Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Warren Spahn/Randy Johnson

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Warren Spahn/Randy Johnson

    In our Greatest Pitcher series, Randy Johnson came in ahead of Warren Spahn. I find that - difficult.

    So, to give us a chance to rectify that, I'm hoping to show that voting process was an anomaly. A fluke. A sloppy quirk of fate. So . . .

    I would like to poll us Feverites in this little poll. So . . .

    Who was the greater historical pitcher? Warren Spahn or Randy Johnson?

    Here are their Baseball-Reference Pages.

    Warren Spahn Or . . . Randy Johnson
    40
    Warren Spahn
    40.00%
    16
    Randy Johnson
    50.00%
    20
    Too close to call; It's a draw.
    10.00%
    4
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-09-2008, 11:32 AM.

  • #2
    In order to give some perspective/context, I thought I'd give a little stats comparison.


    -----------x's in Top 5/Wins, #1s------x's in Top 5/Innings, #1s--------Whip, #1s---------ERA+, #1s

    Spahn----------14 times, Won 8----------13 times, Won 4---------9 times, Won 4------5 times, Won 1
    Johnson--------10 times, Won 1-----------8 times, Won 2---------10 times, Won 3-----8 times, Won 6

    If you can't decipher the above information, it merely means this.

    In his career, Spahn came in his leagues' Top 5 in Wins, 14 times, and won the most 8 times. He was in his league's Top 5 in Innings 13 times, and was first 4 times. Etc., etc., etc.

    Hope this helps clarify the respective records of these 2 great lefty pitchers. Both were great. Spahn was greater, and it isn't particularly close.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-11-2008, 06:57 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Top 10 seasons of ERA+

      RaJ:197, 196, 192, 188, 186, 181, 177, 154, 136, 135
      WS:188, 168, 130, 125, 124, 124, 123, 123, 122, 121

      Randy is the only pitcher in history with 7 qualifying seasons better than a 170 ERA+.

      WARPII
      RAJ: 147.9
      WS: 152.7

      One last way to look at it is that Randy Johnson would need to be supplimented with another pitcher with an 84 ERA+ up to the number of innings that Spahn had to equal him in ERA+ and IP. Or Randy would have to have pitched a little under 1400 more innings wth an 84 ERA+.

      That might make Spahn slightly more valuable as an 84 ERA+ is a little better than a raw replacement player. Such a pitcher would win about 42% of his starts.
      Last edited by brett; 03-08-2008, 08:38 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by [email protected]
        Does one stat make a case? I showed 4 stats, to avoid exactly what you just did.

        How many times have we repeated that a single stat can and does mislead?
        Sorry, I tend to want to get data out there and then add to my initial post.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
          In order to give some perspective/context, I thought I'd give a little stats comparison.


          -----------x's in Top 5/Wins, #1s------x's in Top 5/Innings, #1s--------Whip, #1s---------ERA+, #1a

          Spahn----------14 times, Won 8----------13 times, Won 4---------9 times, Won 4------5 times, Won 1
          Johnson--------10 times, Won 1-----------8 times, Won 2---------10 times, Won 3-----8 times, Won 6

          If you can't decipher the above information, it merely means this.

          In his career, Spahn came in his leagues' Top 5 in Wins, 14 times, and won the most 8 times. He was in his league's Top 5 in Innings 13 times, and was first 4 times. Etc., etc., etc.

          Hope this helps clarify the respective records of these 2 great lefty pitchers. Both were great. Spahn was greater, and it isn't particularly close.

          I don't see how saying Randy Johnson led in ERA and WHIP more, no matter how few times, is an indication that he's not even close to Spahn. Seems, if anything, you've just given support to the opposite.

          Spahn had an ERA+ better than 160 twice in his career. Johnson was above that 7 times. 17 times Spahn was below 130 (and was exactly 130 an 18th time) up to Johnson's age last season. Johnson has been so "poor" 7 times.

          Johnson has a MASSIVE strike out advantage (of course that is somewhat skewed by contemporary hitters, but 2033?).

          Like you pointed out, against contemporaries, Johnson led in WHIP and ERA more often. Johnson was ten times in the top five in strikeouts to walks. Spahn was better than 7th three times. Johnson's DERA was under three 8 times. Spahn did that once (barely) and was close really only one other time.

