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Monday, January 30, 2012

Roger Clemens

Eligible in 2013.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 30, 2012 at 07:09 PM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 30, 2012 at 07:16 PM (#4049892)
Like Bonds, the Rocket was another guy who didn't meed PEDs for greatness.
   2. OCF Posted: January 30, 2012 at 08:04 PM (#4049929)
RA+ PythPat equivalent record: 359-187. Some pertinent comparisons to that:

Cy Young: 519-298 (so Young - Clemens is 160-111)

Walter Johnson: 427-230 (so Johnson - Clemens is 68-43)

Kid Nichols with no defensive correction: 369-193
[Note: both Young and Nichols have some data from before 1893, which I don't really like to use in this context. And at one point I did a defensive correction on Nichols that dropped him to 352-210.]

Pete Alexander: 369-208 (so Alexander - Clemens is 10-21. Slight advantage, Clemens)

Lefty Grove: 295-143 (so Clemens - Grove is 66-44. But that's without minor league credit for Grove)

Christy Mathewson: 332-199

Tom Seaver: 330-201

Warren Spahn: 340-242

Greg Maddux: 344-213

As for individual years: I have Clemens' top year as 1997, at an equivalent 24-6. After that, he has years of 22-9, 18-5, 19-6, 20-8, 21-10, 19-8, 19-7, 19-10, 18-9. It's quite a list of top years. He had a 7-year stretch, 1986-1992, in which he went an equivalent 138-62, or about 20-9 per year. (Just for reference, the last 7 years of Koufax come it at 134-67).
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 30, 2012 at 09:18 PM (#4049969)
What year do you think he could have retired and still have been inducted? If he had retired say after the 1996 season, he'd have 192 wins, but three 20 win seasons, four ERA titles, three strikeout titles, five All-Star appeareances and three Cy Youngs to his name. His career would be not unlike Catfish Hunter. Does he still get in?

   4. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 30, 2012 at 09:36 PM (#4049984)
I imagine so, not least because he probably never gets nailed for steroids.
   5. OCF Posted: January 30, 2012 at 10:00 PM (#4050005)
If he had retired say after the 1996 season, ... His career would be not unlike Catfish Hunter.

Calling that "not unlike Catfish Hunter" is being superficial. In RA+ equivalent record, I have Hunter's entire career as 206-178. Clemens truncated after his 1996 season is 204-104. I know you were probably making a Hall of Fame argument, but this is a Hall of Merit thread and I'd prefer to stick to HoM arguments.

Some comparisons to that 204-104:

Stieb, entire career: 190-131. Which is significantly worse, and Stieb is in the HoM.

Cone, entire career: 190-132. Ditto.

Koufax, entire career: 163-95. Which makes the difference 41-9. Not there.

Dazzy Vance: 201-129. Still not there, and Vance was a fairly easy HoMer.

Whitey Ford: 218-134. Still not there, and that's without correcting for those Yankee defenses.

Big Ed Walsh: 210-119. Still not 204-104.

Addie Joss: 161-98. Nope.

Cy Young as a 20th-century A.L. pitcher: 228-139. Still not there.

The first part of Walter Johnson's career, trimmed to the same length as Joss's career: 198-92. OK, that gets there.

I think if Clemens retires after 1992, he's got an argument for the HoM. (152-73 equivalent).
   6. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 30, 2012 at 10:03 PM (#4050007)
What year do you think he could have retired and still have been inducted? If he had retired say after the 1996 season, he'd have 192 wins, but three 20 win seasons, four ERA titles, three strikeout titles, five All-Star appearances and three Cy Youngs to his name. His career would be not unlike Catfish Hunter. Does he still get in?


No, because he didn't have any real postseason success on his resume at that point. He might have made it after 1998 and two more Cys, and definitely would have after 2000, with the postseason one-hitter against Seattle and the eight inning/two hit performance against the Mets to punctuate his career.

-- MWE

EDIT: And I agree he'd have been in the HoM based solely on his Boston career.

   7. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 30, 2012 at 11:08 PM (#4050056)
What year do you think he could have retired and still have been inducted? If he had retired say after the 1996 season, he'd have 192 wins, but three 20 win seasons, four ERA titles, three strikeout titles, five All-Star appeareances and three Cy Youngs to his name. His career would be not unlike Catfish Hunter. Does he still get in?

In HOF terms, everyone who has three Cys is in (if eligible); everyone who has four ERA titles is in (same disclaimer). So it seems like a soild bet, at least if his retirement is injury-related.

HOM-wise, who would you rather have - Clemens through 1998, or Pedro's entire career? Clemens has an extra 14-24 in record, and about 450 more innings with an ERA+ disadvantage of 154-151. WAR gives it to Clemens - in fact, WAR gives it to Clemens even if you cut it back to 1997, and he's within a win if you take only his Boston career.

So, how about this - is Clemens a Rickey-style two Hall of Famers (or HOMers) player, taking his Boston career as one and his post-Boston career as the other?
   8. OCF Posted: January 30, 2012 at 11:36 PM (#4050076)
So, how about this - is Clemens a Rickey-style two Hall of Famers (or HOMers) player, taking his Boston career as one and his post-Boston career as the other?

By RA+ equivalent records:

Boston Rocket: as stated above 204-104. I think the rest of post #5 makes that a pretty clear "yes."

The rest of him: 155-83. To me, in value, that's roughly comparable to Stieb, Reuschel, Ferrell (with the hitting adjustment), Saberhagen, Cone, Drysdale, even Koufax (as a career measure.

---

Or you could split earlier. Make the cut after the 1992 season. Then the early career checks in at 152-73, which is all that much better than 152-73, and the 1993-2007 remainder becomes 207-114, which is pretty convincing.
   9. DL from MN Posted: January 30, 2012 at 11:43 PM (#4050081)
Clemens:Pete Alexander::Maddux:Mathewson
   10. OCF Posted: January 31, 2012 at 12:04 AM (#4050085)
Clemens:Pete Alexander::Maddux:Mathewson

That makes a lot of sense, except for one thing: there was only one Walter Johnson.

The terms of discussion have changed in ~90 years. We don't always put the same relative weight on sportsmanship, perceived intelligence, quotability, and so on - but Maddux is widely respected as and Mathewson was widely respected. And Maddux and Mathewson were great, great pitchers, too. The reasons why Alexander didn't bask in the same glow diverge more widely from the reasons that Clemens doesn't. But I still like the analogy.
   11. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 31, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4050272)
It's hard to make any comparisons with Young, since he wouldn't have been anywhere near 500 wins had he been born in 1962 instead of 1867. I'd bet money he wouldn't have made it to 400, either.

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