Here We Go Again

Albert Pujols

Was just over at ESPN and tucked into their headlines on the top right is the announcement that Albert Pujols just passed Babe Ruth on the all-time RBI list. Sounds like something to celebrate, right? Of course it isn’t really.

Here’s the thing. In its desire to grab a headline, ESPN decided to inform us that Pujols just passed Ruth in RBIs recorded since the RBI became on official stat in 1920. Got that? 1920, not ever, but 1920 when the RBI became official. Any RBIs Ruth hit prior to 1920 don’t count on this list. So I went to BaseballReference.com and looked up the RBI numbers they have. Well, they have Pujols at 1993 and Ruth at 2214. So between his rookie year in 1914 and his home run title in 1919, inclusive, the Babe had 222 RBIs that apparently, for somebody’s purpose, don’t count.

I hate this kind of thing. I’ve complained about it before. Look, team, Pujols is a great enough player without having to come up with some kind of artificial stat to make him even better. ESPN does this a lot and should be ashamed of themselves (although there doesn’t seem to be much shame left in most anything today) for doing it again.

Babe Ruth

For anyone interested, BaseballReference.com lists the top eight in RBIs as: Henry Aaron, Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez, Cap Anson, Barry Bonds, Lou Gehrig, Albert Pujols, and Stan Musial in that order.

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4 Responses to “Here We Go Again”

  1. Miller Says:

    You’re so, totally, 100% spot on. A related item that always upset me was the counting of Ichiro’s hits in Japan.

    And it makes me sad that there was a time when it seemed like Pujols would become the all-time RBI leader for real. Aging hits us all, some harder than others. A nice game gets him past Gehrig and Bonds. If he’s still playing, perhaps he gets to Anson and A-Rod next year. I fear Ruth and Aaron are out of reach.

  2. Jackie, The Baseball Bloggess Says:

    It’s not just ESPN … everyone (including AP, MLB.com, etc) seems to have taken the story without understanding the context and truth behind it. Pujols was told he had surpassed Ruth and he said: “It’s pretty special. … You’re talking about — if not the best, then one of the best — hitters to ever play this game. … It would have been even sweeter if we would have come out with a win, but unfortunately it didn’t happen.”

    Thank you for correcting the record. Maybe baseball records really are just a series of accomplishments followed by asterisks. 🙂

  3. wkkortas Says:

    No one does horrible things with sliced data like the WWL.

  4. glenrussellslater Says:

    What do you expect from a bush organization like ESPN? Plus, they’re owned by Disney, a company that doesn’t exactly believe in reality. After all, they’re represented by a talking rat (Sorry. It’s a mouse) that owns a dog.

    Glen

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