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Roger Clemens vs. Nolan Ryan?

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  • Nolan was great but him never winning a Cy Young and possibly not having a 20 K game (even though he had 3 19 K games in one season) hurts him a bit. Probably the starting pitcher on the all durable team in the live ball era with Gehrig at first and Ripken at shortstop.

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    • Clemens hit the juice when he went to Toronto in 1997. If you look at what he did in Boston, he was a great pitcher, potentially one of the best of all-time, but his career was winding down. I think without PEDs, he would have been considered great, but lacking the longevity to be a top 10 all-time Starting Pitcher.

      A lot of people are religiously tied to the numbers, which is natural given that it's black and white data. But I look at Ryan as a special case. His pitching numbers will never hold up because of the walks, but the man threw the 7 no hitters, 12 1-hitters, and 18 2-hitters. Yes he was wilder than anyone, but more intimidating than anyone ever.

      Clemens was better at pitching, but Ryan was a better Starting Pitcher in my opinion. The longevity without PEDs, the ridiculous K records and no-hitters... One game to win with clean Clemens, good luck. One game to win with Ryan any year between '72 and '91... he might just walk out of the building with another painted baseball. Ryan had the potential every single night to completely take over.

      I vote Ryan

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      • Don't you think even with "normal" training methods that Clemens could have resurrected his career? It's not impossible is it?
        46 wins to match last year's total

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        • Originally posted by Sabo-metrics View Post
          Clemens hit the juice when he went to Toronto in 1997. If you look at what he did in Boston, he was a great pitcher, potentially one of the best of all-time, but his career was winding down. I think without PEDs, he would have been considered great, but lacking the longevity to be a top 10 all-time Starting Pitcher.

          A lot of people are religiously tied to the numbers, which is natural given that it's black and white data. But I look at Ryan as a special case. His pitching numbers will never hold up because of the walks, but the man threw the 7 no hitters, 12 1-hitters, and 18 2-hitters. Yes he was wilder than anyone, but more intimidating than anyone ever.

          Clemens was better at pitching, but Ryan was a better Starting Pitcher in my opinion. The longevity without PEDs, the ridiculous K records and no-hitters... One game to win with clean Clemens, good luck. One game to win with Ryan any year between '72 and '91... he might just walk out of the building with another painted baseball. Ryan had the potential every single night to completely take over.

          I vote Ryan
          Big assumption that Ryan did so without PED's
          "Batting stats and pitching stats do not indicate the quality of play, merely which part of that struggle is dominant at the moment."

          -Bill James

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          • That is indeed a big assumption. It's casually accepted by a chunk of people that Ryan was on PEDs in Texas.
            46 wins to match last year's total

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            • I had heard it mentioned once before, and the late career success does put up a flag in my mind...

              I guess I personally don't think Ryan used PEDs, but I'd be curious to know if anyone has had the guts to ask him to his face.

              * He also has the record for 3-hitters with 31!

              Nolan Ryan threw 69 complete games where he allowed three or fewer hits. That’s more than Roger Clemens … and Pedro Martinez … and Randy Johnson. COMBINED.

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