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Baseball: Clemens to return?

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TRD

posted on Feb, 9 2006 @ 03:37 PM
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At 43 he isn't getting any younger, but if he is fit and healthy he could return for a final swansong with the Astro's. He led the major leagues with a 1.87 ERA last year and guided the Astro's to their first NL pennant, so he proved he still had the right stuff.




posted on Feb, 9 2006 @ 04:13 PM
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There has been talk that he may return to Boston for a final year. That is what I heard yesterday anyway. Is this breaking news or just speculation?


iaclonz


TRD

posted on Feb, 9 2006 @ 04:35 PM
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Speculation..

I read somewhere that the Yankees, Boston and the Astro's all want him. But the Astro's cant re-sign him untill May 1st...



posted on Feb, 9 2006 @ 05:26 PM
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He not only led the majors in ERA, but did so in a great hitter's park, giving him an "adjusted ERA" of 221. That is the 8th best ERA since the end of the Dead Ball Era.

B.H.N.



posted on Feb, 10 2006 @ 01:21 AM
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Sorry, I was too upset by events elsewhere.

What I mean is that 221 is the 8th best ADJUSTED E.R.A. since the end of the Dead Ball Era, which occurred at the end of the 1919 season. And since Adjusted ERA will become an enormous stat very soon, let me say a little about it:

Without going into a huge spiel, "Adjusted ERA" compares your ERA to the league average for the year, and makes adjustments based on how much your home park benefits or hurts pitchers who throw with the same arm you do. And whereas with regular E.R.A., you want as LOW a number as possible, with "Adjusted E.R.A." you want as HIGH a number as possible.

An Adjusted E.R.A. of 100 is dead average. An Adjusted E.R.A. of 200 means that, with ballpark adjustments, you were TWICE AS GOOD as the league's average pitcher from your side that year--which obviously means you were awesome and had a year of historical proportions.

These are the 20 greatest Adjusted ERA's since 1900. Yeah, I went against my normal policy and included Dead Ball pitchers. I did so because Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson did SO well, I thought it would be unfair not to. These numbers are worth a hard look, because I think you'll be amazed by some of the entrants on this list, or by how often some people are, or aren't, on it. Note, for example, that Sandy Koufax is not on here at all. OK, here goes:

20. Kevin Brown, 1996, 214

19. Cy Young, 1901, 216

18. Jack Pfeister, 1907, 216

17. Lefty Grove, 1931, 219 [His W-L was 31-4]

16. Pedro Martinez, 1997, 221

15. Roger Clemens, 2005, 221

14. Christy Mathewson, 1909, 222

13. Grover Cleveland Alexander, 1915, 225

12. Dwight Gooden, 1985, 226 [Ahhh, what might have been]

11. Roger Clemens, 1997, 226

10. Christy Mathewson, 1905, 230

9. Walter Johnson, 1912, 240

8. Pedro Martinez, 1999, 245

7. Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown, 1906, 253

6. Bob Gibson, 1968, 258

5. Greg Maddux, 1995, 259

4. Walter Johnson, 1913, 259

3. Greg Maddux, 1994, 273

2. Dutch Leonard, 1914, 279

1. Pedro Martinez, 2000, 285


There you have it. Certainly makes you appreciate just how great a pitcher we saw in Greg Maddux during the 1990's, doesn't it? And sure enough, the Rocket has two of the 20 greatest seasons ever, which makes this Calfornia boy feel glad all over for the hard-nosed Texan he considers baseball's greatest right-hander. Also, contrary to what Bill James has said about Mathewson's only having one dominant season, it sure looks to me like he had two very dominant seasons, to twice make it onto THIS top 20 list.

And as loath as I am to give Dead Ball pitchers equal credit with modern ones (for reasons I've stated before), if you scroll on down that list, you find Walter Johnson also at #22 and #23, along with Pedro at #26 and Clemens at #27.

So, Walter Johnson had 4 of the 23 best pitching seasons ever, if you accept this stat's underlying premise that it fairly compares Dead Ball E.R.A.'s to Live Ball ones. Pedro has 4 of the top 26, 3 of the top 20, AND the #1 season of all time, and he's not done yet--although I will be amazed if he has any more seasons of nearly this quality.

