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Roger Clemens- The Greatest Pitcher Ever?

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  • leecemark
    replied
    --Chris, I don't know that comprehensive (or any at all) pitch count data exists from the deadball era. If there is evidence that Mathewson was wrong I'd be interested in seeing it, but he did pitch alot of games and see many more in that era. He is well known for both his intelligence and honesty. If I had to pick one source on deadball pitching, I think Christy would be as good as anyone. However, we don't need to rely on just him. Every account I've read that addressed the subject said pretty much the same thing as what I attributed to Matty.
    --I think if you're saying Clemens couldn't have survived the workload in the deadball period, you're in effect saying no modern pitcher could. He has worked more innings than anybody else in the last 25 years. Guess there just aren't any real men working the mound anymore, eh?

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  • nolanryan5714
    replied
    Originally posted by csh19792001
    David,
    Of course I'm fine with that! I just don't know how to change your vote to Clemens... maybe the Mods can do it.
    Chris, I'm a Mod.
    Although I changed (with an edit) my vote, I don't think I can change my name being in the first choice I picked. Therefore, it looks as if I still voted "No."

    I appreciate the backing.
    This is a really good thread.

    Leave a comment:


  • Blackout
    replied
    Originally posted by BoSox Rule
    It would be nearly impossbile for Pedro not to retire as the ERA+ leader.
    If Mariano Rivera makes it to 1000 innings then the title will be his

    Leave a comment:


  • BoSox Rule
    replied
    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules
    Who's Bobby?
    That's me.

    Leave a comment:


  • csh19792001
    replied
    Originally posted by nolanryan5714
    After carefully reading through the arguments put forward in this thread, I would take it into consideration to change my vote.

    The best argument for him being the greatest of all time, IMO, is that *indeed* the adjustments over the changing decades have been calculated into Roger's totals.
    (Very good presentations, BoSox Rule.)

    As for him being "predictable" after 7 innings, no way do I agree with that.
    Outing before last, he threw 5 or 6 straight fastballs in the 7th when I thought (along with the commentators) he wouldn't dare. Result? Another K!

    [I have edited the poll in order to change my vote. Although I'm not sure that this is acceptable, I will PM both csh19792001 and the forum mod to make sure.]
    David,
    Of course I'm fine with that! I just don't know how to change your vote to Clemens... maybe the Mods can do it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Honus Wagner Rules
    replied
    Originally posted by [email protected]
    Bobby,

    "I asked this question in another thread. If Clemens reaches 400 wins would he be the greatest ever? I think the battle is between Clemens, Walter Johnson, and Grove for the greatest ever... "

    Even if Roger reaches the statistically important figure of 400 wins, I still can't see how he can claim the #1 position.

    ---------------innings-------ERA+-------SHO-------W-L
    WJ-------------5914-------146----------110------417-279
    RC-------------4493-------141-----------46------328-164

    So where do I see Roger's superiority projected. He has far fewer innings, with worse ERA+. I allow that he would have fewer shutous, fewer CG, but he pitched in an era with more SO, when other pitchers lasted longer.

    The Big Train has better W-L records with worse teams, and fewer pitches to work with. This required his one great pitch to be more dominant per his era, which he managed to pull off. So how can a pitcher with better teams but worse records be called the better pitcher. I don't understand how such contradictions can exist.


    Bill Burgess
    Who's Bobby?

    The eras are quite different. You seem to be giving the Big Train points for pitching more innings but somehow are "explaining away" Clemens huge lead in Ks in far few innings as "well, everyone strikes out a lot these days". Can't the same be said about The big Train's innings total? Many pitchers in Johnson's era pitched a huge number of innings. Johnson did have two 300 K seaons but needed a lot more innings to to get them. I was wondering if the AL hitters had adjusted to Johnson somewhat? He had his 300+ K seasons at age 22 and age 24. Because of the eras Johnson was able to have many more starts per season. Clemens' career high in starts is only 36. Johnson had 11 seasons of at least 36 starts. However, Clemens will probably end up with more career starts than Johnson! Johnson made 666 starts in his career. Clemens has 643 starts as of 4/24/05. Also Clemens K/BB ratio is 2.97 to Johnson's 2.57. Another difference is that Johnson had 136 relief appearances while Clemens has had only one career relief appearance which was in his rookie year, 1984. I wonder how many relief wins did Johnson "vulture" in his career? Does anyone know the answer to that? Johnson was able to pat his career wins total in a way that Clemens was not able to because of the strategies of ealy 20th century major league baseball.

    I believe we'll have to wait until Clemens retires to really see where he stands.
    Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 04-24-2005, 05:49 PM.

