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Roger Clemens- The Greatest Pitcher Ever?

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  • epaddon
    replied
    Originally posted by Los Bravos View Post
    It's a matter of degree. If there was any indication that those three (and anyone else who did that sort of corner cutting) did it ON EVERY PITCH OR PLAY, then I might feel the same.

    Altering your body semi-permanently on a basic physiological level, so that you become something that you naturally would not, and being able to access that every hour of every day during the Baseball season is a fundamentally different thing than throwing a handful of altered balls out of 100 or more. It's the difference between shoplifting a Hershey bar and sticking up a bank.
    Like I said, I'm still waiting for a satisfactory answer because that wasn't it. Are we to assume then that steroids impacted *every* pitch Clemens threw and impacted *every* at-bat Bonds had? That I find rather hard to swallow because that can't be quantified with sabermetrics any more than the matter of identifying the illegal pitches Sutton, Perry and Ford threw that impacted games can be. To which we might also add in another context all of Leo Durocher's sign-stealing throughout the 1951 NL pennant race with his system in the Polo Grounds clubhouse that Branca now thinks makes the Giants pennant "tainted". Are you going to demand Durocher's plaque be taken down?

    Frankly, the physical impact of PED's are totally irrelevant to the question. The question is the ethical component of the "integrity of the game" being at stake and the intent behind looking for an edge, because I would submit that on that basis Perry didn't shoplift a Hershey bar, he performed grand larceny of the first order and that fact that his plaque celebrates his cheating is the ultimate definition of larceny if he's supposed to be considered a player of integrity but Clemens isn't. Yes, using PEDs will likely harm you later, but then again so does cocaine which was used by another would-be HOFer, Tim Raines, and two others who aren't in the HOF but who don't suffer a stigma of any kind to their images, Dave Parker and Keith Hernandez, and then there are all the players who took uppers to make them more alert in their minds for the game. When you factor everything in, then the eras before the steroid one don't have quite the revisionist halo they keep getting from the sanctimonious writers IMO.

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  • Los Bravos
    replied
    Let's just imagine 34 year old 1950's or '60's era Roger Clemens who is confronted with a medical staff telling him to rub horse liniment (or Atomic Balm™) on his arm or sit for hours a day receiving diathermy treatments, rather than sending McNamee out for whatever he needed a needlefull of and ponder how well he's going to respond to all of that.

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  • Sultan_1895-1948
    replied
    Originally posted by pheasant View Post
    Clemens pitched in the toughest era of all time:smallest strike zone, batters wearing body armor, tiny stadiums that allow middle infielders to hit check-swing HRS, and hitters jacked up on steroids. The AL was tougher than the NL and it had a DH to make conditions nearly impossible for pitchers, yet Clemens shredded the AL, despite spending his prime in a terrible pitchers' park. If we disregard Clemens' steroid use, then he blows everybody else out of the water. Nobody else even comes close.

    I cannot imagine Clemens in an previous era facing batters without helmets, having a larger strike zone, and then having the ability to brush back hitters. Clemens' repertoire, control, and overall stuff allows him to shred any era.

    Without steroids, I wonder where Clemens would have ended up? My gut is that he still would have ended up a top 5 pitcher of all time.
    Well, it wouldn't be the same Clemens if he pitched back then, but that's getting too deep I guess.

    And then there's the fact that he went from a 117 and 139 ERA+ up to a 222 the next year in Toronto.

    Nah, I think he would have started to decline at that point; age 34 (see; nearly every pitcher in MLB history).

    People under-estimate the impact of this deadly combination: HOF talent to begin with. Experience sky high at a later age. PED's thrusting the should-have-been declining physical elevator through the roof. Seriously, it's such a deadly thing. Imagine Pujols right now with the experience he has, combined with the reflexes, stamina, strength he had when he was younger; except multiply the latter by 5. You'd get freaky numbers.

    Clemens would have been a HOFer. I'm comfortable saying that. But top 5 I don't think so. He'd be up there I think. Especially given the already offensively geared offensive era, where PED pitchers vs PED hitters isn't an even battle. I could see him close to the top 5.
    Last edited by Sultan_1895-1948; 04-23-2015, 09:30 PM.

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  • Los Bravos
    replied
    Originally posted by epaddon View Post
    What is the fundamental difference on "integrity of the game"? This is what I've never heard a satisfactory answer to.
    It's a matter of degree. If there was any indication that those three (and anyone else who did that sort of corner cutting) did it ON EVERY PITCH OR PLAY, then I might feel the same.

    Altering your body semi-permanently on a basic physiological level, so that you become something that you naturally would not, and being able to access that every hour of every day during the Baseball season is a fundamentally different thing than throwing a handful of altered balls out of 100 or more. It's the difference between shoplifting a Hershey bar and sticking up a bank.

    Leave a comment:


  • Yankillaz
    replied
    I have Clemens #2 All Time. So I cannot say he's the best ever.

