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  1. #61
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    The definition as to which is greater will always rage on. That definition from John Sickles was interesting. That being said, the term "Ace" refers to playing cards. An Ace trumps all other cards. Playing cards are older than baseball, I like their definition. You can have 5 cards in your hand, but that doesn't mean you have an Ace.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by theoren1 View Post
    The definition as to which is greater will always rage on. That definition from John Sickles was interesting. That being said, the term "Ace" refers to playing cards. An Ace trumps all other cards. Playing cards are older than baseball, I like their definition. You can have 5 cards in your hand, but that doesn't mean you have an Ace.
    Great response.

  3. #63
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    The only Ace in the mlb belongs to the Jays, their mascot.

  4. #64
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    Roy Halladay, Felix Hernandez, and David Price are aces. #1 starters are the rest of the teams' opening day starter. Not every team has an ace, but every team has a #1 starter.

  5. #65
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    Ace = Match up whatever opponent throws out.

    #1 on your team may not.

    You may call James Shields the royals' #1, but he won't match Felix Herandez, Stephen Strasburg, etc.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffy25 View Post
    Then find a commonly agreed upon new definition.....which you don't have.
    The commonly agreed upon new definition is pretty much what I explained before, the top 15-20 pitchers in baseball regardless of team, rather than the best pitcher from each of the 30 teams. This seems to be the meaning that most give to it. By this criteria, the list can be determined by individual opinion.

    I personally think that there's (approximately) one true ace per every 2 teams in baseball at any given time, so I'd list the following as the current list of "aces" in baseball. Here's the players I'd label as "aces":

    Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez, David Price, Roy Halladay, Stephen Strasburg, Zach Greinke, Chris Sale, Cliff Lee, R.A. Dickey, Cole Hamels, Jered Weaver, Gio Gonzalez, James Shields, CC Sabathia

    I definitely wouldn't diminish the term by including Bud Norris or Vance Worley among them.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtf View Post
    The commonly agreed upon new definition is pretty much what I explained before, the top 15-20 pitchers in baseball regardless of team, rather than the best pitcher from each of the 30 teams. This seems to be the meaning that most give to it. By this criteria, the list can be determined by individual opinion.
    That's the distinction. There isn't a commonly agreed upon definition.

    You just said top 15-20. Well we have three other supported definitions.

    Top 30, top 5-10, etc.

    In fact, I don't recall seeing top 15-20 yet in this thread.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffy25 View Post
    That's the distinction. There isn't a commonly agreed upon definition.

    You just said top 15-20. Well we have three other supported definitions.

    Top 30, top 5-10, etc.

    In fact, I don't recall seeing top 15-20 yet in this thread.
    I just pulled a range that I thought encompassed the top tier pitchers in the game. It's really unimportant. The point was merely that the term represents the best pitchers in the game at a given time, as determined by individuals to decide if a pitcher warrants the title.

    When writing that post, I originally had written top 30, but reduced it to 15-20 simply because as I started looking at the list of pitchers, the top 30 started looking a bit shallow when guys like CJ Wilson or Yu Darvish get included.

    The point is, it's merely the top pitchers in the game. The guys we all know would be a great guy to have start games 1, 4 and 7 of the World Series if needed. I don't have a baseball dictionary, but I don't think we really need one here.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtf View Post
    I just pulled a range that I thought encompassed the top tier pitchers in the game. It's really unimportant. The point was merely that the term represents the best pitchers in the game at a given time, as determined by individuals to decide if a pitcher warrants the title.
    So it remains 100% subjective?

    The point is, it's merely the top pitchers in the game. The guys we all know would be a great guy to have start games 1, 4 and 7 of the World Series if needed. I don't have a baseball dictionary, but I don't think we really need one here.
    So why does the literal definition change or even need to change?

    Since people can make up their meanings for words all the time.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffy25 View Post
    So it remains 100% subjective?
    I wouldn't say 100%. It's not like someone can say Phil Hughes is an ace with any degree of legitimacy, just because they try to qualify it with "well it's my opinion, so it can't be wrong".

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffy25 View Post
    So why does the literal definition change or even need to change?

    Since people can make up their meanings for words all the time.
    I didn't say the dictionary needs to be amended, that's not really a case I'm trying to make. If this conversation was in any way definitive in the world of baseball, perhaps it would be changed as a consequence if we could reach an agreement here. All I'm saying is that the word has evolved to loosely mean the "best x number of pitchers in baseball", where x is somewhere from 5 to 30 based on the opinion of the person using the word. Personally, I think top 15 is accurate as I've previously mentioned.
    Last edited by mtf; 01-03-2013 at 06:43 PM.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtf View Post
    I wouldn't say 100%. It's not like someone can say Phil Hughes is an ace with any degree of legitimacy, just because they can quantify it with "well it's my opinion, so it can't be wrong".



