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Baseball: Curt Schilling

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posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 10:18 PM
So Curt Schilling is off to a 4-0 start (tied for first in AL) and has an 1.61 ERA (first in AL). Unfortunately he got a no decision tonight but at least we won. Anyway, I was wondering what the general opinion is of Schilling here. Do you feel he's recovered and will continue with his success or will his ankle give him more trouble, or does nobody care about Schilling and think he's a jerk for talking about things he has no business talking about?

posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 11:01 PM
I think Schilling's stats smell like 3-month-old sardines, EXCEPT for the all-important Adjusted ERA, which keeps him off my Steroid/HGH Cheats list.

Do you know that at the start of the 2001 season, when Schilling was 35 years old, his career W-L record was 121-107? Since then, from ages 35-39, he is 82-36. Does that sound just a bit fishy, especially for a power pitcher?


His Adjusted ERA's have been as follows, from 1992 to 2004 (last year, he pitched fewer than 100 innings, due to injury):

1992: 150 (50% better than average, with park adjustments)
1993: 100
1994: 96
1995: 121
1996: 138
1997: 143
1998: 134
1999: 130
2000: 130
2001: 124
2002: 154
2003: 136
2004: 159

Those numbers are his salvation. I am not going to go to the trouble of listing the # of innings pitched for each year, but it's OBVIOUS that, despite his very mediocre W-L% until 2001, Schilling had a far above average (100) Adjusted ERA prior to 2001. Without that, I would dismiss him as a cheat... which he may be anyway.

But if you look at those numbers, you'll see that he was a much better pitcher in 1992, the year BEFORE he was the star of the Phillies World Series team, than he was in 1993, their Series year. So, strictly on the basis of his Career Adjusted ERA--which is only 3 points below that of Sandy Koufax--I think the suspiciously radical change in W-L records should be dismissed as coincidental.

That doesn't mean his great power pitching in his late 30's is legit. It may well not be. But in light of those Adjusted ERA stats, I don't have any circumstantial evidence of his guilt, so he gets the same benefit of the doubt as anyone else against whom there's no clear circumstantial evidence.


posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 11:24 PM
I realize Schilling has only had three 20 win seasons, and has never won a Cy Young (Although he was runnerup 3 times). I'm not saying he's a hall of fame caliber pitcher, but I was wondering if the general consensus is he's washed up. He's silenced a lot of critics so far, so I guess time will tell and I should've posted this in the future. On an unrelated note, Curt has won 3 championships, and that trumps statistics and personal glory (to me at least).

edit to add: You never know who took what performance enhancers, and suspicion will hopefully dissipate soon. Even though Schilling has spoken out about steroids, the burden of guilt always falls on the defendant (I'm pretty sure I didn't word that right).

[Edited on 4/25/06 by Kwyjibo]

posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 11:32 PM
Oh, I think he'll get plenty of Hall of Fame consideration. He's almost at 200 wins, and his career Adjusted ERA is 128, which puts him ahead of LOTS AND LOTS of Hall of Famers, including many whose names you know.

He needs a couple more good years to make himself a strong candidate, but he's already got a good shot.

posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 11:40 PM
The question I have is will his body hold up for a few more good years? After last years disaster a lot of fans doubted Schilling would ever regain any dominance (we're a fickle bunch). As far as Boston fans go, the bloody ankle episode sold Schilling to us as Hero. I'm not sure if the rest of the people think he needs a few more impressive years to truly define himself as one of the greats.


posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 11:48 PM
I'm pretty sure the experts will. The 192 wins are really not enough, unless a guy's a great pitcher (Sandy Koufax, Dizzy Dean). The .594 W-L % is very good, but it is not great.

It's the Adjusted ERA that gives him a shot. It's #40 all time, and that INCLUDES 19th Century pitchers, relievers and currently active pitchers with as little as 1,000 innings pitched. His career Adjusted ERA puts him ahead of, among many others, Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver, Jim Palmer and Dazzy Vance. That's serious company, and he's ahead of them all.

Of course, pitching one or two mediocre years will put him behind them. But I think he needs Win #200. Good luck to him this year.


posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 11:58 PM
Quick question, do you not take postseason performance into consideration?

posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 12:26 AM
Yes and no. I distastefully must agree that "clutch performers" are myths, at least when it comes to hitters. With pitchers, I'm not so sure, and perhaps tomorrow is the night to post the incredible story of the 1965 World Series.

Obviously a World Series performance counts for more than a game in June.

Now, please realize I grew up on old-fashioned baseball, when the Series was the ONLY post-season ball. This "division playoff" stuff is really new on me... great for money, but it sure skews the postseason playoffs and makes individual postseason games less important than they were when ALL postseason games were World Series games, or even when it was just the Series and Conference Championships.