Then again, Lefty Grove blew out his arm, lost his legendary fastball forever, and posted an unthinkable 6.50 ERA at age 34, then became a junkball pitcher and won four more ERA titles as a lefty in Fenway Park, after his 35th birthday!!! (That's perhaps baseball's single most unbelievable stat that has nothing to do with Babe Ruth.) So who knows how much more Pedro will do?

I DO know, from looking at this list, that I personally had not given either Mathewson or especially Maddux enough "peak value" until now. Obviously their peaks were extraordinary. In Maddux's case, TWO OF THE TOP THREE SEASONS BY ANY PITCHER AFTER THE DEAD BALL ERA?!! Well, there's no need to comment further.

With everyone--including me--ready to give Clemens the distinction of the greatest right-hander ever (pending Pedro's retirement), I hope Maddux gets his full due... especially since the two men rate to retire at about the same time. For all you Braves fans who know full well how great he's been because you saw him through all these great seasons, perhaps more people need to be educated about these Adjusted ERA stats. It would be pretty hard for anyone who read and understood them to deny the obvious.

B.H.N.



posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 05:03 PM
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Hi all,

Quick post here. I live in Ma, and would love to see the Rocket finish his career here, as long as he finishes strongly. A lot of fans have ill feelings about him since he split the to 'Jays. (I don't think it was totally his fault/greed that led to that). It would be sort of Shakespearan (sp?) for him to come back as the fallen hero and redeem himself and I know I'd giving him a standing ovation (unless he sucked).

Thanks

[Edited on 4/27/06 by Kwyjibo]



posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 08:33 PM
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Well the Brockton Rox put in a effort to sign Clemens: www.brocktonrox.com...

"Starting Opening Day is just one of the many perks the Rox are prepared to offer Clemens. For example, Clemens is known to want to spend more time with his family and the Rox are fine with that. "He only has to show up for games he's pitching," declared Rox GM, Andy Crossley. The Rox are prepared to pay for round-trip air tickets (coach only) for Clemens to go home and appear for his starts. In addition, the Rox have assigned an intern to carry his bags and are ready to provide Roger with a private parking space at the Brockton High School lot."

..."There are a number of other advantages that pitching for the Rox can offer:
- Clemens will be the first player to pitch high school, college, minor leagues, major leagues, Olympics, World Baseball Classic, and Indy ball.
- He can pitch for the Rox and still maintain his five-year waiting time for Hall of Fame eligibility in 2010.
- He's got a really good chance of breaking his record of 20 strikeouts in a game and throwing his first no-hitter every time on the mound.
- If he needs Red Sox tickets, the Rox know people. "

"The Rox look forward to speaking directly with Clemens agents, Randy and Alan Hendricks, and while they don't have a video like the Red Sox they have some excellent pictures from a digital camera of Campanelli Stadium. "

Too bad it didn't work out. The Rox are part owned by Bill Murray (of Ghostbusters fame), and pull some hilarious PR stunts. (I'm still looking into the possibility of Clemens coming back to the Red Sox)

[Edited on 4/27/06 by Kwyjibo]

[Edited on 4/27/06 by Kwyjibo]

[Edited on 4/27/06 by Kwyjibo]



posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 09:06 PM
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I tried to edit my last post but it didn't work out, so sorry for adding.

Apparently Boston is getting closer to signing Clemens and there is a chance of it happening (although my sources told me the windows for Clemens to sign is up). www.boston.com... aseball/redsox/articles/2006/04/26/for_nipper_it_would_be_classic_reunion/?page=full

"Nipper, Clemens's former teammate, longtime friend, and once-and-perhaps-future pitching coach, is convinced the Rocket will seriously consider staging his final act in Boston."

"(Clemens) filed for free agency last winter, and when the Astros did not offer him salary arbitration, they lost the right to negotiate with him until May 1, which is Monday. Houston is home; Clemens helped take the Astros to the World Series last season, and he rivals Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan for folk-hero status there. The Yankees have the dollars to blow everyone else out of the water. The Rangers have interest, too, but of the four bidders for Clemens's services, they would appear to face the longest odds of advancing to the postseason."

...(Nipper's quotes)"Roger is going to do what he wants to do. He's going to do what's right for him and his family. From my point of view, I feel what is right for him is to come to Boston. I'm looking at the whole overall picture. Going to New York, there's nothing to prove there. This is the best fit for him overall, if you look at everything, for him to be here with the Boston Red Sox.