    I didn't say the dictionary needs to be amended, that's not really a case I'm trying to make. If this conversation was in any way definitive in the world of baseball, perhaps it would be changed as a consequence if we could reach an agreement here. All I'm saying is that the word has evolved to loosely mean the "best x number of pitchers in baseball", where x is somewhere from 5 to 30 based on the opinion of the person using the word. Personally, I think top 15 is accurate as I've previously mentioned.
    But that's what remains subjective about it. It remains subjective because anyone can define the term and the amount of pitchers to fit into the definition.

    Why not just keep the definition as it literally stands?

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffy25 View Post
    But that's what remains subjective about it. It remains subjective because anyone can define the term and the amount of pitchers to fit into the definition.
    There's nothing wrong with it being subjective within a small range of legitimate responses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffy25 View Post
    Why not just keep the definition as it literally stands?
    Because the definition you quoted earlier is less accurate than the subjective range that is commonly accepted.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffy25 View Post
    But that's what remains subjective about it. It remains subjective because anyone can define the term and the amount of pitchers to fit into the definition.

    Why not just keep the definition as it literally stands?
    Because that is not how semantics works. I can say whatever I want and have whatever meaning I want with every word I use. I could say, "I have five dollars." What I mean by five is what you would probably call one. I am not wrong. I am simply using a different definition. The only time I can be wrong is if I actually have what you would probably call zero dollars.

    Obviously people mean different things when they say ace, even when it is clear that we are referring to a baseball pitcher. In fact, the range of things (top 5, top 10, top 15 pitchers) will differ and even differ with the same person at different times. The only thing that really matters is what the person meant. That is the only way you can judge if a person is wrong.

    For instance, if a person says an ace is a top 5 pitcher and their own-defined player value system puts pitcher A as the #6 pitcher, then that person would be wrong in saying pitcher A is an ace.

    Yes, this seems all too confusing and not very useful. One thing we can do is use rhetoric to make the context as clear as possible. For instance, you may say "true ace." The other thing we can do is put aside your different definitions and agree on definitions for the sake of the argument. And yes, that means one day you may be referring to an ace as the #1 slotted pitcher in a rotation and other days you refer to it as a top tier pitcher.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrunchyGoodness View Post
    Because that is not how semantics works. I can say whatever I want and have whatever meaning I want with every word I use. I could say, "I have five dollars." What I mean by five is what you would probably call one. I am not wrong. I am simply using a different definition. The only time I can be wrong is if I actually have what you would probably call zero dollars.

    Obviously people mean different things when they say ace, even when it is clear that we are referring to a baseball pitcher. In fact, the range of things (top 5, top 10, top 15 pitchers) will differ and even differ with the same person at different times. The only thing that really matters is what the person meant. That is the only way you can judge if a person is wrong.

    For instance, if a person says an ace is a top 5 pitcher and their own-defined player value system puts pitcher A as the #6 pitcher, then that person would be wrong in saying pitcher A is an ace.

    Yes, this seems all too confusing and not very useful. One thing we can do is use rhetoric to make the context as clear as possible. For instance, you may say "true ace." The other thing we can do is put aside your different definitions and agree on definitions for the sake of the argument. And yes, that means one day you may be referring to an ace as the #1 slotted pitcher in a rotation and other days you refer to it as a top tier pitcher.
    So why not keep the definition of an 'ace' as exactly what it is? The best pitcher on a teams staff, the ace of the staff. And define a top 15-20 pitcher in the game as a top tier pitcher? Everyone knows what you mean, and you are not diluting or changing the definition of the word as it literally stands.


    If we had a commonly accepted variation of the definition of 'ace' then I would agree. But we don't. Broadcasters use it differently in their vernacular, people on here use it differently. If I say this guy is an ace, you have no idea what I mean by the commonly used definitions because there is no set one. He could be the best pitcher in the game, or the 30th best pitcher in the game. What it literally means is that he is the number one pitcher on his staff. So why not cover that exact definition by simply not misusing the current definition of an ace and start saying things like 'top tier' and 'one of the best' when describing front end caliber pitchers? You don't muddy any waters and everybody knows what you mean.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffy25 View Post
    So why not keep the definition of an 'ace' as exactly what it is? The best pitcher on a teams staff, the ace of the staff. And define a top 15-20 pitcher in the game as a top tier pitcher? Everyone knows what you mean, and you are not diluting or changing the definition of the word as it literally stands.


    If we had a commonly accepted variation of the definition of 'ace' then I would agree. But we don't. Broadcasters use it differently in their vernacular, people on here use it differently. If I say this guy is an ace, you have no idea what I mean by the commonly used definitions because there is no set one. He could be the best pitcher in the game, or the 30th best pitcher in the game. What it literally means is that he is the number one pitcher on his staff. So why not cover that exact definition by simply not misusing the current definition of an ace and start saying things like 'top tier' and 'one of the best' when describing front end caliber pitchers? You don't muddy any waters and everybody knows what you mean.
    You can do whatever you want Jeffy. I'm not stopping you. But everyone else can do what they want as well.

    The important thing really isn't being right or wrong. It's being an effective communicator.

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