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colepenhagen

Greatest Players in Each Sport

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When it comes to GOAT, that is always a tough one for me, because personally I think of it as a chart and when you are looking at the Greatest of All Time, you are looking at simply the very best that whatever skill position sport you are talking about has ever been done, the highest level of play is it a season, is it a 5-year window, is it a career, how do you quantify the very best that has ever done something? I think sometimes that gets confused with "GCOAT" Greatest Career of all time.

I always use the NFL running back analogy, its pretty tough to argue that anyone other than Emmitt Smith has had the greatest career of all time for a RB: MVPs, All Time leading rusher, All time TDs for RB, had TD per season record for a while, Super Bowls, Super Bowl MVP, Rushing title, etc. But...ask most people if Emmitt Smith is the greatest running back of all time? You will get a pretty resounding No, most of just that era would say Barry Sanders was better, including me who is a die-hard Cowboy fan.

So when looking at Kershaw, if you are looking at this window he is on, is that the Greatest of All Time? No. Its not even the greatests left-handed Dodger of all time, go back and look at Sandy Koufax 63-66 4 seasons in pretty much any measure you want and they are better than Kershaw's.

CY Young? 3/4 MVP 1/4, was 2nd two other times.

WHIP never over 1 in that stretch.

WAR? Had two years where his WAR was over 10.

Over those 4 years, Koufax was 97-27.

We hear so much about HOF being for long periods of time, we hear so much "he didnt do it long enough", that all went out the window with Koufax, where he was so dominant (although for short stretch) he was still put in the HOF.

for me its length of career 70% and 30% elite years

so you hade a 2-4 year window when you were considered the best of you time

what about the other 10 years of your career?

i think kershaw > koufax

koufax only has 5 elite years of pitching

kershaw has 3 elite years compared to kofax numbers

as long as kershaw has 3-5 years of good years 2.75era even his career will dominate kofax

and if you take kershaw last year and this year they are just as good as kofax

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I always use the NFL running back analogy, its pretty tough to argue that anyone other than Emmitt Smith has had the greatest career of all time for a RB: MVPs, All Time leading rusher, All time TDs for RB, had TD per season record for a while, Super Bowls, Super Bowl MVP, Rushing title, etc. But...ask most people if Emmitt Smith is the greatest running back of all time? You will get a pretty resounding No, most of just that era would say Barry Sanders was better, including me who is a die-hard Cowboy fan

I can argue that Jim Brown, Gale Sayers, and Walter Payton were better than either. Different eras and different rules. Number of games per season. What I marvel at is an Alan Page was considered one of the greatest defensive tackles (and he was a blast to watch), but he played at 220 pounds some years if I remember right. Now days that is light for the waterboy. Different times.

There are too many variances to proclaim any one player the greatest of all time. For pitchers in this era going over a 100 pitches or 7 innings brings cries of anguish that they will be ruining his arm. Another era it was common for both to happen. Think it was Marichal of the Giants who went 15+ innings and over 200 pitches in a single game. The other pitcher did the same.

Blyleven (not saying he is close to a GOAT) but look at the number of innings he put up year after year except injury years. He states that in that time it was a pitcher's job to finish what he started. Takes a toll after awhile. Now days a there is a pitcher for the 7th, 8th, and 9th inning which really helps both in prolonging a career and even letting a pitcher just go maximum effort at all times. Kershaw maybe an exception but time will tell if all the innings start adding up.

Makes for an interesting discussion though

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He's right there with Wilt for the clearest-cut GOAT candidates in the four major American sports.

No no no, there is only one true GOAT. As you can readily see, people can argue about Babe Ruth. Wilt is not even generally acknowledged to be #1 in basketball (WTF?).

The real GOAT is Wayne Gretzky. No one disputes it, because, well, no one can. He is a modern player whose records are just plain silly. You can remove all of his goals he ever scored (btw, he is easily #1 all time there) and he still has more points than any player in history.

Meh - Mario was better... Wayne just played in a much more offensive-minded period... Mario's peak coincided with the clutch and grab style of defense that lowered scoring dramatically.

See, you can argue about anything when you're talking about players in different time periods/eras.

I don't want to side-track this conversation but that's just not a valid opinion because your facts are just plain wrong. Gretzky also played in the league in EVERY year of Mario's peak, though obviously a few years older. Mario's best year he had 114 assists. Gretzky that year had the same number (oh by the way, his EIGHTH highest total of his career).

