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Which player had the best skillset in their prime?

View Poll Results: Player with the best skillset
Mario Lemieux 46 34.59%
Wayne Gretzky 50 37.59%
Sergei Fedorov 17 12.78%
Peter Forsberg 1 0.75%
Eric Lindros 5 3.76%
Pavel Bure 5 3.76%
Sidney Crosby 1 0.75%
Alexei Kovalev 2 1.50%
Jaromir Jagr 5 3.76%
Alex Ovechkin 1 0.75%
Voters: 133. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
03-19-2013, 09:04 PM
  #151
Ohashi_Jouzu
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
You can assume what you want to but I sure as hell aint assuming that, not even close.

AGAIN, Gretzky DOUBLED the output of most other top offensive players.
Fedorov was NOT twice as effective defensively as most other top defensive players!
I'm with you on this one. Even on a very simple/crude level, the "best defensive forward ever" has 4 Selkes in recognition for his play. Fedorov has half of that. The "best offensive forward ever", Gretzky, has more than 50% more Art Rosses for his production than #2 on the list, and more assists than the next highest scorer ever has total points. Gretzky's offense was so good as to make him the outlier above everyone, ever. Fedorov's defense didn't turn him into such an outlier on the other side of the puck.

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03-19-2013, 09:09 PM
  #152
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A practical exercise for you: Go out and learn everything you can about how to be fast and then get back to me with how you smoked Ursain Bolt in the 100.
Unfortunately, I'm much older than 8 years old, and likely unable to teach my body how to move much differently than it does at this point. Undoubtedly, though, I could teach my body how to maximize what is left (as if I'm decrepit, lol) of my mobility, flexibility, and strength. As a practical exercise for you, ask Usain Bolt how he has managed to get faster over the years, and get back to me with a list of things that he has studied, learned, and practised.

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03-19-2013, 09:25 PM
  #153
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
Unfortunately, I'm much older than 8 years old, and likely unable to teach my body how to move much differently than it does at this point. Undoubtedly, though, I could teach my body how to maximize what is left (as if I'm decrepit, lol) of my mobility, flexibility, and strength. As a practical exercise for you, ask Usain Bolt how he has managed to get faster over the years, and get back to me with a list of things that he has studied, learned, and practised.
You can teach speed...to a degree. Your genetic gifts can improve up to 30% with training. However, not everyone reaches that 30%. Some pitchers are born able to throw the ball 90 mph. While they can improve on their fastball with training, 30% would add on 30 mph. Nobody has ever thrown a baseball 120 mph though. It is really quite an individual thing and I think certain muscle groups are more responsive to training, such as the legs. My guess is that their ceiling for improvement is higher than that of the arm and its associated muscle groups.

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03-19-2013, 09:43 PM
  #154
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
Unfortunately, I'm much older than 8 years old, and likely unable to teach my body how to move much differently than it does at this point. Undoubtedly, though, I could teach my body how to maximize what is left (as if I'm decrepit, lol) of my mobility, flexibility, and strength. As a practical exercise for you, ask Usain Bolt how he has managed to get faster over the years, and get back to me with a list of things that he has studied, learned, and practised.
I can understand what you are saying and I agree to a point. However, I do think pro athletes are destined genetically to do what they do with incredible athleticism that only few can achieve.

I agree you can learn the techniques that will give you some more speed (insert whatever) but genetics will overrule all the learning and teaching one can possibly receive. It's what separates guys like you and I to paid professional athletes. You can't teach speed or practice quicker reflexes, you have it or you don't. Or anyone can become an athlete.

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03-19-2013, 09:46 PM
  #155
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Ja ja. Het denken van den schaker. I unfortunately dont read Dutch, English translation unavailable, never did take up Chess.

It's all about having a superior visual perception and choosing best moves based on personal experience.

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03-19-2013, 09:46 PM
  #156
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Originally Posted by BamBamCam View Post
I can understand what you are saying and I agree to a point. However, I do think pro athletes are destined genetically to do what they do with incredible athleticism that only few can achieve.

I agree you can learn the techniques that will give you some more speed (insert whatever) but genetics will overrule all the learning and teaching one can possibly receive. It's what separates guys like you and I to paid professional athletes. You can't teach speed or practice quicker reflexes, you have it or you don't. Or anyone can become an athlete.

