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The W - Baseball - Greg Maddux vs Everyone Else
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El Nastio
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Since: 14.1.02
From: Ottawa Ontario, by way of Walkerton

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#1 Posted on
In the 90's, Greg Maddux had a stretch of seasons that were some of the most inane seasons ever. SI wentsofar as to call him possibly the greatest pitcher sense Sandy Kaufax and Bob Gibson. His control is perfect, he doesn't use pure speed, just ball placement. Plus, he's a multi-gold glove winner. As a former player myself (I started when I was 3 years old, played for 16 years before I had to stop), I looked up to Maddux, and even emulated his pitching style. IMHO, he's the greatest. Period.



My question to all of you is; who do YOU think is the greatest pitcher of them all, and why?



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Tom Dean
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Since: 30.8.02
From: New York, NY

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#2 Posted on
I agree that in the '90s, he had one of the greatest runs ever, maybe the best in terms of a peak. But, he still has to have a few more great seasons to be in the category of a Walter Johnson or a Lefty Grove in a career sense.



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quagmire
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Since: 31.1.02
From: Springfield, MA

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#3 Posted on
IMO without a doubt Cy Young is the greatest pitcher ever. he has so many records that no modern day pitcher will ever come close to breaking, most notably the most wins. the game has changed so much that a comparison between any pitcher in baseball's early days to a pitcher from about 1950-present aren't equal.
it's hard to really justify one pitcher over another from the more modern group of pitchers, but i'd go with nolan ryan. 27 seasons in the big leagues with his best years as a starter from '71-'91. yes, his career era isn't special at 3.19 and a win-loss record of 32 games above .500 is okay. to me, though, the fact that he was able to stay at the top of his game for 20+ seasons and consistently be a league leader in strikeouts is outstanding. the 7 no-hitters is a testament to his consistency thoughout his career, even though it's a record that could be broken. i don't know how many times he was on the disabled list, but i'm going to guess it wasn't substantial. with all the arm injuries now, his ability to remain in good physical shape into and through his 40s is amazing.

/oh yeah, and kicking robin ventura's ass was pretty cool, too.

(edited by quagmire on 16.6.02 1510)


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calvinh0560
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Since: 3.1.02
From: People's Republic of Massachusetts

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#4 Posted on

    Originally posted by El Nastio
    In the 90's, Greg Maddux had a stretch of seasons that were some of the most inane seasons ever. SI wentsofar as to call him possibly the greatest pitcher sense Sandy Kaufax and Bob Gibson. His control is perfect, he doesn't use pure speed, just ball placement. Plus, he's a multi-gold glove winner. As a former player myself (I started when I was 3 years old, played for 16 years before I had to stop), I looked up to Maddux, and even emulated his pitching style. IMHO, he's the greatest. Period.



    My question to all of you is; who do YOU think is the greatest pitcher of them all, and why?



Roger will have to be in any list of players in the last 20 years. For a single year I would have to say Pedro from a couple of years ago is was best single year I have ever seen in my 22 years.
Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#5 Posted on
I'd have to wait until this season ends to see how Schilling pitches before I pick a "best season" for my lifetime.

Unit + Curt are both on pace for 300 strikeouts this season. Damn.

(edited by Guru Zim on 18.6.02 1738)


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drjayphd
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Since: 22.4.02
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#6 Posted on
Yeah, and if that's not enough, look at Schill's K/BB ratio, Guru. He's probably going to have one of the great seasons this year, if everything holds up.
SerWolfe
Landjager








Since: 11.1.02
From: st louis

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
Shilling strikes me as dominant..... Maddux i think has one or two great years left. But Ryan strikes me as one of the best i have ever watched. When he was with texas i remember being told he's over.... done... but wham. What a pitcher.
Triple Preperation H
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Since: 26.3.02
From: Chesapeake VA

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#8 Posted on
I agree that Schilling's K's to BB ratio is an incredible STATISTIC, but I think Tom Glavine is having a better year than he is all around. The object of the game is to keep your opponent from scoring and giving your team a chance to win, not to rack up strikeouts. Going into tonight, Glavine had an ERA nearly 1.5 runs less than Schilling, and he has only one fewer win.

Having watched Maddux for years, I am a firm believer that ERA is a more accurate measure of a pitcher's effectiveness than the won/loss record is. Historically, the Braves can't seem to score when he pitches, and they often forget to take their gloves out in the field with them. It has gotten better recently and this year is almost opposite of the norm, but certainly no one would argue that a man with an ERA in the low two's should be placed behind someone with single digit loses and an ERA near 4 or 5.

For instance, in 1997 Maddux had an ERA of 2.20, and in '98 it was 2.22. Very little difference. Howerver, he lost over twice as many games in '98 and won less than he did the year before. The next year he had a betteer record (19-9), but his ERA was a run and a half higher (3.57). That's why I feel that ERA should be viewed above everything else.

That being said, I think Glavine is having a better year. Aside from strikeouts and walks, he is equal to or better than Schilling in most catergories, including ERA, HR's allowed, total bases, opponent slugging %, hits per 9 innings, etc.







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calvinh0560
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Since: 3.1.02
From: People's Republic of Massachusetts

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#9 Posted on

    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    I'd have to wait until this season ends to see how Schilling pitches before I pick a "best season" for my lifetime.