Sure people can argue different perspectives just to argue, but no hockey person would ever reasonably say that Mario was the greatest hockey player who has ever lived. No one.

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It's interesting to see all these different takes on this subject...

Ruth was the absolute greatest to ever play the game...He changed the game of baseball...When he hit 54 home runs in 1920, only one team combined for at least 54 home runs...Think about that for a moment. He was also a pitcher who won 20 games in back to back seasons...From 1926 through 1931 he never had less than 46 HR and 146 RBI...That is 6 years in a row with numbers that most players would consider a career year...Let's not forget the 3 home runs in one game in his last season at the age of 40...He will always be the GOAT in my mind...

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He's right there with Wilt for the clearest-cut GOAT candidates in the four major American sports.

No no no, there is only one true GOAT. As you can readily see, people can argue about Babe Ruth. Wilt is not even generally acknowledged to be #1 in basketball (WTF?).

The real GOAT is Wayne Gretzky. No one disputes it, because, well, no one can. He is a modern player whose records are just plain silly. You can remove all of his goals he ever scored (btw, he is easily #1 all time there) and he still has more points than any player in history.

Meh - Mario was better... Wayne just played in a much more offensive-minded period... Mario's peak coincided with the clutch and grab style of defense that lowered scoring dramatically.

See, you can argue about anything when you're talking about players in different time periods/eras.

I don't want to side-track this conversation but that's just not a valid opinion because your facts are just plain wrong. Gretzky also played in the league in EVERY year of Mario's peak, though obviously a few years older. Mario's best year he had 114 assists. Gretzky that year had the same number (oh by the way, his EIGHTH highest total of his career).

Sure people can argue different perspectives just to argue, but no hockey person would ever reasonably say that Mario was the greatest hockey player who has ever lived. No one.

Different leagues, unbalanced schedules (Gretzky didn't have to face the Devils as much, for example), different teammates... sure I can argue that Mario was better... hell, he saved the franchise from leaving the city - TWICE! :) Wayne's peak was during a very high scoring environment - that's simply true... Mario's wasn't.

I'll close with this :)

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/49890-mario-lemieux-vs-wayne-gretzky-six-reasons-why-66-is-greater-than-99

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I hate to say it but it's hard to even take stats from those days seriously. Yes, Ruth is the GOAT if our sole definition of that is who had the biggest gap in talent relative to his respective era. He's right there with Wilt for the clearest-cut GOAT candidates in the four major American sports. But then there's the fact that neither could ever come close to that level of dominance today, and you pair that with the fact that training regimens and ballpark sizes and competition levels are different today, and there's simply no way to pair across eras.

Of course current Kershaw is a superior pitcher to any version of Cy Young, Christy Mathewson or Walter Johnson. But then so is Bartolo Colon. Hell, you stick 2005 Jeff Suppan with everything that comes with 2005 back in the dead ball era or very early 1900s, and he's putting up a sub-2 ERA every season of his career. It's really not fair to pitchers of yesteryear to be involved in this discussion, because it's difficult NOT to minimize their achievements when the game was so different back then. These guys were the best of their time, but claiming to know whether Cy Young would be nearly as effective a pitcher if his career spanned 1990-2010 is impossible to say.

All I know is Greg Maddux and Pedro are the current 1a/1b out of all the pitchers who (in my eyes) can be justifiably compared to those of today's game. Kershaw is very close to that level, and while he doesn't have any of the top 3-4 seasons out of those 3 (including if you throw in guys like Clemens/Big Unit), there's still plenty of time for him to do so. The fact that he's still so young means he can reach top 2-3 ever or higher resume-wise just on longevity alone.

