I have taken some shit, from both home and abroad, about the Elliot Kalb post below, in which I compare Japan to Chicago rec softball leagues. Perhaps that was a bit strident. But this is a blog, and where can one be strident if not in a blog?
The fact is, if one puts together one's list of the fifteen greatest first basemen, and one obnoxiously and purposefully does not include Rafael Palmeiro, but obnoxiously and purposefully does include a guy who played in another country, I am going to take issue with one.
I think it is fair to say that putting up Raffy's numbers against the hands-down best league in the world, featuring all the best international talent, is far more impresive (like, by a factor of five) than putting up silly numbers in Japan against only Japanese talent in a league where Bob Horner was revered as a megastar. Agreed?
Saying that Oh is the ninth best first baseman of all-time is insane. He hit 55 HR in 1964, which is the single-season record in Japan. Or, it was, until Tuffy Rhodes, who had a career OPS+ of 79 in MLB, tied it a few years ago.
And Kalb still takes Oh over Palmeiro.
And I'm the crazy one?
"Apologia" means "defense," not "apology."
Labels: elliott kalb, japanese league, rafael palmeiro