Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sacrilege: Stark Names Koufax Most Overrated Lefty

I'm shocked! Dismayed! I'm besides myself! Stark Raving Mad, I Say!

DelcoTimes gives us a peek at Jayson Stark's book, The Stark Truth, that seeks to rate the most underrated and overrated players in Baseball. On top of his list of most overrated lefties is our beloved Sandy Koufax. Sacrilege!

To prove a point about his insanity he names Nolan Ryan as the most overrated righthander of all time. My jaw dropped on that one too.

Anyway, he defends his point thusly.

"People who haven't read the book misconstrue my definition of overrated," adds Stark. "I'm not trying to say they should have taken up the violin instead of baseball.

"It's a whole different kind of concept."

Yhea, OK. About Koufax he adds.

"He was the greatest pitcher alive and possibly the greatest lefthander ever. I'm not nuts enough to try to dispute that," said Stark.

The Stark truth, however, is that the first half of Koufax' career, he had the second highest ERA in baseball.

"With players we grow to love, we don't even WANT to think about that other stuff," said Stark. "We get a snapshot in our brain of what that player meant to us and we don't want to let any other snapshots in there."

Stark goes on to say there's a tendency to romanticize players who walk away from the game in their prime.

"Other players go on; they get hurt, they decline and they leave us with other snapshots. That colors our perception of that player. Koufax didn't have to worry about that."

Well, those are all good points. I guess you could count me in as a fan who refuses to hear about that other stuff. Anyway, he also names the most underrated players which he acknowledged was much more fun to write. Some of those underrated players include Yogi Berra, Steve Carlton, Frank Robinson, Bob Feller, Dick Allen and Richie Ashburn. He did get a smile from me though. JD Drew is listed as overrated.
"The thing he's done best throughout his career is find a way to get paid," said Stark. "To me, that's the classic definition of overrated."
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  1. It seems as if you meant to say "overrated". But you said "underrated" - several times. Except in the actual direct quote.

  2. Thank for catching that. I guess I just couldn't write the word overrated when writing about Koufax. A mental block I guess!


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