But we say that about every superstar of his caliber who is in his mid-20s. And normally it doesn't happen. Personally I think Kershaw has the potential to leapfrog just about every pitcher over the past 30 or so years, but he's also pitching in the NL in a top three pitcher's ballpark in the majors. Pedro was more dominant, in the middle of a juiced up era with some of the most productive hitters ever, across two leagues. To me, Pedro is the best pitcher of all time. But since I'm a Yankee fan: I hope you enjoyed what we did to you in your last two starts ever, Pedro. 2004 doesn't erase who your daddy is.

not taking anything away from pedro but he wasnt good/elite untill he was 25 (his 5th full year in the show)

then from age 25-31 he had his sting of elite years.... kershaw has matched those numbers in his 1st 6 years

so if kershaw can go another 4-7years and dominate sub 3 era 220plus ks ect 1 whip he will dominate pedros numbers

i do also take into account al vs nl ballpark and PEDs and pedro is definatly an all time great

i wasnt trying to trash or bag on any of the greats walter pedro maddex the unit but i just want to bring to lite how fricking amazing kershaw has been since he was 21 years old and cant think of another pitcher to dominate at such a young age and keep it up

a career 2.48 era 1.05whip 9.4 kper9

last 4 years a 2.07 era 0.93whip 9.55 kper9

Bold above. Do you really? Doesn't seem so. NL = no DL. Massive difference given what Pedro faced in Boston in a ball park hitter friendly AL (DL) East. Steroids haven't gone totally away but they have been way reigned in compared to the steroid era. Just look at the home run, RBI and run totals compared to today's new deadball era.

Also before you dismiss Walter Johnson because of his deadball era 1.0. 1. Less teams meant less marginal players on teams. 2. Transportation was way harder. 3. No modern day training etc etc. 4. No access to all the modern day pitches.

Also if you assume Johnson's era was easier then in this fantasy discussion you also have to compare what he might have been if he was Kershaw's contemporary right now. What would Walter Johnson have done with all the perks modern day pitchers have.

Same with Pedro and Kershaw. Would Kershaw have been as good at the peak of the steroid era playing in the AL East's band box ball parks with pressure on him for all 9 spots in the line-up? The lack of a DL is a huge HUGE help for NL pitchers. Not just facing a fellow pitcher but also the "pressure pitches" they don't have to throw at that time. Even the 8th batter tends to be easier in the NL. If you want to say Walter Johnson had it easier then in turn you have to say that Kershaw has it easier than Pedro had it.

In the end it's just pov. But I would never ever say anyone today is the best ever after only a few years in the league. That is just asking for a fall from grace for that player.

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He's right there with Wilt for the clearest-cut GOAT candidates in the four major American sports.

No no no, there is only one true GOAT. As you can readily see, people can argue about Babe Ruth. Wilt is not even generally acknowledged to be #1 in basketball (WTF?).

The real GOAT is Wayne Gretzky. No one disputes it, because, well, no one can. He is a modern player whose records are just plain silly. You can remove all of his goals he ever scored (btw, he is easily #1 all time there) and he still has more points than any player in history.

Meh - Mario was better... Wayne just played in a much more offensive-minded period... Mario's peak coincided with the clutch and grab style of defense that lowered scoring dramatically.

See, you can argue about anything when you're talking about players in different time periods/eras.

I don't want to side-track this conversation but that's just not a valid opinion because your facts are just plain wrong. Gretzky also played in the league in EVERY year of Mario's peak, though obviously a few years older. Mario's best year he had 114 assists. Gretzky that year had the same number (oh by the way, his EIGHTH highest total of his career).

Sure people can argue different perspectives just to argue, but no hockey person would ever reasonably say that Mario was the greatest hockey player who has ever lived. No one.

Different leagues, unbalanced schedules (Gretzky didn't have to face the Devils as much, for example), different teammates... sure I can argue that Mario was better... hell, he saved the franchise from leaving the city - TWICE! :) Wayne's peak was during a very high scoring environment - that's simply true... Mario's wasn't.

I'll close with this :)

http://bleacherrepor...greater-than-99

Wow those are some horrible reasons. To save people time, the argument include that Mario defeated cancer while Gretzky did not, that Mario did more for his franchise AFTER retirement, that Mario boldly overcame injuries which Gretzky didn't have, and a freak 1 game accomplishment which was cool but equivalent to Tatis hitting 2 grand slams in one inning.

It also includes one stats-based argument which is based on wrong statistics: http://www.hockey-reference.com/leaders/points_per_game_career.html

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Also someone said above how good could the older era be when Ruth was also a great pitcher before becoming a great hitter. Maybe we should ask how can one man have that much talent that he could do both instead. Especially how out of shape he looks in the pictures. I really wonder what he would have been like if he played in this era where he would have had to train year round and kept himself fit.