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  • Bill Burgess
    replied
    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules
    I asked this question in another thread. If Clemens reaches 400 wins would he be the greatest ever? I think the battle is between Clemens, Walter Johnson, and Grove for the greatest ever...
    Adam,
    Even if Roger reaches the statistically important figure of 400 wins, I still can't see how he can claim the #1 position.

    ---------------innings-------ERA+-------SHO-------W-L
    WJ-------------5914-------146----------110------417-279
    RC-------------4493-------141-----------46------328-164

    So where do I see Roger's superiority projected? He has far fewer innings, with worse ERA+. I allow that he would have fewer shutous, fewer CG, but he pitched in an era with more SO, when other pitchers lasted longer.

    The Big Train has better W-L records with worse teams, and fewer pitches to work with. This required his one great pitch to be more dominant per his era, which he managed to pull off. So how can a pitcher with better teams but worse records be called the better pitcher. How can such contradictions can exist?

    Bill Burgess
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-21-2006, 04:05 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Honus Wagner Rules
    replied
    Originally posted by csh19792001
    Someone awhile back mentioned their disdain for the type of baseball fandom that only espouse "legends" to be guys in sepia-toned photographs wearing big baggy uniforms. That overly nostalgic feeling seems to prevail amongst many of us, but I think we're watching one of the greatest "legends" of them all- still pitching today. Had Bonds not ruined it with steroids, I would personally feel the same way about him.

    Clemens, age 42, threw seven more shutout innings tonight to extend his scoreless streak to 23 consecutive innings- incredibly, the Astros have failed to score a run in 25 of his 28 innings pitched, so his record is 1-0 with a 0.32 ERA and 32Ks vs. 6 walks. Ironically, the last time Clemens had any run support at all was when he drove in his own runs, with a two-run single on April 8.

    Clemens is in uncharted waters- this is a man who pitched under the 5 man rotation, and has 329 wins- with some luck and continued excellence, he could end up around 342 wins (tied with Tim Keefe, good enough for 8th alltime). Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it a fact that ALL of the guys ahead of him pitched (for the most part) under a 3-man rotation, with the exception of Spahn?

    The question- is Clemens the greatest pitcher of all time? And if not, where do you guys rank him among the eschelon of alltimers?
    Jeff Bagwell made a comment a fews ago that the players today are NOT allowed to be greater in the players of the past. The reason for this is probably fear. It offends "purists" that so many HRs are being hit today. It offends them that journeyman players can hit more HRs in a season than Hank Aaron, Willie McCovey, Ernie Banks, etc. It offends them because in their minds it somehow diminishes the accomplishments of their heros. It offends them that THEIR heros may one day be forgotten. So what do they do? They complain and attack and belittle the game. Instead of enjoying the game for what it is now, they talk about how good the game was "back then" and how the game is garbage today. These "fans" make me want to puke. I love the game of baseball. I love it's history and the current game. I don't compare eras to belittle the current game. I love all the baseball eras. They were all unique and interesting in thier own right. I love 1900s baseball, and 1920s baseball ,and 1950s baseball, and 1960s baseball, and 1980s baseball and 2005 baseball.

    We (at least most of us) were not around to see the really old payers. There is hardly any film of them , no interviews no 24/7 coverage of their careers. The constant modern media, Internet, newspapers, etc have taken away the "mystic" of current players. The current players do not have a mystic like Mays, Mantle, Koufax, DiMaggio, Ruth, Cobb, Foxx, Grove, Wagner have. We don't have any idea about the old ball player's personalities, flaws, or any feeling how they were as people. Take Barry Bonds for example. He's pretty much hated by most baseball fans. And that is sad. I have been able to watch him up close for 12 seasons and I can say he is the greatest baseball player I have ever seen, and it's not even close. And I am someone that has studied baseball history since I was 10 years old. He had a chance to join the "legends" of the past in the pantheon of true Baseball heros. But because of Balco, his surly personality, and other unfortunate incidents that will never happen. I am not an apologist for Bonds he did what he did and it is his fault for doing so. Most of his "problems" were of his own doing. Now, that he is apporaching Aaron's HR record I don't know how I feel about that. Maybe he should retire before that happens. I know that one day I can tell my grand children that I had the pleasure of watching Barry Bonds play in person many times and perform many herioc deeds on the baseball diamond.

    As for Clemens, just in the past few years I am starting to really appreciate his career in a historical context. A strong argument can be made for Clenems being the greatest pitcher ever. I'd prefer to wait until he retires before we can really say where he stands amongst the greats.

    And that is my $.02...
    Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 04-24-2005, 05:50 PM.

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  • nolanryan5714
    replied
    After carefully reading through the arguments put forward in this thread, I would take it into consideration to change my vote.

    The best argument for him being the greatest of all time, IMO, is that *indeed* the adjustments over the changing decades have been calculated into Roger's totals.
    (Very good presentations, BoSox Rule and leecemark.)