''Duquette is long gone. He's over that. We have new management. He loves Boston, he loves the fans, he still has so many friends here.

''He could come back home here and end his career in storybook fashion. Come back home and do it right.""

Hopefully we can sign him before May 1, when he is due to re-sign with the Astros. Boston start a home series with the Yankees on May 1. Having Clemens out there pitching plus the return of Damon is one of the those once in a lifetime things.



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 12:31 AM
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I haven't weighed in on this, but since I've repeatedly said Clemens is the greatest righty ever--assuming he's legit, and pending the end of Pedro's career--I'll make a few remarks about the Clemens shopping in 2006:

I, too, hope he ends his career with Boston. He's had great years everywhere. He pitched 2 years in Toronto, in 1997-1998, after he'd gone 10-13 at Boston in 1996, but with a very good 142 Adjusted ERA. Ill-informed people were wondering aloud if he was near the end. NOT.

"All" he did in his 2 Toronto years was win 2 Cy Young Awards, tying and then breaking Carlton's record of 4, with Adjusted ERA's of 226 and 176. Nice move, Boston. As you know well, Kwy, there were hard feelings between Sox ownership/management and him, and he doubtless took great malicious pleasure in doing so well for a second-rate Toronto team that was a cumulative 4 games over .500 for those 2 years. So he took his 3 Boston Cy Youngs and his 2 Toronto Cy Youngs, and proceeded to win one apiece with the Yankees and Astros.

More important, I think, are the E.R.A. titles, of which he has TWO MORE than any pitcher ever whose name was not Lefty Grove: FOUR with Boston, TWO with Toronto and ONE with Houston.

So yeah, he's been great everywhere, but he was greatest in Boston, and for by far the longest period of time. He was a stunning 24-4 as a 24-year-old for the pennant-winning 1986 Sox, and by all rights should have won the 6th and DECIDING game of the World Series. He pitched 7 innings, gave up 2 walks, 4 hits, 1 earned run and 1 unearned run (go defense). He had a 3-2 lead when, for reasons known only to himself and God, Boston's manager removed Clemens for the immortal Calvin Schiraldi, who promptly blew the lead.

On they went to the 10th, where Henderson's HR and another run created a 7-5 lead for the Sox. Schiraldi then lost that lead to a series of 3 well-placed singles, followed by the colossal blunder that somehow nobody ever remembers: Stanley's wild pitch, which scored the tying run and put the winning run where he could score on Buckner's blunder. As Bill James has said, Buckner has a lot of people who should be raising their hands to share in his ignominy. One of them was in the dugout.

Anyway, Clemens did everything HE could to win that clinching game, and had his chance to get the final 6 outs stolen by his manager, who apparently thought Clemens' youth meant Schiraldi--immortal that he was--was better suited to the immense pressure of those last two innings. Good decision.

The Red Sox could fill the Hall of Fame with their own starting team--for instance, putting Foxx at catcher, where he did play some, and into whom NOBODY would want to run--and it would be a great team, though some guys would have to play way out of position. If we limited them to 1 starting lefty and 1 starting righty, then with all due respect to Cy Young--whose name, 511 wins and .600+ W-L % speak for themselves--their starters would be Grove and Clemens, NOT Grove and Young.

Also, of course, I think the Red Sox have a great chance of winning this year's W.S.

Add all of that up, plus the fact I've learned to really like my pal Kwyjibo, who's from that neck of the woods and loves the Sox to death, like all Sox fans do, and I'm really hoping the greatest right-hander in baseball history decides to end his legendary MLB career where it began.

BHN



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 12:41 AM
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I just don't see Clemens going to Boston. The biggest reason he went to Houston was so that he could spend time with his family. He enjoyed an arrangement with the Astros that allowed him to skip road trips when he was not pitching. In Boston he cannot enjoy that freedom because he will be so far away from his family. At 43, he can't have a whole lot left in the tank. To utilize what he does have, he has to stay in Houston where he has this unique arrangement.



posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 01:57 AM
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Roger has said he wants to be around his family more and that is a major hindarance for him playing in Boston. However, at first he retired so he could spend all his time with his kids, then came back so I think either he's got everything balanced or he doesn't care about his kids (just kidding about that, although he did sign with the Yankees...).