Well, you can actually teach speed and hon your reflexes but your general point is correct. You are still "capped" by your genetic makeup.

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03-19-2013, 10:21 PM
  #157
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Originally Posted by Yamaguchi View Post
It's all about having a superior visual perception and choosing best moves based on personal experience.
Ya, its a fascinating subject, not enough research yet done on it, as physiologically when engaged in a physical activity like hockey speed of transfer between lobes to body absolutely critical to execution.... Gretzkys reflexes when measured off the charts, and Im beyond certain youd find same with every elite level hockey player who ever played the game. We usually associate "reflexes" with goaltending, however, far more complex as it applies to a forward, aggressive offensively minded defenceman.

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03-19-2013, 10:25 PM
  #158
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Originally Posted by BamBamCam View Post
I can understand what you are saying and I agree to a point. However, I do think pro athletes are destined genetically to do what they do with incredible athleticism that only few can achieve.

I agree you can learn the techniques that will give you some more speed (insert whatever) but genetics will overrule all the learning and teaching one can possibly receive. It's what separates guys like you and I to paid professional athletes. You can't teach speed or practice quicker reflexes, you have it or you don't. Or anyone can become an athlete.
See, I don't agree at all. Maybe not everyone can become a hockey player because of their combination of skills, but if the most highly trained athletes (like Usain Bolt) can learn and practice to improve on metrics/benchmarks which they, themselves, established, it's foolish to think that it would be impossible for any kid to start appropriate "training" at an early enough age to yield high end results in those categories by the end of physical maturity. Again, I recommend reading that link I posted, and if still skeptical, pick up one of the books he talks about and see if you're still not convinced.

(Pretty much) anyone can become an "athlete". It's a matter of choosing the right one for you, and lots of training/practice. If you're 6'6" 300 lbs, there very well could be some kind of training/practice that could make you the fastest offensive lineman in the NFL. If you let defenders by you all the time though, you might not last long enough to prove it. Is hitting homeruns 100% strength, or 100% skill, I wonder? That's a tough one if you're going to stereotype a body type...

There is a thread or two lying around this site on this very topic, so I hesitate to add too much more to this tangent, but I'd definitely say in summary that any measurable difference (in strength, speed, reflexes, whatever) between peers at the very top level of a sport has an element of skill behind it which can't be distilled completely away to 100% genetic lottery. Not everyone who can leg press 500 lbs 17 times has the same 100 m dash time. Not everyone who can curl 150 lbs can throw a 100 mph fastball. So to submit a semantic argument to the contrary (ex: "speed isn't a skill") seems ridiculous to me.

Can anyone become a pro athlete? Obviously, realistically, no. But it's my assertion that anyone can learn/practice to develop speed and strength (how much, is up to dedication AND genetics), and that any application of those "tools" (as it was put earlier by someone, so I thank them) has to be regarded as a skill - especially if it's something that one can furthermore observe, and discern, that Person A is "better" than Person B at (like skating, or shooting, or throwing, or hitting - all of which have speed as a crucial component for logical comparison).

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03-19-2013, 10:44 PM
  #159
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
You can assume what you want to but I sure as hell aint assuming that, not even close.

AGAIN, Gretzky DOUBLED the output of most other top offensive players.
Fedorov was NOT twice as effective defensively as most other top defensive players!
I'm drunk and going to bed as I'm on vacation but really isn't hockey about winning games?

And perhaps Fedorov's defense, in the 90's, might actually worth as much as scoring the 4th and 5th points in a blowout 7-3 game in the 80's?

No perfect answer but it's also not directly related to the stats either IMO.

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03-19-2013, 10:54 PM
  #160
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
So to submit a semantic argument to the contrary (ex: "speed isn't a skill") seems ridiculous to me.
Well, your either born with speed or your not. If you are, and your in the top 10% for your age group, pursuit, sport, playing pro hockey, the "skill" part comes into play in terms of how you use that speed. Knowing when to use it, feinting or faking it, then just taking off on someone, whatever the situation might dictate. I personally used to run a lot competitively, 100M's, 440 & the Mile. I wasnt the fastest sprinter, but I'd play head games with people before they even got into the blocks without saying a word to them. 440 not so much because of the staggered start but just enough; same thing with the mile. Theres a lot of psychology, drama goin down, no words spoken, but if your fast you can beat people who are slightly faster by throwing them off their game. Conserving energy. Staying quiet inside yourself even though you feel like your hearts going to explode or you feel like throwing up. Thats a skill you learn, develop, yet its based on innate natural physical & mental abilities. Race horses run fast because their scared. Horses are very timid creatures despite their size & power.