    Unit + Curt are both on pace for 300 strikeouts this season. Damn.

    (edited by Guru Zim on 18.6.02 1738)



OK I know it is too early to do this but I have some free time on my hands.

Pedro in 1999:
G GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB SO W L ERA
31 29 5 1 213.1 160 56 49 9 37 313 23 4 2.07
Schilling this year (Projected):
G GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB SO W L ERA
37 37 2 2 266.2 215 97 97 28 25 370 28 7 3.28
Shilling this year (6/21)
G GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB SO W L ERA
16 16 1 1 115.1 93 42 42 12 11 160 12 3 3.28
Schilling as already allowed 12 HR this year (3 more than Pedro did all of 99) and he has already allowed 42 ER in 115.1 inning pitch while Pedro allowed a total of 49 all year. So unless Schilling goes all Orel Hershiser for the second half of the the season I just dont see how you can say Curt's year will be better.





Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#10 Posted on
Check out Nolan Ryan in 1973:

21-6 2.87 ERA 104 ER 383 SO

Schill is on pace for that kind of season - maybe with more wins.

Wasn't 1973 considered to be Ryan's most dominant season?





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Tom Dean
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Since: 30.8.02
From: New York, NY

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#11 Posted on
Ryan is very overrated in my opinion. He may have been the most "extraordinary" pitcher ever, but far from the most valuable. The strikeouts and no-hitters are nice, but really, strikeouts are pretty much just outs, and no-hitters are pretty much just shutouts. There are reasons why Ryan's W-L record is not that great. The most important is that his all-time record for walks allowed is likely to stand as long as his all-time record for strikeouts. He also may have been the worst ever at holding on runners. If I'm not mistaken, he is also the all-time leader in wild pitches and pitcher fielding errors. People are overly impressed by strikeouts and no-hitters, but unfortunately, those other things can cost you plenty of games.

Basically, I think you rate a pitcher mostly by ERA, with W-L also being a factor. Those are the results... it doesn't make sense to rate a guy by what goes into the results (K's, hits, walks, etc.) when you have the results themselves. As mentioned, Ryan only won a few more in his career than he lost, and a 3.19 ERA, although nice, is not historic whether you adjust it for era/ballpark or not. Interestingly, Pedro currently leads the adjusted ERA leaders list, although by the time his career is over, I doubt he still will. Grove and Johnson, who I mentioned earlier, are 2nd and 3rd. If we skip by relievers (Quisenberry, Wilhelm) and a guy with a short career (Smokey Joe Wood), Clemens and Maddux, tied with each other, are next...




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Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
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#12 Posted on
A strikeout pitcher can get outs with only a good catcher. A ground ball pitcher needs a decent defense behind him.

Granted, you could say this is counted in the ERA since errors should be left out, but.... how many times have you seen Nomar make a play that no one else in the league can? Don't count that out when you look at Pedro.

I think the 370 K pace is more impressive because it is more of a measurement of the pitcher by himself than the ERA which reflects the team playing behind you to an extent.

This one is unwinnable



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BDC
Chourico








Since: 26.1.02
From: Falls Church, VA

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#13 Posted on
Besides...everyone knows the greatest pitcher of all time is FEEERRRNAAANNNDDOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

BDC

PS: I mean "Sandy Koufax"



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Tom Dean
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Since: 30.8.02
From: New York, NY

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#14 Posted on
Well, pretty much all the other greatest pitchers of all time were strikeout pitchers as well, and their overall performance was so much better than Ryan's that I don't think you can attribute all of the difference to a good defense behind them.



"How YOU Doin'?"
- Tom Dean, weekly at [slash]
"History is being make-ed... somebody here is getting their head completely shaved off"
- David McLane, PPV opening promo

gonna build a giant drill and bore straight into hell releasing ancient demons from their sleep-forever spell so they can walk upon the earth and get recituated and run the diet pill pyramid that MC Pee Pants has created
TheBucsFan
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Since: 2.1.02

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.42
Well, I think the greatest ever would have to be Walter Johnson. I generally try to avoid making arguments for players I never had the opportunity to see, but in this case the numbers are incredible. The man was an overpowering strikeout pitcher before such a thing existed. 110 shutouts? 417 wins? An entire career played on, with a couple of years being exceptions, a second-divison and often last place team? The man's acomplishments were just amazing.

However, he and Cy Young and Mathewson and Grove and all the others played in a different era. Be it the deadball era or just a time when pitchers were a lot more durable, it's hard to compare. So for modern day pitchers, I would have to go with Bob Gibson. Granted, I didn't see him play either, but he at least played recently enough that I can put a proper perspective on his accomplishments. Maybe Koufax here if he played a little longer.



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Since: 27.6.02

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#16 Posted on
It's sad great pitchers aren't remebered like the great batters. I can name hundreds of old school sluggers but not many pitcher of yester-year. Another interesting Nolan Ryan stat: the guy had the most walks ever too. But back to the point, I think Maddux is the best ever too. There are tons of arguments about who is/was better but when I met Maddux he was an awesome guy who actually called me by my name and talked to me. (for a young 10 year old Braves Mark this was SO huge..... kinda like how before the Atlanta Raw my friends and I saw RVD walking the street and he was cool enough to talk to us and take pictures, sign autographs, answer some questions, etc.)
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