In 1905, Christy Mathewson started 3 W.S. games--and threw 3 complete game shutouts. Now, he wound up tied for #3 on the career wins list and had a monster career, but if he hadn't, if he'd been a borderline HOF'er, that Series would probably make the difference to me. Then again, Lew Burdette had a borderline Hall career, going 203-144 (but with a miserable 98 Adjusted ERA). In 1957, he won THREE World Series games to beat the Yanks, 4 games to 3. Yeah, they got past the great Warren Spahn, but not him. Burdette is NOT in the Hall. So in his case, it didn't do the job.

But I can say this with absolute confidence:

Bill Mazeroski had an atrocious lifetime on-base percentage of .299! (That is really, really, really bad.) He also hit only 138 regular season HR's and had a very modest .367 career slugging average. Now, he is considered THE greatest defensive second baseman of all time, but there are men who wear that honor at other positions and have never come within a mile of Cooperstown.

Bill James rates Maz as the #29 second baseman of all-time (which is generous, if anything), and agrees he was #1 defensively at that position. James clearly feels, as I do, that the Hall had no business admitting Maz. But guess what? Maz--not Joe Carter, not Bobby Thomson, not Kirk Gibson, etc.--hit the most important, most thrilling HR in the history of baseball. The HR every kid who plays baseball dreams of hitting.

And THAT, combined with his legendary ability at 2B, got him into the Hall. If he doesn't hit that HR, he has no more chance of getting in than does Charlie Grimm, who played from 1916-1936 and was arguably the greatest defensive first baseman of all time, but a nothing with a bat in his hands.


[Edited on 4/28/06 by BaseballHistoryNut]

posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 12:42 AM
Schilling is borderline. But he's better then 2 HOF pitchers already in, Phil Niekro and Don Drysdale.

PRAA (Pitching Runs Above Average)

Schilling 300
Glavine 278 in more games
Niekro 258 in far more games
Drysdale 245 with 209 career wins

Schilling had better peak years then those three. I would take Schilling over them all.
A .594 win % is pretty good.

Niekro got in for 300 wins, Glavine has 275, and probably gets in because of win total.
Drysdale was good for a short time, but overrated.

Schillings low win total will hurt him, but in reality, he was the best of the guys above.

posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 12:45 AM
I'm aware of the 65 series. Koufax pitched a shutout against Minnesota in game 7 on two days rest (I think that's what you meant, as you come off to me as a big Koufax fan). As far as no clutch hitters anymore, I must once again bring up David Ortiz. Hear me out with this; he hit two game winning hits against the Yankees in 2004 and led the team to the single greatest sports comeback in history. He also had a game winning home run against Anaheim in the previous series. Has any other player had three game winning hits in the playoffs in one year? I know the criticism is that he hasn't had a lot of at bats, but he's had around 18 game winning hits during the regular season. He's the very definition of clutch, but yeah I'm biased.

Good points about Mathewson and Mazeroski, I wasn't aware Maz even made it into the Hall.


posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 12:48 AM
If you check out Ortix career stats, you will see he hasn't been clutch, but simply David Ortiz. He had a nice 04 05, but you can't cherry pick years.

posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 01:12 AM
apparently you don't know Red Sox fans, we disregard your feable "logic" and go on cold blind faith. Seriously though you're right but there is no way in hell you can convince me that Ortiz has not been the most clutch player in 04 and 05 (granted the Red Sox didn't win in 05)

edit to add: I don't want to jinx him, but so far this year his numbers are up there, and my optimistic side says he's got a couple more really good years in him.

[Edited on 4/26/06 by Kwyjibo]

[Edited on 4/26/06 by Kwyjibo]

posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 01:18 AM
There are MANY, MANY more pitchers in the Hall who are worse thank Schilling. The three worst pitchers in the Hall, in my opinion, are Rube Marquard, Jesse Haines and Rollie Fingers... with Marquard as the worst. James picks Marquard and Haines as the worst, but also thinks Fingers is a joke.


posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 11:35 AM
In the past, some pitchers might've gotten into the Hall due to a watered down pool. Schilling is going to have to compareto Martinez, Clemens, Johnson, and Maddux. 200 wins in 19 seasons isn't too impressive either. It seems to me Schilling's career most compares to David Cone, whom I'm not sure will make the Hall himself.

posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 12:28 PM

That is a misconception. Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux and Pedro Martinez all have a chance of being remembered as the greatest righty of all time, or even as the greatest pitcher of all time. Pedro has a LEGITIMATE chance of being remembered as the greatest pitcher of all time.