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  • Bucketfoot
    replied
    Clemens and Bonds took what were clear, top 10 all-time, no questions asked Hof careers and bastardized that by deciding to become Lyle Alzado. Ok great, you're winning tons of awards and having record setting seasons yr after yr pushing 40. You also look like Herman Munster's love child by way of He-Man. It's blatently Wrong, Roided, and false. I don't care How many big yrs guys like Klein had in Baker Bowl back when, that's a 1000 times more legit to me than what these clowns and the Luis Gonzalezes of the world did '93-09 or so. The record book is a joke now, and we along with everyone from Selig on down, just went along for the ride and did nothing about it. I can't give Bonds or Clemens their just dues for what they did '99 and '97 onwards, because its not honest. I don't care. Until they prove otherwise, I'll put Big Unit and Jr over the Roidboys. Its the least I can do.

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  • epaddon
    replied
    The point is that the HOF willingly inducted two players (Perry/Sutton) whose stats were accumulated by violating a set policy that was first put in place in 1920. Read Perry's plaque and you'll actually see that it celebrates his cheating. Whitey Ford later admitted he cut the ball regularly in his 21 win season in 1963. What is the fundamental difference on "integrity of the game"? This is what I've never heard a satisfactory answer to.

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  • Los Bravos
    replied
    I do so love the idea that since there was no anti-PED policy in place, that meant that everything was allowed. If Clemens had thought that, he not only would've not fought every single suggestion of his use tooth and nail...not only would've admitted it forthrightly at the time...he would've called a weekly press conference to highlight what he was up to that week and probably signed an endorsement deal with whatever pharmaceutical companies were producing the junk that McNamee was shoving up his ass.

    He knew it was wrong and that he was cheating and so did (and does) everyone with a functioning brain.

    Posnanski is a superb writer but he always embarrasses himself utterly on this subject. He's like a Nobel level scientist who keeps trying to run a rearguard action defending Phrenology or Alchemy.

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  • epaddon
    replied
    I think the discussion with Perry and Sutton should be: If they don't doctor the ball to prolong their careers and get to 300 wins, do they get in? I think the answer is a big no. Back then, 300 wins was treated as a threshold you had to honor no matter what, so that's why Perry and Sutton made it but Jim Kaat and Tommy John, who almost made it but fell short, didn't get in. Is there much of a fundamental difference between Perry/Sutton and Kaat/John?

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  • Herr28
    replied
    Originally posted by Bucketfoot View Post
    So long as Bartolo Colon strides this Earth, Clemens must take a back seat.
    No, no. With Bart it is just a big fat Colon comeback story.

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  • Bucketfoot
    replied
    So long as Bartolo Colon strides this Earth, Clemens must take a back seat.

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  • Herr28
    replied
    Originally posted by epaddon View Post
    So long as Gaylord Perry and Don Sutton have HOF plaques that they got for padding their stats to the 300 win threshold through years of using a doctored baseball, there is no legitimate argument IMO for keeping Clemens out of the HOF when there were was no established policy against PED use at the time.
    Well, it won't be long before this comment will be attacked. Not so much for the point you are making, but just because it will get sidetracked by "PEDs are different than spitballs." Then others will shout back, "cheating is cheating." And then more will chime in with "it wasn't cheating at the time." Cue the "there was a memo!" and then the "That memo wasn't binding."

    Here we go.

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  • pheasant
    replied
    Clemens pitched in the toughest era of all time:smallest strike zone, batters wearing body armor, tiny stadiums that allow middle infielders to hit check-swing HRS, and hitters jacked up on steroids. The AL was tougher than the NL and it had a DH to make conditions nearly impossible for pitchers, yet Clemens shredded the AL, despite spending his prime in a terrible pitchers' park. If we disregard Clemens' steroid use, then he blows everybody else out of the water. Nobody else even comes close.

    I cannot imagine Clemens in an previous era facing batters without helmets, having a larger strike zone, and then having the ability to brush back hitters. Clemens' repertoire, control, and overall stuff allows him to shred any era.

    Without steroids, I wonder where Clemens would have ended up? My gut is that he still would have ended up a top 5 pitcher of all time.

    Leave a comment:


  • GiambiJuice
    replied
    Originally posted by epaddon View Post
    So long as Gaylord Perry and Don Sutton have HOF plaques that they got for padding their stats to the 300 win threshold through years of using a doctored baseball, there is no legitimate argument IMO for keeping Clemens out of the HOF when there were was no established policy against PED use at the time.
    Amen!
    .......

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  • epaddon
    replied
    So long as Gaylord Perry and Don Sutton have HOF plaques that they got for padding their stats to the 300 win threshold through years of using a doctored baseball, there is no legitimate argument IMO for keeping Clemens out of the HOF when there were was no established policy against PED use at the time.

    Leave a comment:

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