          Sphan has the better career WARP3, but not by a whole heck of a lot. Most importanly, Johnson had the better peak.

          Spahn deserves some credit for being asked to pitch so much, but Johnson also doesn't deserve a huge "penalty" for pitching in an era of different usage.


          It seems needlessly condescending to just dismiss so many opinions as lacking in credibility for holding a differing opinion that has plenty of good support.
          Last edited by philkid3; 03-08-2008, 09:02 AM.
          Hey, this is my public apology for suddenly disappearing and missing out on any projects I may have neglected.

          Comment


          • #6
            Although not a stat expert, maybe there are reasonable explanations to some of these questions.

            For one, it might be easier to separate from one's league in ERA+, if one pitches in an expansion era. Spahn pitched the massive amount of his career before the first expansion teams, Mets/Astros came into existence. In fact, I don't think that the Astros were an expansion team, now that I try to remember it.

            So, Warren was competing with established pitchers, while Randy was contrasting his stats against some newly-promoted minor league pitchers. Does that make any sense at all?

            And since Warren was completing so many of his games, he was forced to conserve himself, so he could go the distance. He was finishing the vast number of his games. So, he was throwing while tiring in the late innings, which doesn't help one's dominance stats, like SO, hits/innings, etc.

            If Randy had had to pitch in Warren's day, he'd have been expected to finish his games, and that might adjust his dominance numbers downward.

            But to be fair, Randy also had the shrunken strike zone to contend with, while Warren did not. And Randy had a juiced ball to cope with too. So, I do acknowledge that Warren had some advantages that Randy didn't.
            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-08-2008, 10:15 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by brett View Post
              Sorry, I tend to want to get data out there and then add to my initial post.
              Oh. OK. That is valid. I do that too a lot. Do I get any cheese with my wine?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
                Although not a stat expert, maybe there are reasonable explanations to some of these questions.

                For one, it might be easier to separate from one's league in ERA+, if one pitches in an expansion era. Spahn pitched the massive amount of his career before the first expansion teams, Mets/Astros came into existence. In fact, I don't think that the Astros were an expansion team, now that I try to remember it.

                So, Warren was competing with established pitchers, while Randy was contrasting his stats against some newly-promoted minor league pitchers. Does that make any sense at all?
                Yes, that does indeed make sense. But couldn't the explination also be that Randy Johnson was better?

                I'm not saying Spahn > Johnson is outrageous. I'm saying Johnson > Spahn isn't outrageous.
                Hey, this is my public apology for suddenly disappearing and missing out on any projects I may have neglected.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by philkid3 View Post
                  Yes, that does indeed make sense. But couldn't the explination also be that Randy Johnson was better?

                  I'm not saying Spahn > Johnson is outrageous. I'm saying Johnson > Spahn isn't outrageous.
                  It is possible that Randy Johnson was the better pitcher. But what I'm saying is that if we say that, we willl probably be the first ones to say it.

                  I'm not trying to put down Randy. I'm trying to prevent Spahn from sliding down the scale, now that he's dead, and has no one to defend his case. Randy is current, has many who have seen him, and few remember how Warren was such an exquisite, thinking man's pitcher.

                  He once said that there was an idea behind every pitch he ever threw. He changed up his speeds, threw at different arm angles. It seemed to hitters as though he had many pitches, because he used different speeds, arm angles, deliveries. He was also great at defense, covering first, and even hit well, for a pitcher.

                  One of his best assets was his ability to consume an inordinate percentage of his teams innings.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Bill, I have enormous respect and appreciation for you and all that you contribute to these forums. But the first and 10th post of this thread don't mesh. You can't say
                    In our Greatest Pitcher series, Randy Johnson came in ahead of Warren Spahn. I find that incredible, as in it lacks credibility.

                    But just to show how warm and generous I am, I want to give us a chance to prove that that voting process was an anomaly. A fluke. A sloppy quirk of fate. So . . .
                    And also say
                    It is possible that Randy Johnson was the better pitcher.
                    They contradict each other. The first says that you feel there's no way Randy is better than Spahn. In the second, you admit it's possible Randy is better. I understand that it's quite possible that you simply miscommunicated - everyone does it. But you should edit one post or the other.