I think (hope) he would want to finish his career where he started. He's already going to wear a Red Sox cap in the Hall of Fame. He can come to Boston, win another Cy Young to break the record, and gain total redemption from the Red Sox faithful. Too bad Houston is doing good right now, he might be tempted to stay with them.



posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 02:02 AM
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To break the record? Doesn't he already hold the record, by miles, for most Cy Young Awards?



posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 03:25 PM
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Yeah I guess Clemens does have the most Cy Young Awards, I guess I was getting a little too overexcited there. There has to be some record he hasn't broken, or he can redeam himself by winning the World Series, I'll also accept that.



posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 05:57 PM
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Well, two more ERA titles will tie him with Grove, but:

(1) You'd still have the fact Grove wasn't allowed to pitch in the majors until he was 25, because that privately owned minor league team of Jack Dunn's held onto his rights until Connie Mack forked over a sum equal to about 1/2 of Fort Knox to get him at age 25;

and

(2) Despite Clemens' historically great season last year, does anyone really see him winning any more ERA titles? And remember, he needs 162 innings pitched, just to qualify for an ERA title.

ON THE OTHER HAND--and I'm going to talk about this at enormous length later, when I get into a discussion comparing Grove's mindboggling feats to those of Clemens and Pedro. Adjusted ERA gives a pitcher enormous relief for having pitched in ballparks that were brutal on someone who pitched from his side of the mound, like Grove's parks (Shibe Park and Fenway Park) were; BUT

Adjusted ERA measures you against your contemporaries. Grove's fellow A.L. pitchers included a number of Hall of Famers, and some of them had some great years during his career (Lefty Gomez had one of the 15 or 20 greatest seasons ever, I believe), but he did not have to compete against Roger Clemens and The Big Unit (in the A.L.), or Pedro and Maddux (in the N.L.).

THEN AGAIN, there are a lot of REALLY TERRIBLE pitchers in baseball today. Our four historically great pitchers that we get to see today, and a couple of youngsters who may be destined to join them...? Well, they get to compete against all awful pitchers.

It's all fascinating to contemplate. I know two things for sure:

(1) There have never been this many pitchers in MLB before, nor this many really BAD pitchers, at least since the 19th Century; and

(2) At no time in MLB history have there been four established greats who could begin to rival Clemens, Maddux, Big Unit and--above all, to this point in time--Pedro. There are willfully blind historians who would say that I'm full of it, and that it was greater when Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson and Grover Cleveland Alexander were all active, circa 1910 or so.

That's just horse manure, and I don't care who says it. The limitations on those guys' value became apparent when live balls came in, they had to really pitch on EVERY pitch (or risk being taken deep), and the stats of probably the two best of those four pitchers--Johnson and Alexander--fell through the floor at ages 32 and 33, respectively.

All four of those guys belong in the Hall of Fame, and probably in the Top 20 pitchers of all time. Johnson is probably Top 10 among pitchers, and Alexander might be, too. But they can't carry the jocks of our Big 4, and I'm just sure of that.

Oh, how blessed we have been. And as long as he's clean and doesn't destroy his entire career like Palmeiro did, I want 1 or 2 more years from the Rocket, to see if he can pass Spahn for #1 winner of the Live Ball Era, if not passing the dead-tied Mathewson and Alexander for #3 all time in wins. What a feat that would be, and I would write a 25,000-word post about it.

BHN



posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 10:19 PM
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Yeah, I agree with you. All that stuff about the Dead Ball Era pitchers is just a heap of equine feces.

I don't think we will see Rocket get to 363 or 373 wins. If he does return to Houston this season, I think he'll get maybe 10 wins to break 350 in his career. Greg Maddux, on the other hand, may continue to surprise us all. He is in great shape and has gotten off to a good start. I honestly think he is good for three more 15-win seasons (including this year). If that is the case, he could catch Spahn, or at least pass Clemens.



posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 12:02 AM
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While he doesn't have the overall phenomenal numbers Grove has (who does?), Maddux has the #2 AND #3 single-season Adjusted ERA's since the year 1913 (i.e., since the Dead Ball Era). Until Pedro's mindblowing performance in 2000, Maddux had #1 and #2.

No, Maddux isn't within a mile of 9 ERA titles, nor of Clemens' what, 7 ERA titles (?), and he often has been in the other league from the other three monsters (but certainly not always). He never went 79-15 for a 3-year run and carried his team to three straight World Series in direct competition with the Ruth/Gehrig/Combs/Lazzeri/Dickey/etc. Yankees.

