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Repoz
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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Posnanski: The Best Pitcher In Baseball History

Poz’s selection may angry up the blood.

How good was Roger Clemens? Well, yesterday I pointed out that his career is better than Sandy Koufax and Johan Santana.

But Matthew Namee — who was once Bill James’ research assistant — does me one better. He sent Tom Tango a comparison that shows that Roger Clemens is, basically, Sandy Koufax PLUS Pedro Martinez, the two greatest short-career pitchers in the game’s history.

How does he figure that? Start with Pedro:

Clemens in Boston: 81 WAR, 56 Wins Above Average, 2776 innings.
Pedro career: 86 WAR, 61 WAA, 2,827 innings…

Now, let’s bring in Koufax.

Clemens after Boston: 58 WAR, 39 WAA, 2,141 innings.
Koufax career: 53 WAR, 31 WAA, 2,324 innings…

I guess it comes down to this: Everyone gets that, whatever role PEDs played in it, Barry Bonds played baseball at a level that would put him in the conversation with Ruth, Mays, Charleston and the rest for greatest player ever. Whether he deserves to be in that conversation  — whether his performance was, in Bob Costas’ word, “authentic” — is opinion, but nobody doubts that Bonds really was that good.

What people will miss is that Clemens — whatever role PEDs played in his success — is not only in the conversation for greatest pitcher ever. He IS the conversation.


 

 

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