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Roger Clemens vs. Nolan Ryan?

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  • #91
    I really, REALLY don't want to think so. I have the guy as my #2 all-time pitcher, behind only the man who somehow won nine ERA titles in an artificially shortened career which was played entirely in hitters' paradises (i.e., Grove). I've been a huge Clemens fan for 2 decades, and I'd hate to find out he's a fraud. But if he is, I hope it's like Bonds--i.e., he had a legitimately awesome, Hall of Fame career for a great many years, and only joined the "club" at the end.

    Anyway, as I said, there is NO circumstantial evidence--in the sense that I'm willing to accept--of Clemens' guilt. His head isn't twice as big. He doesn't have heart fibrillations. He isn't suddenly the size of Mark McGwire, with titanic muscles. As far as I'm concerned, he's clean and even the 7th of those titles was legit. If it wasn't, the other 6th still were and that's STILL one more than any pitcher in the history of MLB except the incomparable Lefty Grove.

    BHN

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    • #92
      I agree with just about everything you said. The sheer number or era titles for both of them is like Ruth's HR titles or Cobb's batting titles, almost too many to understand.
      I fluctuate between Grove and WJ as #1 all time, but for me Clemens is right behind those 2.

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      • #93
        Originally posted by BaseballHistoryNut
        He isn't suddenly the size of Mark McGwire, with titanic muscles. As far as I'm concerned, he's clean and even the 7th of those titles was legit. If it wasn't, the other 6th still were and that's STILL one more than any pitcher in the history of MLB except the incomparable Lefty Grove.
        Not going to speculate or accuse Roger of anything...but if there's one thing this whole mess should have taught us, its that there isn't one specific "body type" to look for.

        Not every hitter who uses steroids or HGH is going to see the same results as Bonds allegedly did. Raffy wasn't going to end up like Bonds no matter how many weights he lifted, because he was taking a certain type and amount to achieve his desired goals. And in the end, that's what its all about. What does the player want to get from them. Raffy apparently didn't want to beef up. He wanted lean strength with endurance help to remain fresh through the long grind; something paramount at his age. Then, a guy like Sanchez would most likely work-out his legs primarily, and he would become more explosive and have more endurance with that explosiveness.

        So to just say that Roger's head hasn't increased in size, or that he hasn't turned into the incredible hulk, therefore he's innocent..well..I can't get with that. Different amounts, different types, different workouts on different body parts...all geared for the player to meet his goals. My opinion, is that at most, a pitcher can add anywhere from 3-5 mph on his fastball by strengthening crucial muscles in the legs and torso, while keeping things flexible in the shoulder/forearm area by sticking with high reps/lower weight. Stamina and recovery time is the big benefit.

        Even at that...I would say the game favors the hitters by at least 70/30 right now, and even a steroid pitcher against a clean hitter doesn't have a level playing field. Maybe goes to 55/45 at best. When you throw an already great hitter on the stuff, to quote Donnie Brasco, fugedaboudit. Pitchers have no shot because of conditions of the game. Hitters margin of error skyrockets, pitchers think the answer is to throw harder not smarter, and they feed right into the hands of these muscle-heads holding rocket launchers.

        And we also can't assume that just because someone was more careful/discreet, and doesn't have ties to Balco or some other place, that they're completely innocent. Where does that leave us? Can we trust anyone? Bud/Fehr didn't leave us with much of a choice.

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        • #94
          I agree with all of this, but I'm not going to say that his numbers last year, in and of themselves, constitute circumstantial evidence of guilt. I don't know of anything except his numbers which anyone can lean on.

          Can you imagine, if they'd had steroids in baseball in the late 1930's, what they'd have said about Grove's winning FOUR e.r.a. titles after age 35 in Fenway?

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          • #95
            Originally posted by KCGHOST
            This is one of those polls that should lead to revocation of BBF posting privileges if you get it wrong.
            LOL

            Roger Clemens, and it isn't even close.
            28 year SABR member.

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            • #96
              Probably a lot of people are voting for Clemens because he is still playing and his career exploits are still fresh in most people's minds. I voted for Ryan because I think he was a little better. If someone were to magically give me the choice, do you want Roger Clemens in his prime or Nolan Ryan in his prime for your pitcher on your baseball team, I would say Nolan Ryan.

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              • #97
                Originally posted by Seattle1
                Probably a lot of people are voting for Clemens because he is still playing and his career exploits are still fresh in most people's minds. I voted for Ryan because I think he was a little better. If someone were to magically give me the choice, do you want Roger Clemens in his prime or Nolan Ryan in his prime for your pitcher on your baseball team, I would say Nolan Ryan.
                Now, I like Seattle1, but I don't play favorites as a moderator. How does three days sound?
                Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
                Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
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                Robin Bill Ernie JEDI

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                • #98
                  Originally posted by Seattle1
                  Probably a lot of people are voting for Clemens because he is still playing and his career exploits are still fresh in most people's minds. I voted for Ryan because I think he was a little better. If someone were to magically give me the choice, do you want Roger Clemens in his prime or Nolan Ryan in his prime for your pitcher on your baseball team, I would say Nolan Ryan.
                  Clemens beats Ryan in everything from ERA+ to won/lost to winning in postseason, so why do you think Ryan is better?

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                  • #99
                    Originally posted by four tool
                    Clemens beats Ryan in everything from ERA+ to won/lost to winning in postseason, so why do you think Ryan is better?
                    But the thing about Ryan is he excelled on poorer teams in general than Clemens has had the privilege of pitching for his whole career. Plus he threw seven no-hitters spanning from the early 70s to the early 90s (when he was in his mid-40's). Plus longetivity. If he had played on playoff caliber teams every year, maybe he would have won 400 games!

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                    • so who would you be more afraid of facing?

                      Clemens is not afraid to brush you back and bean you, and neither was Ryan, but Ryan also had control problems which meant he may hit you without trying. And the difference is Clemens hitting 96 and Ryan hitting 100.
                      "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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                      • Originally posted by Captain Cold Nose
                        Now, I like Seattle1, but I don't play favorites as a moderator. How does three days sound?
                        I'm a criminal defense attorney, and thus leniently disposed toward those who commit "crimes"? But how does life imprisonment without the possibility of parole sound?

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                        • Be afraid of Ryan because of his lack of control, but Ryan lost a lot of 3-2 games, so Clemens is more dangerous, he won more often when he had to and lost a higher % to bad relief than Ryan did. Ryan had a lot of opportunites to win and somehow managed not to--not the team's fault.

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                          • Originally posted by Captain Cold Nose
                            Now, I like Seattle1, but I don't play favorites as a moderator. How does three days sound?

                            Three days?

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                            • Originally posted by barzilla
                              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.
                              Not in terms of personality, but in terms of on-field performance, Nolan Ryan was the Dave Kingman of pitchers. And I find it hard to believe this thread is anything other than facetious.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by BaseballHistoryNut
                                Not in terms of personality, but in terms of on-field performance, Nolan Ryan was the Dave Kingman of pitchers. And I find it hard to believe this thread is anything other than facetious.
                                Oh I KNEW there would be people that would vote for Ryan. Just think back to that silly All Century Team - and that wasn't that long ago.
                                28 year SABR member.

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