BUT.... He also didn't get the opportunity. He wouldn't have LOOKED nearly as awesome as Grove, for the same reason he hasn't looked nearly as flashy as Pedro, Clemens and the Big Unit: no blowaway fastball. But in addition to his 2 mindblowing Adjusted ERA years, he had two more both at 191. I think he would have been the best pitcher in his league at any era in baseball history, except his own era and the A.L. of Grove's time.

And it's not absolutely clear he won't wind up as the greatest pitcher of them ALL, when all is said and done. That's what's so fun about this. Right now, you'd have to say it's Grove, I think. But Clemens could claim it, with a couple of additional very fine years. Pedro WILL claim it with the way he's going, for this and, say, three or four more years after this. Or Maddux could claim it by steaming along with this maddening pitches for a few more years.

BHN



posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 04:32 AM
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Originally posted by BirdstheBest
Yeah, I agree with you. All that stuff about the Dead Ball Era pitchers is just a heap of equine feces.

I don't think we will see Rocket get to 363 or 373 wins. If he does return to Houston this season, I think he'll get maybe 10 wins to break 350 in his career. Greg Maddux, on the other hand, may continue to surprise us all. He is in great shape and has gotten off to a good start. I honestly think he is good for three more 15-win seasons (including this year). If that is the case, he could catch Spahn, or at least pass Clemens.




I don't know if you've seen my earlier post on this--from quite some time ago--but I'm going to update it as soon as this farcking brief is done (which is any day now). I will quote extensively from what Bill James said, in a 1980's treatise, about the huge fundamental difference between Dead Ball "pitching" and post-Dead Ball pitching and then I will follow it with my thoughts.

Young was 44 or 45 when he retired, and still never got to try his hand with the live ball. Neither did Mathewson. But the consensus expert view is that Johnson and Alexander were the two greatest Dead Ball pitchers in any event, and they were born less than one year apart in 1887. One of them had his numbers plummet immediately in 1920; the other survived on year, then plummeted in 1921. They were only 32 and 33 at the times, respectively.

I do not believe that is a coincidence.

In fact, the two men continued to pitch until 1927 and 1930, respectively. To be more fair, Johnson was a full-time pitcher through 1926, and had one great year in the 7 years from 1920-1926; Alexander was a full-time pitcher through 1928, and had one year with an Adjusted ERA above 134 (i.e., 157, in 1927) in the 8 years from 1921-1928.

If you look at a vertical column of their season by season W-L records, and then one of their ERA's, and then one of their Adjusted ERA's, it is very obvious they were wiped out as "legendary" pitchers by the live ball.

Walter Johnson, pitching in titanic Griffith Stadium with a strong arm, fast outfielders and a dead ball, had FOUR seasons with Adjusted ERA's over TWO HUNDRED, and another over 190, and another over 180!!! BUT: In the 8 years he pitched with a live ball, his four BEST figures were 148, 137, 129 and 118.

You don't need to be a baseball history genius, or even care about baseball, to make sense of those stats.

And because Alexander basically did the same thing, except that his best Adjusted ERA years were nowhere near as sensational, it's not just a fluke as to Johnson. Those are THE top guns of the Dead Ball Era, and all the next best ones (Young, Plank, Mathewson and Nicholls) didn't pitch with the live ball.

CONCLUSION: The phenomenal stats of the Dead Ball pitchers don't mean they would have been phenomenal, or even "very good," as REAL pitchers. As I'll explain when I redo that piece, it really is this simple: Dead Ball Era "pitching" was not pitching in any sense that we recognize as such; as soon as the live ball came in, and the prospect of a home run loomed on any pitch (with most batters, in most parks, at least), pitching changed at least 120 degrees, if not 180. And THAT is why all these fantastic numbers of games pitched, innings pitched and games won disappeared.