    As for him being "predictable" after 7 innings, no way do I agree with that.
    Outing before last, he threw 5 or 6 straight fastballs in the 7th when I thought (along with the commentators) he wouldn't dare. Result? Another K!

    [I have edited the poll in order to change my vote. Although I'm not sure that this is acceptable, I will PM both csh19792001 and the forum mod to make sure.]
    Last edited by nolanryan5714; 04-24-2005, 09:31 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Honus Wagner Rules
    replied
    Originally posted by [email protected]
    I am much less a stathead than most members here, but I just can't see how Roger, good as he is, can be rated the best ever.

    I have Walter Johnson, Mathewson, Alexander ahead of him at the very least. And in addition, I also have Spahn, "Smokey Joe" Williams, Paige, Young, and probably Grove ahead of him too. I have Randy Johnson on a par with Roger. And I don't think that anything I've expressed as criticism of Roger.

    Bill Burgess
    Bill,

    I asked this question in another thread. If Clemens reaches 400 wins would he be the greatest ever? I think the battle is between Clemens, Walter Johnson, and Grove for the greatest ever...
    Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 04-24-2005, 05:08 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • csh19792001
    replied
    Originally posted by leecemark
    --Not only were deadball era pitchers throwing less pitches to complete a game than most guys do in 7 innings now, they weren't required to exert themselves as much per pitch. There are two points made in Christy Mathewson's "Pitching in the Pinches" (IMO the best reference on deadball pitching) that illustrate this.
    --Christy mentions that young pitchers need to learn to pace themselves because they would sometimes need to throw as many as 100 pitches in a game. The obvious inference is that most games were completed with fewer than 100 pitches thrown. This is easily explained by the much lower numbers of walks and strikeouts.
    --Mathewson also advises young pitchers that they need to save their best stuff for the key situations in the game. He said he only threw his famous fadeaway a half dozen times a game because it took too much out of his arm. There are many other accounts of deadball pitchers saying they only bore down when men got in scoring position. This was possible, of course, because it was extremely unlikely that a batter was going to score a run or runs with one swing of the bat.
    I agree with your last two points (which I deleted for space). I'll address the others- but it probably won't be for a couple weeks. There are several sources that show your conclusions regarding pitch counts of pitchers over the past few decades are simply unsupported.

    Given that you repudiate/disregard expert opinions (even 250 of them), I think you'll probably go with the statistical data and mathematical projections (which you claimed to tell about 99% of the true story for most players), as opposed to a one pitcher's perceptions of the status of pitch counts in an entire era, comprising tens of thousands of games.

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  • torez77
    replied
    Clemens has such a great combination of peak and longevity it's hard not to include him in the candidacy for greatest pitcher ever, taking all era adjustments into consideration. He is the Walter Johnson of today. Peak-wise among today's pitchers, Pedro is the best, and maybe the best ever, but many would agree Roger's big edge over Pedro in longevity combined with a great peak of his own is enough to put him over the top. Me? I'm not so sure yet. I value peak strongly, which is why I currently rank Pedro #1, but it's shaky at best. WJ, Grove and Koufax are also very high on my list, as well as RJ and Maddux. Probably those 7 I mentioned - Clemens, Pedro, WJ, Grove, Koufax, RJ and Maddux - are my current top 7 pitchers. What's the exact order? Shoot, I still haven't sorted it out yet.

    BoSox - thanks for the translated stats. We're seeing how awesome Koufax truly was - 6.1 hits per 9 innings! Wow! And Gibson's higher than I expected too. And Paige #3 (only 478 innings though)

    Stop it, BoSox! You're confusing me!
    Last edited by torez77; 04-24-2005, 03:52 PM.

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  • Bill Burgess
    replied
    I am much less a stathead than most members here, but I just can't see how Roger, good as he is, can be rated the best ever.

    I have Walter Johnson, Mathewson, Alexander ahead of him at the very least. And in addition, I also have Spahn, "Smokey Joe" Williams, Paige, Young, and probably Grove ahead of him too. I have Randy Johnson on a par with Roger. And I don't think that anything I've expressed is criticism of Roger.

    Bill Burgess
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 04-24-2005, 04:52 PM.

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  • BoSox Rule
    replied
    It would be nearly impossbile for Pedro not to retire as the ERA+ leader.

    Leave a comment:


  • Imapotato
    replied
    Oh and another thing

    Many statheadzz that I cannot stand always say Pedro is King, yet 3 more years of his last he won't be atop that ERA+ board anymore...and then they will change theri stance and say he is not a good pitcher

    Sometimes we overcomplicate things with stats...

    Clemens is a great pitcher, but even he will tell you that he cannot match the aura and dominance of Young, Johnson, Grove and Koufax

    Leave a comment:

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