You and I have discussed this before. A guy doesn't have to compete against the greatest players ever at a position, in order to make it in, and nowhere is that truer than at pitcher. We have been blessed to see THREE men, all still pitching, for whom a plausible case can probably be made--after they're retired--as the greatest righty ever: Clemens, Pedro and Maddux. Pedro has a shot at surpassing Grove as the greatest PITCHER ever, too, given his breathtaking Adjusted ERA to this point in his career.

The Unit has a very real shot at surpassing all lefties except Grove, and as Hootie said the other night, it's quite arguable he's already passed the immortal Spahn, which WOULD put him #2 among lefties already.

Curt Schilling does not have to match up with those guys to get in the Hall. If pitchers had to do that, the doors of the Hall would pretty much be closed to pitchers.

Every now and then, baseball witnesses a Periclean Age at a position. From 1955-1980, it had Mathews (my #2), Brooks Robinson (enormously overrated, but still Top 10, i.m.o.), Schmidt (#1), Brett (my #3), Santo (James' #6), Nettles (whom I think James underrates), and others at 3B; and the long-accepted hogwash that Pie Traynor was the greatest 3B ever--which had never been true--was gone.

In the 1930's, baseball had Gehrig, Foxx and Greenberg at 1B, all in the same LEAGUE. A very credible case still can be made, by those willing to give Greenberg credit for the 4 doubtless awesome years he lost to WW II, that those guys are the top 3 ever at 1B, pending further developments with Albert Pujols.

And now here WE are, at the tail end of a Periclean Age of pitchers. I don't accept Dead Ball pitchers as anywhere near as good as Live Ball ones--including Walter Johnson and Grover Cleveland Alexander, who weren't that old when the live ball came in in 1920, but whose careers tailed off dramatically in 1920 and 1921, respectively. I will back that up with a long post, like I did once before, if someone likes.

And I can think of precious few righties from 1920-1985 whom I would put ahead of Pedro, Clemens and Maddux. I'd put all 3 of them ahead of Seaver, despite the comparative shortness of Pedro's career. They're already ahead of Palmer. Burleigh Grimes (winningest pitcher of the 20's)? Har de har har. Robin Roberts? Not even close. Dizzy Dean? Inning for inning, maybe, but he had precious few innings.

I think that ROGER CLEMENS is the greatest right-handed pitcher of all time, unless and until we have direct or circumstantial evidence he has cheated. I think GREG MADDUX is probably #2. And I think Pedro could pitch .550 ball for 4 seasons after this one, and, with ERA's about 20% above the league norm and a total of about 275 wins (and about what, 125 to 135 losses?), and an Adjusted ERA that's STILL #1 all time, surpass Lefty Grove as the greatest pitcher of all time with the greatest Adjusted ERA of all time.

Enjoy it while it lasts. These guys have done this in OUR time, and they've done it through Steroid Ball. The three of them and The Big Unit, along with Grove, should have their own wing in the Hall.


P.S. Kwy, I'm sorry if I've misled you. I am NOT a Koufax fan. There are millions of baseball fans my age who think Koufax--for five years--was the greatest ever. He wasn't. Check those Adjusted ERA stats I put out there. He only cracked the All-Time Top 100 seasons TWICE, and neither of those seasons was that high up on the list. All the other pitchers I checked did far, far better, in terms of how high their greatest seasons were and/or in terms of how many of the Top 100 seasons they had.

I do think what Koufax did in Game 7 of 1965's WS was incredibly clutch and almost superhuman. I have the broadcast tapes of that game (and a lot of other famous games, including the Maz game, the Larsen perfect game, the Bobby Thomson game, etc.). But I HATE the Dodgers, as Giants fans must, and I've never been a great Koufax fan. In fact, with the development of Adjusted ERA's and the recognition of the absurd extent to which Dodger Stadium helped him, I derive a lot of pleasure from seeing him knocked down off that pedestal quite a bit.

I always knew he was never Lefty Grove, not even in that 5-year peak as compared to Grove in Shibe Park in 1928-1932 or 1929-1933, but it's nice to know he doesn't EVEN compare to the four aging pitching gods of our day. I wonder how many more we'll be able to say that about in another 10 or 15 years.


posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 05:55 PM
I understand that a pitcher isn't directly competing with other pitchers for a shot in the Hall. There are no space restrictions, as you have pointed out. I was just pointing out that some of Schilling's stats (excluding adjusted ERA) pale in comparison to some current pitchers (sorry I never differentiated between righties and lefties).