BHN



posted on May, 1 2006 @ 10:42 PM
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Clemens still hasn't signed with Houston, and I think he's pissed at them for not offering him arbitration in the first place. Peter Gammons agrees with BHN and thinks Clemens is the greatest living pitcher: /hfnb8

Gammons: "Roger Clemens is the greatest living pitcher....Now that is a broad statement when one begins to consider the credentials of Tom Seaver, Sandy Koufax, Jim Palmer, Juan Marichal, et al. But not only is Clemens the winningest modern pitcher with 341 victories, but he has done it (and compiled a 3.12 ERA) entirely in the era of the five-man rotation and in three offensive-oriented ballparks: Fenway Park, SkyDome, Minute Maid Park. "

"He has won six more Cy Young Awards (with one second- and two third-place finishes), led his league in ERA six times and in wins five times, won 12 more postseason games and at the age of 43 compiled a 1.87 ERA. And oh yes, he pinch-hit in the NLCS...And at 44, he may hold the key to three divisional races."

There's also a poll on the ESPN site showing the top 10 greatest living pitchers; you might be interested in the results. Gammons pointed out that Clemens will probably go into the hall of fame with a Red Sox hat and that the Sox will have his number (21) retired, which might lure him here. So far, Boston has had a better bullpen, which Clemens needs since he can only go about seven innings (Papelbon has 10 saves and a 0.00 ERA!). Also we'll get better offense when Coco Crisp returns, and adding Mirrabelli will not only make Wakefield better, he'll allow Variteck to get some rest. Also Clemens is tied for most Red Sox wins with Cy Young. That said, do you think Clemens was the best Red Sox pitcher ever?



posted on May, 1 2006 @ 11:56 PM
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My Good Buddy Kwyjibo,

PRELIMINARY NOTES: That piece by Gammons must have been written awhile ago. After last year, Clemens now has seven E.R.A. titles.

Also, let me say that WITH THE EXCEPTION OF GAMMONS, I think the historical rankings of ESPN's baseball "experts" aren't worth the cyberspace they're typed on. One of those clowns said he doesn't think Pedro Martinez--by FAR the #1 pitcher all-time in Adjusted ERA, and one of about 4 or 5 pitchers tied for third with 5 ERA titles--should make the Hall of Fame. What you have there, of course, is one of the countless sportswriters who hate Pedro, are irrational on the subject, and should never be allowed to vote on whether he makes the Hall.

Anyway, your question is a tough one, because it, in turn, begs this question:

How do you define a "pitcher in Red Sox history?" Is it SOLELY on the basis of what he did with the Red Sox, or is it on the basis of his entire career?

Now let me explain this:

If you're going to call Cy Young a "Red Sox pitcher"--which he was for 8 of his 22 years--then YES, I rate Clemens as having long ago left Cy Young in his dust. And the same is true if you're only counting the years the two men spent with the Red Sox.

As for Pedro Martinez, he's clearly a "Red Sox pitcher," having spent a lot more time with them than LA, Montreal or the Mets (so far). And as I have explained at length before, I believe Pedro wins on an inning-by-inning comparison, but Clemens has had a better total career, to date. But AS FOR THEIR TIME WITH THE RED SOX, I think Pedro is CLEARLY the better pitcher, as you'll see below.

And what of Lefty Grove? You will have noted that Gammons always says that Clemens is the greatest RIGHT-HANDER of all-time, the greatest RIGHT-HANDER in Red Sox history (I've heard him say that a lot), or the greatest LIVING pitcher. I guarantee you that's not because he thinks Sandy Koufax was better (he's alive), nor because he thinks Walter Johnson was better (he was a righty). It's because he, like most experts, thinks Grove was better.

Well, as I've said, Grove was robbed of his first 5 years because, as the son of miners from a dirt-poor Maryland family (he'd done some coal mining himself, as a teen), Grove jumped at Jack Dunn's contract to play for Dunn's own minor league team, the Baltimore Orioles, for whom Babe Ruth had played several years earlier. (WOW, what an eye for talent, huh?) So Grove lost at least 5 good years off his major league career--->that is NOT speculation, because he led the A.L. in K's his first year, and in ERA his second.

Well, OK. Grove pitched his first NINE years with Connie Mack's Philadelphia A's, and his last EIGHT years with the Red Sox. The majority of his incredible feats were racked up with the A's, including the three year run of going 79-15 and lifting the A's to three straight A.L. flags (and 2 W.S. wins) over Ruth/Gehrig/etc.

So QUESTION #1 is, if you are rating Grove, are you ONLY counting the 8 years as a member of Boston, or do you get to count all 17 years? If you count all 17 years, he's #1--not Clemens--and I'd bet plenty that Gammons would agree... for now.

