeeming news: Twitter’s Old Hoss Radbourn has a running commentary of each pick, critiquing the player and/or ESPN’s rank. Such as this comment about Chipper Jones:

Or this one about Jackie Robinson:


Can’t read the rankings without the commentary, can’t have the commentary without the rankings. If ESPN was cool they’d put Hoss’ comments alongside their list.

  1. Lukehart80 - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    “If ESPN was cool…”

    There isn’t a font in the world big enough for that “If.”

    • WhyDoIActuallyCare - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:35 PM

      Agreed. They even made the mistake of tweeting Old Hoss and telling him to use the hashtag. His response: “Pardon, but I’m not a soul-less corporate whore.”

      ESPN is getting served. It’s amazing.

  2. mrwillie - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    The good news: I don’t go to

  3. skipperxc - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    Do we know who runs that account yet?

    • Lukehart80 - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:31 PM

      It’s Craig (don’t let him tell you otherwise).

      • Craig Calcaterra - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:32 PM

        Often accused, but no, I am not Hoss. I swear on the lives of my children.

      • skipperxc - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:37 PM

        My theory was/is Keith Law, high overlord of snark, but I believe he’s denied it as well.

      • Lukehart80 - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:50 PM

        Falsely swearing on the lives of his children sounds exactly like what Old Hoss would do!

        Plus, Calcaterra is Dutch for Horse.

        We’re on to you…

    • Paul White - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:43 PM

      In a perfect world it would be the new incarnation of Ken Tremendous.

      • wrg885 - Dec 12, 2012 at 5:00 PM

        Man I miss them. I would happily pay a respectable fee for Ken Tremendous and his crew to blog again. And I work for Wal-Marthiscompanykindofscrewsitsemployees. Nah, they’re not so bad to work for….I think.

      • pestiesti - Dec 12, 2012 at 5:19 PM

        If it’s someone that any of us have heard of, Schur has to be the odds on favorite.

    • sportsdrenched - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:52 PM

      I’m not sure I want to know. I think it would ruin it for me.

      • 18thstreet - Dec 12, 2012 at 5:23 PM

        I can’t believe anyone would do something that funny and not sign his or her name to it.

    • timhitchings - Dec 13, 2012 at 10:08 AM

      Ed Achorn?

  4. vallewho - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    I’m happy that Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, and Roger Clemens will be in the top 25.

  5. number1tribefan - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    Old Hoss needs his own sporting network.

  6. mattyflex - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    I saw yesterday ESPNBB told him to “use the hashtag!!” and he responded “I don’t whore myself out to corporations”.

    • El Bravo - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:35 PM

      That’s awesome.

      • philliesblow - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:58 PM

        Is it possible to add ESPN to the douchenozzle list?

      • El Bravo - Dec 12, 2012 at 5:08 PM

        Yes it is. In fact, after just reviewing this list, this thing is a total joke. This is one of the worst countdown lists I’ve ever seen. It’s borderline blasphemous, assuming one’s religion is baseball, which I do b/c I pray to the baseball gods as much as I do to funky Buddha.

        Anyway, here you are:

        1. Randy Miller – South Jersey Courier-Post (abuses BBWAA privileges, HOF vote by submitting blank ballots; also invented superhero Saberboy, which is cool)
        2. Luke Scott – perennial all-star douchenozzle. Luke says, “you don’t have to worry about me unless you’re a criminal or communist.”
        3. Ryan Braun – for cheating and also for not cheating, either way we will likely never know the truth, and that is annoying.
        4. Jon Heyman – CBS (for having a documented history of talking up and selling Scott Boras clients to ball clubs)
        5. Nick Swisher – seriously, do I need a reason?
        6. C.J. Wilson – Tweeted Napoli’s cell number as “prank” b/c Napoli said he was looking forward to hitting HRs off of him this season.
        7. Matt Bush – DUI and for ruining his career
        (8.) Joba Chamberlain – for thinking he is capable of using a trampoline with his fat toady ass
        [Joba’s addition was rescinded given how unlucky the poor bastard was and he was just trying to be a good dad.]
        8. Bobby Jenks – DUI (influence mainly muscle relaxers…), amazing quote “When Deputy Sutphin asked Jenks if he had taken anything else other than the muscle relaxers, he told the officer that he “was going to be honest with you, I was just leaving Babes because I hit a car. I just had to get out of there.”
        9. Delmon Young – Assault; anti-Semitism; generally just a D-to-the-nozz all around.
        10. Pedro Gomez – BBWAA voter with no sense.
        11. Cole Hamels – for beaning Harper for being 19 and talented.
        12. Rob Dibble – Because he shoulda never left this list as the inaugural douchenozzle.
        13. Bud Selig – repeatedly suggests, nay insists, that no one wants more instant replay in baseball.
        14. Hawk Harrelson – homerism reaches new bounds by repeatedly calling out umps for hurting the “good guys” with bad calls.
        15. Bobby Valentine – per Alex K, “Bobby V. isn’t on the list yet? He said a coach taking time off to tend to his sick kid was ‘on vacation.’ Total nozzle statement, bro.”
        16. Yunel Escobar – Wore “TU ERE MARICON” eye-black like a douchenozzle would do.
        17. Roger Goodell – The totalitarian regime of which is the NFL, headed by the iron fist of Goodell, is so powerful that the douchiness of their league temporarily penetrated the MLB blogosphere, hence the NFL-related DN addition.
        18. Jamie McCourt – For trying to add on to her $131 million settlement with Frank b/c the Dodgers sold for more than she thought they would ($2 billion). Mainly though, for simply being in the news again this year, qualifying Ms. McCourt for this DN list.
        19. The Offseason – no baseball. Seriously, the offseason is such a dick.
        20. Francisco Rodriguez – for cheating then beating his lady…allegedly.
        21. Curt Schilling – For being a terrible and unrepentant businessman.
        22. Jeff “Scrooge” McLoria – Totally manhandling the city of Miami and its new team and just not givin’ a mothaf@ck about anything but cash in his wallet.
        23. The Marlins Front Office – See #22 and note he isn’t the only proverbial douchenozzle pea in the douchenozzle pod.
        24. ESPN – Worst “Top 100” list of all time. Period. Also, why won’t they shut the f@ck up about Tebow? Even when their own boss says to shut up about Tebow, they won’t shut up about Tebow. Tebow is irrelevant so why is Tebow mentioned four times on my baseball DN list?