You feel it has been a Periclean age at the pitcher position, but what about the offense explosion over the past 20 years (I know steroids played a role). My understanding was that during the golden age of Greece, there was more prosperity and stability, which is missing from most teams pitching staffs these days.

I thought you were a Koufax fan because of a previous thread on Dwight Gooden. I always thought he was a great pitcher, but am not as up to speed on him as I should be. I gotta watch more classic ESPN. Anyway, I more surprised you dont give Nolan Ryan more regard. I guess he had a bad adjusted ERA or his winning percentage is too low.


posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 09:31 PM
My good buddy Kwyjibo,

My bad for not clarifying what I meant. It's been a Periclean Age for GREAT pitchers, just as those other periods were for GREAT 1B and 3B players. We also have, due to expansion, a lot of wretchedly bad pitchers. And, of course, steroids/HGH and tiny ballparks have made a lot of pitchers look worse than they are.

But it's a fact that, as shown by those Adjusted ERA stats I put up, we are blessed to be watching four of the greatest pitchers ever--and I mean four of the very top pitchers ever--right now. I'm sure you agree, after the info I put up. Don't you? The Cy Young Awards agree, especially if you take the award Zito so fraudulently and laughably won, and give it to Pedro, who had a historically great year that year.

Schilling is a very fine pitcher, as long as he's legit. I have real doubts about that, but not nearly enough circumstantial evidence to say otherwise. And NOW, with the year it looks like he's in the process of having, if he keeps it up, I think this will put him in the Hall--if he never throws another pitch after this season.

Koufax, as I said, is approximately the seventh greatest lefty in the history of baseball. That's certainly not nothing. He was a great pitcher--one of the 20 greatest of all time, probably. But the morons at ESPN rated him as the #1 pitcher ever, and that's a very bad joke showing no concept of home-park advantages, career values, baseball history, etc. It's like rating Abba as one of the Top 10 groups of all time, simply because they were popular.

As for Ryan, I think we tend to overrate him because: (1) he had an excellent "decline phase," looking much better than most pitchers do after their 35th birthdays; and (2) everyone loves a strikeout machine. But just as a guy who draws lots of walks tends to be underrated offensively (see especially Max Bishop, the leadoff hitter on the Lefty Grove A's teams, who is the only person other than Ted Williams with a HIGHER career on-base percentage than Ruth), pitchers who strikeout lots of batters tend to be forgiven for lots of walks. James rated Ryan at #24 in 2000, but would certainly rate him lower now, moving at least Pedro and Big Unit ahead of him.

I think #26 is too generous, and I'm willing to bet Hootie will agree with me. But the guy did last a long time and get a lot of K's in big situations that needed K's (mostly because he'd walked the bases full), and he lasted an unbelievable amount of years for someone who threw so hard. I've never ranked my Top 20 or Top 30 righties, but I imagine Ryan would at least make my Top 30, and if he made my Top 20, he'd probably be right around my #30 overall pitcher.

But I'm telling you, despite the extremely low batting averages his opponents had, his opponents' on-base percentages were anything but low, and that's what counts in most pitcher/hitter confrontations. Walk a couple of guys, get them bunted over, and ONE hit = 2 runs. A wild pitch = 1 run.

I used to marvel at Ryan. I ALWAYS loved watching him pitch, just as I loved watching Dave Kingman hit the kind of HR's, naturally, that the best of the modern-day steroid freaks hit by cheating and breaking federal law. But Kingman was a guy who hit 1 HR every 15 AB's, and basically did nothing else, not even take unintentional walks. The one good thing was he never grounded into double plays, because he always struck out or hit mile-high popups.

Ryan was a MUCH better pitcher than Kingman was a player, don't get me wrong, but his teams paid enormous prices for all those walks, and THAT is why his career W-L record is what it is. It's not a matter of his having had bad luck for 27 consecutive years--though he WAS perhaps the unluckiest pitcher ever in 1987.

And you are right, of course, that there's no need to differentiate righties from lefties. I did the lefties to show, first, how I rank the seven men who are clearly the best southpaws of all time, along with the man who's probably #8 (and seek input about who else might be #8); and second, to show how Koufax stacks up against our four modern superstar pitchers--which is to say, very poorly.

The same is true, in spades, of Nolan Ryan. But, as I'm sure you would remind me, my own comments apply there:

The fact Ryan doesn't come close to matching the skills of Pedro, Clemens, Maddux and Randy Johnson--four of the very greatest pitchers ever--does not mean he was not a very good pitcher, or, as a huge number of people believe--even a great one.