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03-19-2013, 11:07 PM
  #161
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Well, your either born with speed or your not.
See, I don't think it's nearly as simple as that. Maybe you have to be born with the potential to clock out at speeds in the top 1% percentile (arbitrary) of the human race, but you can't tell me that it's not a skill and that it can't be learned/practiced at all. The observable differences between players on the same playing field IS a function of their skill, and speed is a fundamental component of many of those differences.

Until they pull some random dude who throws 110 mph strikes out of the woods, or someone who shoots 120 mph slapshots despite never holding a stick out of a lake, or anyone who skates laps of a rink in under 17 seconds despite having never seen ice or skates before, or an untrained strong man get all Atlas balls up on those platforms, I'm going to reserve the right err on the side of calling strength and speed skills, and submit again that it requires pedantics and semantics to begin establishing a case to the contrary.

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03-19-2013, 11:29 PM
  #162
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See, I don't think it's nearly as simple as that. The observable differences between players on the same playing field IS a function of their skill, and speed is a fundamental component of many of those differences.... Until they pull some random dude who throws 110 mph strikes out of the woods....
I do understand your point, however, at its most elemental level, as in your born with speed, and can then work to improve upon it it, fine tune & hone it, push yourself faster & farther, use it skillfully, then perhaps we agree after all. Even those with limited mobility & speed, they too working on it, able to compete.... as for pulling people out of woods, fields & streams, did you not ever watch Forrest Gump? The guys throws off the leg braces, next thing you know, frikin Gazelle. Football Scholarship to an NCAA Div 1 College. Full meal ride. And who knew? I sure didnt see that one coming Ohashi.

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03-19-2013, 11:46 PM
  #163
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I do understand your point, however, at its most elemental level, as in your born with speed, and can then work to improve upon it it, fine tune & hone it, push yourself faster & farther, use it skillfully, then perhaps we agree after all. Even those with limited mobility & speed, they too working on it, able to compete.... as for pulling people out of woods, fields & streams, did you not ever watch Forrest Gump? The guys throws off the leg braces, next thing you know, frikin Gazelle. Football Scholarship to an NCAA Div 1 College. Full meal ride. And who knew? I sure didnt see that one coming Ohashi.
Haha, well played. I wonder if anyone has actually seen it happen in a non-Hollywood scripted turning of events.

Remember though, even Forrest "learned" his speed (and his endurance, btw) in his youth by running away from bullies.

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03-20-2013, 12:03 AM
  #164
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I'm drunk and going to bed...
Yep, that's about as much as I needed to read.

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03-20-2013, 12:42 AM
  #165
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Haha, well played. I wonder if anyone has actually seen it happen in a non-Hollywood scripted turning of events. Remember though, even Forrest "learned" his speed (and his endurance, btw) in his youth by running away from bullies.
Yepp. Running scared. Like a thoroughbred.... and clean on out of the stadium if you didnt stop him. And what do you mean "Hollywood Scripted"? That was a Documentary.

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03-20-2013, 12:58 AM
  #166
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Gretzky probably wins this poll within the OP's parameters sitting on the bench on hockey sense alone, completely off the charts. Bobby Orr is the only name that makes this poll an argument.

I rarely post here but this forum is one of the best here. I do enjoy dropping by to see the latest attempt at knocking down Gretz and the tidal wave of reasoned argument that unfailingly blows it down.

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03-20-2013, 01:32 AM
  #167
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
See, I don't think it's nearly as simple as that. Maybe you have to be born with the potential to clock out at speeds in the top 1% percentile (arbitrary) of the human race, but you can't tell me that it's not a skill and that it can't be learned/practiced at all. The observable differences between players on the same playing field IS a function of their skill, and speed is a fundamental component of many of those differences.