      • El Bravo - Dec 12, 2012 at 5:11 PM

        PS. The Mets are on the cusp if they continue to low-ball Dickey.

        PPS. This is NOT a ranking as ESPN tried and failed to do. This is simply a chronology of events that lead to a person or entity being officially considered a douchenozzle.

        PPPS. Any rebroadcast or other use of El Bravo’s Douchenozzle List is prohibited without the express written consent of El Bravo Corp. Americas, ltd.

      • mattyflex - Dec 12, 2012 at 5:52 PM

        Who in the hell is Tim Tebow and why are we talking about him

      • historiophiliac - Dec 12, 2012 at 6:11 PM

        Tim Tebow is some guy who shows up half-naked in my daily sports headline emails all the time. I NEVER asked for that.

      • cur68 - Dec 12, 2012 at 6:44 PM

        Tebow = Bread Pudding

      • historiophiliac - Dec 12, 2012 at 7:09 PM

        Oh, no you didn’t, Canada! >:(

      • El Bravo - Dec 12, 2012 at 7:14 PM

        Mmmm I like bread puddin’

      • umrguy42 - Dec 12, 2012 at 9:56 PM

        Hey Bravo, I forget, does this list reset next year? Or next season (or is it this season? no, wait…)? ;p

      • El Bravo - Dec 13, 2012 at 10:29 AM

        Only a couple more weeks for 2012 douchenozzledom!!!

  7. chill1184 - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    All hail the great pitching deity that is Old Hoss

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Dec 12, 2012 at 5:44 PM

      Radbourne sucked. Well, OK, he did go 59-12 one year with a 1.38 ERA, but he had only 8 other seasons of 20+ wins and only one other year of more than 45 wins. Not a single season with even 12 shutouts and just one crummy no-hitter. What a bum.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 12, 2012 at 6:08 PM

        My favorite so far:

  8. skids003 - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    OldHoss has been drinking the horse liniment again.

  9. lyon810 - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Dapper Gent

  10. shynessismyelguapo - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Okay, Pet Peeve #1

    Johnny Mize does not make the Top 100.
    Hank Greenberg was ranked 63rd.

    Was Hank Greenberg really that much better than Johnny Mize?

    Keep in mind that they
    A). Were almost exact contemporaries
    B). Lost roughly the same amount of time to WWII

    WAR: Greenberg: 55.1
    WAR: Mize: 67.8

    OPS+ Greenberg: 158
    OPS+ Mize 158

    HR: Greenberg: 331
    HR: Mize 359

    Slash Line: Greenberg: .313/.412/.605
    Slash Line: Mize: .312/.397/.562 (note: Mize played until he was 40, Greenberg was out at 36. Hank also played in a much better hitters environment, thus the equal OPS+).

    They both lead the league in Homers 4 times
    Mize lead the league in OPS three times, Greenberg…once.

    Top 10 in WAR: Greenberg 7 times
    Top 10 in WAR: Mize 10 times

    It’s fine to argue that Greenberg may have been a little bit better (just as you can argue the other way). But to say that one is the 63rd best player of all time and the other doesn’t even rank in the Top 100 is ridiculous.

    • shynessismyelguapo - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:56 PM

      EDDIE COLLINS IS #42?!?!??!

      Holy God, ESPN. Just STFU already.

