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Roger Clemens vs. Nolan Ryan?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by FlashGordon
    I understand that XX considers Ryan "the most overrated pitcher of all time," and therefore might take it as a personal crusade to see to it that others feel the same way; but in the end, most of the discussion will always be purely academic. I truly became a baseball fan when Clemens was the Red Sox ace and never forgave Duquette for giving up on him. That said, I still bear a grudge that it took that kind of a dope slap to get the Rocket to start producing to his full potential again. I just don't think it's fair to Nolan Ryan to suggest that he isn't fit to polish Clemens' cleats.
    Personal crusade?! I haven't really said much in this thread other than point out the walks. I was just trying to get more viewpoints on this discussion, and I have made very little effort to impress an opinion here.

    By overrated I meant that the average baseball fan probably considers Ryan one of the handful of best pitchers ever, when I believe he's actually closer to around 20th. Like I said in the Red Sox thread, in the grand scheme of things, 18th-22nd best is tremendous and certainly places Ryan among the elite, but when you begin to scrutinize the pitchers at that level, I think noticeable differences emerge and that there is a big difference between the 5 or 10 best ever and guys 10-15 spots lower. So IMO, there is a noticeable difference in a pitcher who is arguably the greatest ever, and certainly among the top 5 (Clemens), and a pitcher that falls 15-20 spots lower (Ryan), especially when most people automatically put Ryan in the top 5 or 10.

    Like I said in the Red Sox thread, the basic difference between Ryan and Clemens is that Ryan was great at dominating games, Clemens was great at dominating seasons.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by DoubleX
      Personal crusade?! I haven't really said much in this thread other than point out the walks. I was just trying to get more viewpoints on this discussion, and I have made very little effort to impress an opinion here.

      By overrated I meant that the average baseball fan probably considers Ryan one of the handful of best pitchers ever, when I believe he's actually closer to around 20th. Like I said in the Red Sox thread, in the grand scheme of things, 18th-22nd best is tremendous and certainly places Ryan among the elite, but when you begin to scrutinize the pitchers at that level, I think noticeable differences emerge and that there is a big difference between the 5 or 10 best ever and guys 10-15 spots lower. So IMO, there is a noticeable difference in a pitcher who is arguably the greatest ever, and certainly among the top 5 (Clemens), and a pitcher that falls 15-20 spots lower (Ryan), especially when most people automatically put Ryan in the top 5 or 10.
      Crusade? I better not tell him that Ryan's not in my top 35
      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

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      • #18
        Yes, I agree. If the poll question were "who would I rather pay money to pitch?" it would be Ryan hands down. However, I think putting in the top 20 is excessively generous. We're talking about a pitcher who was not only unworthy of Cy Young consideration in most seasons, but was also the second or third best pitcher on his team in his seasons.

        Ryan's record is an impressive streak of longevity, but if you're talking about "greatest" in any meaningful way then he shouldn't be included in the discussion.
        I am the author of "Checks and Imbalances" and "The State of Baseball Management."

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        • #19
          I think these are the players I'd rank ahead of Ryan (not quite in order):

          Walter Johnson
          Roger Clemens
          Lefty Grove
          Greg Maddux
          Pete Alexander
          Cy Young
          Tom Seaver
          Randy Johnson
          Christy Mathewson
          Warren Spahn
          Pedro Martinez
          Carl Hubbell
          Bob Feller
          Steve Carlton
          Bob Gison
          Sandy Koufax
          Whitey Ford
          Jim Palmer
          Mordecai Brown
          Juan Marichal

          I'm iffy on Marichal, so Ryan is looking like 20th or 21st in my rankings. I can also see arguments in favor of Kid Nichols, Gaylord Perry, Robin Roberts, Fergie Jenkins, Eddie Plank, Stan Coveleski, and even Tom Glavine and Bert Blyleven. So I suppose with some convincing arguments, I could see dropping Ryan to closer to 30th.
          Last edited by DoubleX; 03-14-2006, 12:36 PM.