If you only count Clemens and Grove for their years with Boston, I think Clemens probably wins, but it's close. Grove's final two years were really nothing... two years spent getting him, barely, to 300 wins. His record for those two years was 14-13, and it accurately reflects his Adjusted ERA for those years. Also, his first year with Boston was 1934, the year he BLEW OUT HIS ELBOW AND FOREVERMORE LOST HIS LEGENDARY FASTBALL, FORCING HIM TO LEARN HOW TO PITCH ALL OVER AGAIN, AS A JUNKBALLER. He went 8-8 that year, but with an atrocious 6.50 ERA and an Adjusted ERA of 74!! Connie Mack offered to take back the trade, but Tom Yawkey said No, a deal's a deal. Good move, Tom.

So when you talk about Grove's time with Boston, you are talking about the five years from 1935 through 1939. And OH, what a set of five years that was. He won FOUR more ERA titles, as a lefty without a fastball in Fenway park, at ages 35, 36, 38 and 39.

Say that ten times aloud and see if you can believe your ears. There is no equivalent for that in pitching history. It's absolutely incredible, and I've been wondering if Pedro, with his legendary fastball now slowed down considerably, has it in him to do what Grove did for those 5 years. If Pedro does, even those dishonest dweebs at ESPN won't be able to escape the truth about who's #1. But I frankly don't see that's happening, do you?

Anyway, Grove had five incredible years there--with Adjusted ERA's of 176, 190, 160 and 185 in the years he won his last four ERA titles, and an Adjusted ERA of 158 in the year he did not. Clemens has NEVER had more than a 3-year run with such consistency of excellence in his Adjusted ERA, not even in his youthful prime, and he sure as hell never could touch the pitcher Grove was from 1929 through 1931.

So, Kwy, it's all a matter of how you want to call it. I think it's tough to rate Clemens over Grove for all-time value, but easy to rate Clemens over Pedro (for now) and everybody else, in terms of all-time value.

Grove had two five-year runs, 1928-1932 and 1935-1939, which outshine any 5-year run Clemens has had. One of those was with the Red Sox. But Grove's total W-L record with the Red Sox was 105-62, which, while an excellent record, is nothing like his record with the A's, which was 195-79. (Not a misprint.)

Clemens' record with Boston was 192-111. That's not within a mile of Grove's record WITH THE A's, but it's a winning percentage of 63.37. Grove's CAREER winning percentage was .680 (absurd), but his winning percentage WITH BOSTON was 62.87, which is 0.5% BELOW Clemens' W-L percentage with Boston.

On the other hand, Grove won 4 ERA's in a much shorter span of time, at a much older age, and as a lefty in THAT park. Clemens won 4 ERA's as a righty in that park, in his prime years, over a considerably longer span of time.

I think it's quite clear Grove had the better career (so far). But it's up to YOU how you want to define this. Are you just going to count their respective seasons with Boston? If so, Grove has the edge in peak value--the great 5-year run from 1935 through 1939--but Clemens has the same number of ERA titles, essentially the same W-L %, and a hell of a lot more WINS, INNINGS PITCHED, etc.

Now, I can also give you Pedro's stats with BOSTON, but they will make you sick. His record was 132-45, a preposterous W-L % of 74.58. He won FOUR E.R.A. titles in SEVEN years, including one year in which he posted the best Adjusted ERA of all time (unless you want to count the year 1880). He also had a six-year string with these mindblowing Adjusted ERA's: 160, 245, 285, 189, 196 and 212.

You realize, of course, that these are quite possibly the three greatest pitchers in the history of baseball. I have Grove and Clemens at #1 and #2, right now, and easily could have Pedro at 1, 2 or 3 when he's done. So....

I have given you all the mindblowing stats as to these three giants when they were with the Sox, and you've seen me go on (and on and on and on) about their career stats other times. So YOU PLEASE TELL ME:

Who do YOU think is "THE BEST RED SOX PITCHER EVER?"

BHN



posted on May, 2 2006 @ 05:41 PM
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I gotta say Pedro is the best Red Sox pitcher ever. You summed it all up pretty well already. Pedro had a better ERA, winning %, more SO per 9 innings, and lower opposing BA. Also he did better in the playoffs than Clemens and put up his numbers during the prime years of "the steroid era." Schilling doesn't have enough years left in him to compete, but Beckett could be the next great Red Sox pitcher (hopefully).



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