      • frank433 - Dec 12, 2012 at 5:24 PM

        You throw out stats like ESPN cares about that kind of stuff.

    • 18thstreet - Dec 12, 2012 at 5:32 PM

      I applaud anyone who delves into this list, but I’m quite sure there’s literally dozens of mistakes like this.

      Hank Greenberg was a great player, but he is overrated (as a player) for cultural reasons. They happen to be worthy cultural reasons — being a Jewish player in the Detroit of the 1930s? Not the same as being a Jewish star in New York would have been. (

      His career did a lot to make my life as a Jewish person, decades later, easier. I’ve never faced the antisemitism that marked the lives of my grandparents. I think Hank had something to do with that. Really.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 12, 2012 at 5:47 PM

        Hat tip for the Dearborn Independent reference.

    • 18thstreet - Dec 12, 2012 at 5:49 PM

      Incidentally, it looks like Greenberg is better to me. Through age 29, Hank was clearly better. And then he went to war, as did Mize.,1004996

      • shynessismyelguapo - Dec 12, 2012 at 8:03 PM

        It’s really the difference between fWAR and bWAR.

        Through age 29, Mize topped Greenberg in league adjusted OPS+ 170 to 161, and bWAR 43.1 to 42.6

        At least, we could say that Greenberg may have had a bit better of a peak and Mize had a bit more longevity.

        As it stands, I like bWAR better than fWAR because bWAR supports my argument in this circumstance. Scruples are something I do not have…

      • 18thstreet - Dec 13, 2012 at 7:24 AM

        And I like fWAR better because of the graphs. I’ve never given any thought to which formula is superior.

  11. paperlions - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Yeah, I’m not getting any more work done today anyway:

    “Adding a no-trade clause to a M. Young contract is like putting a Do Not Eat sign above a pile of feces.”

    • mrwillie - Dec 12, 2012 at 5:02 PM

      That one, and the M. McGwire one made me laugh real hard.

    • El Bravo - Dec 12, 2012 at 5:13 PM

      That is even more awesome. Holy poop that’s funny.

    • historiophiliac - Dec 12, 2012 at 9:23 PM

      My fav was the Biggio one.

      • indaburg - Dec 12, 2012 at 9:51 PM

        Too many good ones to pick a favorite, but Gibson’s is spot on:

        #32: B. Gibson. A man of epic stature, endurance, and mean-ness who failed to fire one right through T. McCarver’s face

  12. kkolchak - Dec 12, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: ESPN is to sports as MTV is to music.

  13. philliesblow - Dec 12, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    With their well known East Coast bias, wonder who will be the highest ranked player with no Yankee or Red Sox playing time. Barry Bonds? Ty Cobb? Hank Aaron?

    • frank433 - Dec 12, 2012 at 5:24 PM

      Mike Trout.

  14. Mark Armour - Dec 12, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Jackie Robinson is at least 30 places too low.

  15. paul621 - Dec 12, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    I honestly don’t get the Chipper tweet. I assume there’s a heavy dose of sarcasm/snark, but…. nope, nothing.

    • indaburg - Dec 12, 2012 at 9:55 PM

      I’m not sure if your comment has a heavy dose of sarcasm/snark.

      • paul621 - Dec 12, 2012 at 10:30 PM

        Nope, I’m being sincere. I really don’t get it.

      • indaburg - Dec 12, 2012 at 10:49 PM

        Ah. Old Hoss is saying that kind of production from an ancient 36 year old would have been met with a great deal of suspicion had it been a black or Latino player.

    • skids003 - Dec 13, 2012 at 7:26 AM

      I don’t get it either. Obviously, Chipper wasn’t 100% that year. I guess Old Hoss secretly works for NBC, you know how they like to stir it up.

  16. wonkypenguin - Dec 12, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    “#67: M. Rivera. Aided by guts, courage, and by being a 1/4 time player in a masturbatory media market which needed to pen a hagiography.”

    Please please please can we call NY a “masturbatory media market” from now on? We can even shorten it to MMM. It’s just … perfect.

  17. wpjohnson - Dec 13, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    This is very typical of these “lists”. They always load up on fairly recent players and have little knowledge of baseball history prior to 1960. If the first 75 are any indication, 1-25 should have some ridiculous choices. For example, how in the world could players like Jim Thome, Willie Stargell. Billy Williams, Chipper Jones, and Frank Thomas make anyone’s list? How could the truly greats of pitching like Warren Spahn, Christy Mathewson, and Grover Alexander rank so low? Will CC Sabathia come in ahead of Walter Johnson and Cy Young? Will Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb , the obvious top picks, be overlooked in favor of Willie Mays? Where are some of these heralded Negro League players?

    But, I guess ignorance is bliss with these guys.

  18. teamobijuan - Dec 13, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    This is so funny and I have no one to share it with who’d appreciate it. Sad.

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