Until they pull some random dude who throws 110 mph strikes out of the woods, or someone who shoots 120 mph slapshots despite never holding a stick out of a lake, or anyone who skates laps of a rink in under 17 seconds despite having never seen ice or skates before, or an untrained strong man get all Atlas balls up on those platforms, I'm going to reserve the right err on the side of calling strength and speed skills, and submit again that it requires pedantics and semantics to begin establishing a case to the contrary.
I agree with this. Maybe we should consider at least speed as a skill in this kind of polls. Cause even the naturally fastest guy needs training. But it is impossible for Chara to have the same top-end speed as Bure had. Or, it is impossible to Semin to be as strong as Lindros was.

But for the sake of this poll I would suggest that we add Strenght and Speed to the list of skills. Maybe we don't put as much weight on them as we do on other hockey skills.

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03-20-2013, 01:52 AM
  #168
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You can teach speed...to a degree. Your genetic gifts can improve up to 30% with training. However, not everyone reaches that 30%. Some pitchers are born able to throw the ball 90 mph.
Yeah, but that might make for problems at little league games.

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While they can improve on their fastball with training, 30% would add on 30 mph. Nobody has ever thrown a baseball 120 mph though.
Throwing - and especially pitching - is very much a technique-based action. A comparable in hockey would be shooting. With no runners on base, a pitcher is free to fully wind up. This provides for a faster pitch; starting from the stretch significantly reduces the amount of forward momentum the pitcher can generate and therefore push into the ball.

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It is really quite an individual thing and I think certain muscle groups are more responsive to training, such as the legs. My guess is that their ceiling for improvement is higher than that of the arm and its associated muscle groups.
A baseball pitch is mostly power by the following factors:

1) Is it a full windup?
2) How tall is the pitcher? Taller pitcher generally equates to more powerful pitcher.
3) How strong are their leg muscles? A pitcher's windup results in them pushing off of a rubber plate towards home plate.
4) How strong are the pitcher's arm muscles? The key moment is the "snap" extension of the arm (pitching is different than throwing normally).

I'm sure I've done a poor job explaining it as it's nearly three in the morning, but watch a pitcher. Watch how he leads with his elbow when he throws, then *snap!* throws the ball. A fielder will throw the ball with their full arm rather than just their forearm, but that kind of throw makes for slow pitching.

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03-20-2013, 01:58 AM
  #169
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Yeah, but that might make for problems at little league games.

Throwing - and especially pitching - is very much a technique-based action. A comparable in hockey would be shooting. With no runners on base, a pitcher is free to fully wind up. This provides for a faster pitch; starting from the stretch significantly reduces the amount of forward momentum the pitcher can generate and therefore push into the ball.

A baseball pitch is mostly power by the following factors:

1) Is it a full windup?
2) How tall is the pitcher? Taller pitcher generally equates to more powerful pitcher.
3) How strong are their leg muscles? A pitcher's windup results in them pushing off of a rubber plate towards home plate.
4) How strong are the pitcher's arm muscles? The key moment is the "snap" extension of the arm (pitching is different than throwing normally).

I'm sure I've done a poor job explaining it as it's nearly three in the morning, but watch a pitcher. Watch how he leads with his elbow when he throws, then *snap!* throws the ball. A fielder will throw the ball with their full arm rather than just their forearm, but that kind of throw makes for slow pitching.
There's no pitching technique that can be learned that will turn Jamie Moyer into Randy Johnson. None. You're born with that type of arm or you're not.

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03-20-2013, 02:45 AM
  #170
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There's no pitching technique that can be learned that will turn Jamie Moyer into Randy Johnson. None. You're born with that type of arm or you're not.
Randy Big Unit Johnson & his infamous slider. Nicknamed it Mr.Snappy....

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03-20-2013, 02:55 AM
  #171
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Randy Big Unit Johnson & his infamous slider. Nicknamed it Mr.Snappy....
I remember back when he had absolutely NO control and hitters took their lives in their hands when they stepped into the batters box Johnson was as good a bet to walk 10 as he was to K 10 back then

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03-20-2013, 03:05 AM
  #172
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Johnson was as good a bet to walk 10 as he was to K 10 back then
Adam Dunn when asked who was the best he ever faced; "Honestly, Randy Johnson when he's good. Its hopeless. Its like a hopeless feeling".... Grand. Go get em Tiger. Knock it out of the park.

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03-20-2013, 03:16 AM
  #173
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Yeah, but that might make for problems at little league games.
Only if your the hitter.