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          • #20
            Alright...who here voted for Ryan so I can beat them over the head.

            Dudes...this ain't even close.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by FlashGordon
              To reframe this discussion away from the simplicity of a "who's better" vote, the original discussion was whether or not Clemens vs. Nolan Ryan was, as DoubleX put it, "a matter of night and day."

              At no point did I ever try to argue that Ryan was a better pitcher than Clemens, only that trying to claim that Ryan was nowhere near Clemens' class was an unjust underestimation of his achievements and contributions. I mean we're not comparing Mike Stanley and Clemens here. In fact, the roster of Cy Young winners is filled with names of one-hit wonders who were nowhere near Ryan's class, let alone Clemens. As we approach the summit of baseball's best, the air gets rarified and the numbers are huge. Ryan holds all kinds of distinctions that Clemens never will, which does not have to take away from Roger's legacy anymore than Roger should detract from Ryan's.

              I understand that XX considers Ryan "the most overrated pitcher of all time," and therefore might take it as a personal crusade to see to it that others feel the same way; but in the end, most of the discussion will always be purely academic. I truly became a baseball fan when Clemens was the Red Sox ace and never forgave Duquette for giving up on him. That said, I still bear a grudge that it took that kind of a dope slap to get the Rocket to start producing to his full potential again. I just don't think it's fair to Nolan Ryan to suggest that he isn't fit to polish Clemens' cleats.
              Clemens is the only pitcher to win 7 Cy Youngs, I don't think ANYBODY will ever do that again. Thats his #1 record, just as amazing as Nolans 5000k


              Ryan never won one.

              Comment


              • #22
                I'm a big Ryan fan myself, but you've got to be kidding yourself if you even suggest that he was better than Clemens.

                Let's just go down the list and see how they compare:

                Clemens had 90+ walks three times in his career, only topping 100 once (106 in 1996). Ryan on the other hand, has a 162 game average of 120, and topped 150 walks 5 times, including topping 200 walks TWICE!
                Edge: Clemens - by far

                Sure Ryan had more SO's, but Clemens was a decent SO guy himself, leading 5 times and was 2nd five times, and is second all-time (though still behind by a fair margin).
                Edge: Ryan

                Endurance: Nolan Ryan was able to play for 27 years, and throw nearly 5400 innings - both amazing feats. But Clemens isn't that far behind, having pitched 22 years, and 4700 innings, and much of the difference in innings is due to the 5 man rotation, and therefor fewer innings for him to pitch each season, but in actuality, Clemens averages more IP per 162 than Ryan (238-231), and he led twice in innings (Ryan only led once), and was in the top 10 more often (12 times, to Ryans 9).
                Edge: Tie

                How about taking a look at ERA+? This isn't even close. Ryan has an ERA+ of 112, which is decent, especially considering the length of his career. But Clemens has an astounding 143 ERA+. So Clemens beath Ryan by 31 points - 31 points!!! That's not a couple points that can be broken down as due to decline and era, it's just too big a gap to bridge. In fact, Ryan only surpasses Clemens' career ERA+ of 143 ONCE in his career, with a showing of 196 in the strike shortened year of 1981, in which he only pitched 149 innings - but as good as that is, Clemens has 3 other seasons in which he had an ERA+ better than Ryans, and he pitched no less than 210 innings in each of those seasons.
                Edge: Clemens - by far again

                I could also go into Wins, where even though Clemens has pitched around 700 fewer innings, has nearly 20 more wins, and at a much better winning percentage (.665-.526), and how Ryan has 120 more losses than Clemens, and is 3rd all-time in that category. And that Clemens has led in wins 4 times (2nd twice), while Ryan was never in the top 2, although I will say that Clemens has played on betters teams, so this isn't the best metric, but it sure fits along with everything else.
                Edge: Clemens

                Or I could mention that Clemens won 7 ERA titles (second only to Lefty Grove - 9), including an amazing 1.87 ERA last year, at the age of 42!!! Ryan only won 2, and one was in the strike shortened 1981 season.