                    For one, it might be easier to separate from one's league in ERA+, if one pitches in an expansion era. Spahn pitched the massive amount of his career before the first expansion teams, Mets/Astros came into existence. In fact, I don't think that the Astros were an expansion team, now that I try to remember it.

                    So, Warren was competing with established pitchers, while Randy was contrasting his stats against some newly-promoted minor league pitchers. Does that make any sense at all?

                    And since Warren was completing so many of his games, he was forced to conserve himself, so he could go the distance. He was finishing the vast number of his games. So, he was throwing while tiring in the late innings, which doesn't help one's dominance stats, like SO, hits/innings, etc.

                    If Randy had had to pitch in Warren's day, he'd have been expected to finish his games, and that might adjust his dominance numbers downward.

                    But to be fair, Randy also had the shrunken strike zone to contend with, while Warren did not. And Randy had a juiced ball to cope with too. So, I do acknowledge that Warren had some advantages that Randy didn't.
                    While it's true that Randy faced expansion teams, the US population has increased, and players are being brought in from other countries. I'm fairly sure the increase in the size of the player pool offsets the extra number of teams.

                    Also, Randy didn't only have to contend with a juiced ball, but juiced players...

                    Brett's comment about someone needing 84 ERA+ to make up for the IP Randy lacked is quite intriguing, but I'd point out that a decent amount of that is due to era - IMO Randy pitched in more of a hitter's era, which leads to less IP.
                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDxgNjMTPIs

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Wade8813 View Post
                      Bill, I have enormous respect and appreciation for you and all that you contribute to these forums. But the first and 10th post of this thread don't mesh. You can't say

                      And also say
                      They contradict each other. The first says that you feel there's no way Randy is better than Spahn. In the second, you admit it's possible Randy is better. I understand that it's quite possible that you simply miscommunicated - everyone does it. But you should edit one post or the other.
                      Well, I could go back and edit one post to bring them into sync, or, we can leave them up, to provoke discussion.
                      Originally posted by Wade8813 View Post
                      While it's true that Randy faced expansion teams, the US population has increased, and players are being brought in from other countries. I'm fairly sure the increase in the size of the player pool offsets the extra number of teams.

                      Also, Randy didn't only have to contend with a juiced ball, but juiced players...

                      Brett's comment about someone needing 84 ERA+ to make up for the IP Randy lacked is quite intriguing, but I'd point out that a decent amount of that is due to era - IMO Randy pitched in more of a hitter's era, which leads to less IP.
                      OK. I'll explain. My first post alleges that ranking Warren over Randy is indeed my opinion. But it is simply that. One man's opinion. I believe my opinion has as much credibility as anyone else's, but it is still just my opinion. And needs to be taken as such.

                      I later admit that Randy might be the better pitcher. That too is an opinion. Just one I don't happen to share. But all the opinions that I don't share might be right and I might be wrong on all my opinions.

                      Since I was born, many of my life axioms have been disproven.

                      1. The Catholic Church is the one true, religion.
                      2. I thought I'd marry early in life and stay married to one woman my entire life.
                      3. My Dad was a US army Sergent. He believed that if he put steak, milk, bread, cheese, eggs, etc. on his family's table, he was doing his job well. All have been said to be unnecessary for good health.
                      4. I once believed that honesty is the best policy. Came to find out later, that diplomacy was better, in most cases.
                      5. Once thought that all the best people went to heaven. Highly skeptical now.
                      6. Once thought that it was impossible to pitch better than Sandy Koufax, or Nolan Ryan. Now I can't rank either in my Top 10 Pitchers.
                      7. Once thought that after Pie Traynor, Brooks Robinson was the greatest 3Bman who could ever play the position.
                      8. Once believed that certain close 'friends' would be with me till the end of my journey. Today, they are long gone. Of their own accord.
                      9. Once believed that the 10 Commandments were inflexible and self-evident. Come to find out they have loopholes and exceptions. Takes a sharp lawyer to interpret them now.
                      10. I once believed my country and government were almost always right. How could I have ever been so naive?