What kept him from greatness, in my opinion, was ALL those absurdly prolific walks. He was, in a sense, the inverse of Roberto Clemente. Give Clemente 1,000 more walks--which he could have had, easily, and probably more--and his career value soars. He probably moves from the #7 to #12 RF of all time, to the #4 RF of all time, passing everyone up to and including the great Mel Ott, and trails only Ruth, Aaron and Frank Robinson.

But Clemente was too manly to take walks. And Ryan couldn't control his "hummer" well enough to avoid allowing 962 more walks than any other pitcher who ever lived.

That's a great deal to overcome. It says a great deal about how excellent a pitcher Ryan was that he could overcome such an enormous handicap and become one of the 30 to 40 greatest pitchers ever. I do not believe that Lefty Grove, Roger Clemens or anyone else could have walked 2,795 batters and been nearly as good a pitcher as Ryan was. But the hard truth is this: If you walk THAT many men, there is a glass ceiling that going to limit severely how good you can be. I am amazed Ryan was as good as he was, given that obscene number.

Aren't you?


posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 01:49 PM
I agree that Nolan Ryan tends to be overrated among the pitching greats. He never won the Cy Young award and didn't have an outstanding win/loss percentage, not to mention all the walks. The thing that I think makes Ryan so legendary is he was the most intimidating pitcher, as he had little control and a lot of firepower. Also strikeouts and no hitters are the type of things fans are drawn to with pitchers. He did have a 194 adjusted ERA in 1981, which I would say is pretty good. For his career he was at 112, which I'm assuming is decent.

Earlier you brought up Robin Roberts in a quick aside. He has a similar career adjusted ERA (113). His name doesn't get brought up a lot but he had 6 consecutive 20 win seasons, including going 28-7 in 1952. How come nobody every mentions Roberts with the greats?

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 02:10 PM
Robin Roberts, and not Warren Spahn, was the greatest pitcher of the first half of the 1950's. And it wasn't close. But he had only one pitch--his blazing heater--and when it went, his career plummeted. He hung on for a long time, but from the time he was about 30 on (1956 or so), he was never the same pitcher again.

So he had a great peak period, but a mediocre career value. I don't think he gets quite the credit he deserves, personally.


posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 01:48 AM
I just printed a pile of stats for Pedro Martinez. MY GOD, what a 14-year career he's had, prior to this year--although he's only had 12 seasons as a starter. But give him this year and four more, and he will have had the same number of seasons as a starter that Lefty Grove had.

Now, one big difference: Grove was on the "Baltimore Orioles," an independently owned minor league team belonging to Jack Dunn, for about five years in the early 1920's. That's the same team and owner that turned out a guy named Ruth in late 1914. Dunn held onto Grove's rights for several years, and watched him rack up preposterously great stats against hopelessly overmatched competition, until Connie Mack paid something like $125,000 for Grove--an unheard of sum--to get him for the 1925 season.

Since Grove was annihilating the competition in the early 1920's, it's safe to assume that after 1+ year of seasoning, he'd have been a monster pitcher in the majors. After all, he led the A.L. in K's in his first year, and in E.R.A. in his second year. So he'd have been piling up the dominant stats in 1922 or 1923 (at age 22 or 23)--a LOT sooner than he was--but for Jack Dunn's "owning" him for those 5 or 6 years.

And, as a 6'3" young man, with an overpowering fast ball, arms the length of a 6'8" man's arms, and a lean frame and weird movement that made his pitches a biatch to pick up (he could scrape the mound with his knuckles), Grove was basically an early-day Big Unit. You couldn't pick up his release point until the ball was almost upon you, and you did well just to make feeble contact with it.

It is very safe to say that instead of winning the strikeout title his first 7 seasons, he would have done it more like 10 or 12. And it's even safer to say that instead of winning an incredible 9 ERA titles, he would have won an unthinkable 10, 11 or 12.

And then baseball fans wouldn't need history freaks like me to know just how incredibly great the guy was. He'd be known as "The Babe Ruth of pitchers." Probably should be anyway.

However, tomorrow, when I am not nearly as exhausted as I am right now, I will make a long post in which I will do two things:

(1) Make a case--though probably a pretty halfhearted one--that Pedro is ALREADY the greatest pitcher in baseball history, and that his numbers, while obviously smaller, are every bit as freakish, breathtaking and impossible as Grove's; and

(2) Try to read the future for Pedro. Since I'm a LOT better at analyzing a player's past numbers than I am at predicting the future, y'all can feel free to read part (1) and blow of part (2), if you think it prudent.


P.S. Isn't it awesome how, even as they age, two of these four still-active pitchers of historically great proportions--Maddux and Pedro--are 5-0? And I suppose a third one, Roger Clemens, could do the same, if and when he finally gets going later this spring.

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