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Throwing - and especially pitching - is very much a technique-based action. A comparable in hockey would be shooting. With no runners on base, a pitcher is free to fully wind up. This provides for a faster pitch; starting from the stretch significantly reduces the amount of forward momentum the pitcher can generate and therefore push into the ball.
While this used to be the common understanding, this has changed in the last 20-30 years. Velocity changes very little when starting from the stretch. Most relievers/closers throw from the stretch and they are often the hardest throwers. The full windup now, and I speak generally because its been years since I've been fully involved in the game, is now thought to be an exercise in developing torque for the arm and to take pressure off the arm as well by using the whole body to deliver the pitch. It was once believed that the leg push assisted in velocity, but I'm not so sure about that since they don't teach leg push so much anymore. I think they teach utilizing the whole body to take pressure off the arm, but also using the whole body in a much more refined way that allows for better accuracy; minimizing unnecessary movement that may inhibit the accurate throwing of the baseball. That's why you don't see too many pitchers with the older style deliveries anymore, unless they come from Japan or a Central American country. Control is the name of the game and I believe that the stats reflect this to a degree. In the last 20-30 years, American baseball has produced some of the most efficient pitchers in the history of the game. By efficient I mean throwing a minimal number of pitches/9 innings and not walking hitters. See Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez, Fergie Jenkins, etc...

Quote:
A baseball pitch is mostly power by the following factors:

1) Is it a full windup?
2) How tall is the pitcher? Taller pitcher generally equates to more powerful pitcher.
3) How strong are their leg muscles? A pitcher's windup results in them pushing off of a rubber plate towards home plate.
4) How strong are the pitcher's arm muscles? The key moment is the "snap" extension of the arm (pitching is different than throwing normally).

I'm sure I've done a poor job explaining it as it's nearly three in the morning, but watch a pitcher. Watch how he leads with his elbow when he throws, then *snap!* throws the ball. A fielder will throw the ball with their full arm rather than just their forearm, but that kind of throw makes for slow pitching.
From my rudimentary understanding a pitch is mostly powered by arm speed. A hard thrower has incredible arm speed and whip in the arm. Fast-twitch muscles are usually the genetic gift responsible for this feat; as opposed to slow-twitch muscles (even though I worked out relentlessly, focused on my rotator cuff muscles, I could not increase my velocity much because I was born with slow-twitch muscles).

Height is a factor in how hard a person throws, but not as much as one would think. Long levers (arms and torso) allow for increased torque and another word I can't think of at this hour. Generally pitchers are minimum 6' and up. A larger body with large leg muscles allows for maximum endurance and less wear and tear on the body. Even though the legs don't have as much to do with how hard a person throws, they are critical in the delivery of the pitch. If the legs aren't in shape, the pitcher will rely too much on arm, get lazy and change arm angles which may result in a hurt arm and simply wear himself out quickly. A pitcher is only as good as his legs is one of the oldest saying in baseball. How this saying is understood has changed a little over the years, but it still remains true. But back to the point about height. Fast twitch muscles are where its at.

Now, I suppose a lot of this can be translated into hockey terms and how hard a player can shoot. I will let someone else explain this though if they choose too.

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03-20-2013, 03:27 AM
  #174
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good to see it 99 by a mile, proving HF boarders are coming to their senses and admitting that the Great One is called the Great One for a reason. he didn't do it by smoke and mirrors. His skills were not of the 'eye candy' variety like Lemieux, Bure, Perrault, Lafleur, etc. 99's skills were less obvious, but more effective at producing goals.

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03-20-2013, 07:28 AM
  #175
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There's no pitching technique that can be learned that will turn Jamie Moyer into Randy Johnson. None. You're born with that type of arm or you're not.
Randy Johnson's pitching speed comes, largely, from his size (6'10", 225). Same with Justin Verlander (6'5", 225).

It's the Eric Lindros situation. Johnson and Verlander both have/had a high level of skill when compared to other major league pitchers. But their size is what gave them the ability to dominate. At the same time, that they were able to finesse their hulking frames into a 100+mph fastball is a clear example of why it's a skill.

No. Maybe it's not a skill level everyone can achieve. But it's not achievable without skillfully using what is given to you.

Fedorov had a 100+mph shot. Gretzky never came close to that. Despite being slightly bigger, Gretzky's shot wasn't even as hard as Yzerman's. Modano was about the same size as Gretzky and had a shot not far off Fedorov's level (clocked in the high 90s).

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