                      See? Opinions, even the deepest, most profoundly-held, are only that. Hope I've made a point somewhere in that dung heap above.
                      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-08-2008, 08:57 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
                        9. Once believed that the 10 Commandments were inflexible and self-evident. Come to find out they have loopholes and exceptions. Takes a sharp lawyer to interpret them now.
                        Nah, just takes a sharp lawyer to break them h:dismay:
                        Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
                        Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
                          Randy is current, has many who have seen him, and few remember how Warren was such an exquisite, thinking man's pitcher.
                          And that's your key, here. WHIP and K's measure dominance and overwhelming stuff, not the art of pitching, which is something that isn't really respected or appreciated very much today.

                          Like I've said before, if the current crop of fans and writers were in place in the 70's, Ryan would have several Cy Youngs and Carlton, Seaver and Palmer likely would not have been as esteemed as they (justly) were and are. They would probably be struggling for historical recognition the way Fergie Jenkins and Blyleven currently are.

                          If taken literally, your question has only one answer, and that's Spahn, who was a complete pitcher who gave his team a chance to win every time out. If the queation is who was more dominant (a word I'm beginning to really loathe) or who had the biggest intimidation factor or any number of other similar quesrtion, then Johnson's probably the answer.
                          3 6 10 21 29 31 35 41 42 44 47

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
                            Well, I could go back and edit one post to bring them into sync, or, we can leave them up, to provoke discussion.

                            OK. I'll explain. My first post alleges that ranking Randy over Warren is indeed my opinion. But it is simply that. One man's opinion. I believe my opinion has as much credibility as anyone else's, but it is still just my opinion. And needs to be taken as such.

                            I later admit that Randy might be the better pitcher. That too is an opinion. Just one I don't happen to share. But all the opinions that I don't share might be right and I might be wrong on all my opinions.

                            Since I was born, many of my life axioms have been disproven.

                            1. The Catholic Church is the one true, religion.
                            2. I thought I'd marry early in life and stay married to one woman my entire life.
                            3. My Dad was a US army Sergent. He believed that if he put steak, milk, bread, cheese, eggs, etc. on his family's table, he was doing his job well. All have been said to be unnecessary for good health.
                            4. I once believed that honesty is the best policy. Came to find out later, that diplomacy was better, in most cases.
                            5. Once thought that all the best people went to heaven. Highly skeptical now.
                            6. Once thought that it was impossible to pitch better than Sandy Koufax, or Nolan Ryan. Now I can't rank either in my Top 10 Pitchers.
                            7. Once thought that after Pie Traynor, Brooks Robinson was the greatest 3Bman who could ever play the position.
                            8. Once believed that certain close 'friends' would be with me till the end of my journey. Today, they are long gone. Of their own accord.
                            9. Once believed that the 10 Commandments were inflexible and self-evident. Come to find out they have loopholes and exceptions. Takes a sharp lawyer to interpret them now.
                            10. I once believed my country and government were almost always right. How could I have ever been so naive?

                            See? Opinions, even the deepest, most profoundly-held, are only that. Hope I've made a point somewhere in that dung heap above.
                            Its ok. Just 3 months ago I thought that Willie Mays might be better than Ty Cobb.

                            I used to think Joe Montana was the greatest NFL quarterback-now I rank him #5 at best, prehaps out of the top 10.

                            5 years ago, I thought that the 10 greatest baseball players of all time had to be:

                            Ruth, Foxx, Gehrig, Williams, Musial, Mays, Aaron, Cobb, Hornsby and Dimaggio
                            Last edited by brett; 03-08-2008, 04:30 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I will add this on Spahn's behalf. It has been clearly demonstrated that pitchers get hit relatively harder the third and fourth time they face the same batters in a game. To that extent, innings per start ARE important.

                              If one guy pitches 8 1/3 on average, he will be facing perhaps 19 batters for the third time or more in the game.

                              If another guy pitchers 7 1/3 he will be facing perhaps only 14-15 batters for the 3rd+ time in the game.

                              It DOES take a brain to get the same guys out for the third time.

                              Comment

                              Ad Widget

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X