                How about the 7 Cy Youngs that Clemens has won, or his MVP? And he was third 2 other times, and 2nd one other time. Ryan did make it into the top 5 for the Cy Young 6 times in his career, and even came in 2nd, but that was it, and was never top 10 in MVP voting, and only top 15 once.

                Really, it is clear to me that Clemens is ahead by a HUGE margin, and if it took me writing this to make that clear, that is sad, but I am glad I could help.
                Last edited by Edgartohof; 03-14-2006, 12:55 PM.

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                • #23
                  The thing is, no one legitimately said they were on equal footing, the reason for this poll.
                  This was not worth a poll.
                  Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
                  Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
                  Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
                  Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
                  Robin Bill Ernie JEDI

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Captain Cold Nose
                    This was not worth a poll.
                    But if you wanna make absolutely sure, we could take a po.:grouchy
                    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


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Captain Cold Nose
                      The thing is, no one legitimately said they were on equal footing, the reason for this poll.
                      This was not worth a poll.
                      Why not? I think there are plenty of people out there who see this as a a much closer comparison then some of us see it. I was hoping a poll would ferret out some of those people so we could have a good discussion about Ryan/Clemens.

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                      • #26
                        take a po?

                        Hmm...this poll is worth about as much as po......LOL

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          This poll needs to be public - we need to see who is voting for Ryan.

                          And no, this is not a close poll, nor should it be - it's already 29-2, and it should be 31-0, but oh well.

                          And I'm pretty generous when it comes to him, as I have him ranked comparatiely high at 15th, but I have Clemens as my #2 guy, so those 13 slots make for a huge gap, as he needs to pass other greats first such as Seaver, Spahn, Maddux and Grove, before he begins to go for the Rocket.
                          Last edited by Edgartohof; 03-14-2006, 01:07 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by RuthMayBond
                            But if you wanna make absolutely sure, we could take a po.:grouchy
                            We can take a poll on what the next poll should be.
                            Lou Brock or Rickey Henderson?
                            Pete Rose or Ty Cobb?
                            Mark McGwire or Hank Aaron?

                            We've had too many polls of late that in no way would this most informed electorate keep it a close vote.
                            Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
                            Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
                            Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
                            Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
                            Robin Bill Ernie JEDI

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens are two great pitchers. But you have to go with Roger Clemens. He has a 341-172 record with a 3.12 era. Nolan Ryan had a 324-292 record with a 3.57 era. Has 100 more losses than clemens. Nolan Ryan has 7 no hitters but Clemens has 7 cy youngs and ryan never won even one. Nolan has 1000 more stikeouts then Clemens though but clemens is much better. look at the black ink, grey ink, hof moniter and hof standerds on Baseball referance

                              (Clemens)
                              Black Ink: Pitching - 100 (5) (Average HOFer ~ 40)
                              Gray Ink: Pitching - 314 (8) (Average HOFer ~ 185)
                              HOF Standards: Pitching - 72.0 (5) (Average HOFer ~ 50)
                              HOF Monitor: Pitching - 326.0 (3) (Likely HOFer > 100)
                              Overall Rank in parentheses.

                              (Ryans)
                              Black Ink: Pitching - 84 (10) (Average HOFer ~ 40)
                              Gray Ink: Pitching - 251 (18) (Average HOFer ~ 185)
                              HOF Standards: Pitching - 55.0 (27) (Average HOFer ~ 50)
                              HOF Monitor: Pitching - 257.5 (8) (Likely HOFer > 100)
                              Overall Rank in parentheses.

                              Both impressive but you can see who is the most dominant.
                              go sox.

                              Pigskin-Fever

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Clemens and it isnt even close. Clemens best modern pitcher, and one of the ten best ever. Nolan ryan is a joke, he's not even a top 25 pitcher ever.

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