Thinking about something like that interests me more than a couple of arguably great players no doubt who so far are only starting out in baseball. So much can happen along the way to derail those two from Olympian status. Not wishing it on either. But wait until they actually have had a career before crowning them king. It's enough they are kings in your fantasy league this season. Leave it at that.

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Wow those are some horrible reasons. To save people time, the argument include that Mario defeated cancer while Gretzky did not, that Mario did more for his franchise AFTER retirement, that Mario boldly overcame injuries which Gretzky didn't have, and a freak 1 game accomplishment which was cool but equivalent to Tatis hitting 2 grand slams in one inning.

It also includes one stats-based argument which is based on wrong statistics: http://www.hockey-re...ame_career.html

I knew you'd love it! PS - Mario kills Gretzky on goals/game (.754 to .601) - and, as we all know, assists are largely dependent on how good your team is and how much scoring, in general, the league has... goals are pure talent. (fwiw, I'm assuming the stats the author quoted were before Mario's ill-conceived "comeback" at 35 after 4+ years out of the league)... even counting those years though, they are about as close as you can be in points/game (and the only two in the same stratosphere, fwiw). I've always kind of wondered why the NHL didn't do "scoring" like they do in soccer - where goals count more than assists.. if they did, Mario would rank above Gretzky there too.

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I hate to say it but it's hard to even take stats from those days seriously. Yes, Ruth is the GOAT if our sole definition of that is who had the biggest gap in talent relative to his respective era. He's right there with Wilt for the clearest-cut GOAT candidates in the four major American sports. But then there's the fact that neither could ever come close to that level of dominance today, and you pair that with the fact that training regimens and ballpark sizes and competition levels are different today, and there's simply no way to pair across eras.

Of course current Kershaw is a superior pitcher to any version of Cy Young, Christy Mathewson or Walter Johnson. But then so is Bartolo Colon. Hell, you stick 2005 Jeff Suppan with everything that comes with 2005 back in the dead ball era or very early 1900s, and he's putting up a sub-2 ERA every season of his career. It's really not fair to pitchers of yesteryear to be involved in this discussion, because it's difficult NOT to minimize their achievements when the game was so different back then. These guys were the best of their time, but claiming to know whether Cy Young would be nearly as effective a pitcher if his career spanned 1990-2010 is impossible to say.

All I know is Greg Maddux and Pedro are the current 1a/1b out of all the pitchers who (in my eyes) can be justifiably compared to those of today's game. Kershaw is very close to that level, and while he doesn't have any of the top 3-4 seasons out of those 3 (including if you throw in guys like Clemens/Big Unit), there's still plenty of time for him to do so. The fact that he's still so young means he can reach top 2-3 ever or higher resume-wise just on longevity alone.

But we say that about every superstar of his caliber who is in his mid-20s. And normally it doesn't happen. Personally I think Kershaw has the potential to leapfrog just about every pitcher over the past 30 or so years, but he's also pitching in the NL in a top three pitcher's ballpark in the majors. Pedro was more dominant, in the middle of a juiced up era with some of the most productive hitters ever, across two leagues. To me, Pedro is the best pitcher of all time. But since I'm a Yankee fan: I hope you enjoyed what we did to you in your last two starts ever, Pedro. 2004 doesn't erase who your daddy is.

not taking anything away from pedro but he wasnt good/elite untill he was 25 (his 5th full year in the show)

then from age 25-31 he had his sting of elite years.... kershaw has matched those numbers in his 1st 6 years

so if kershaw can go another 4-7years and dominate sub 3 era 220plus ks ect 1 whip he will dominate pedros numbers

i do also take into account al vs nl ballpark and PEDs and pedro is definatly an all time great

i wasnt trying to trash or bag on any of the greats walter pedro maddex the unit but i just want to bring to lite how fricking amazing kershaw has been since he was 21 years old and cant think of another pitcher to dominate at such a young age and keep it up

a career 2.48 era 1.05whip 9.4 kper9

last 4 years a 2.07 era 0.93whip 9.55 kper9

Bold above. Do you really? Doesn't seem so. NL = no DL. Massive difference given what Pedro faced in Boston in a ball park hitter friendly AL (DL) East. Steroids haven't gone totally away but they have been way reigned in compared to the steroid era. Just look at the home run, RBI and run totals compared to today's new deadball era.

Also before you dismiss Walter Johnson because of his deadball era 1.0. 1. Less teams meant less marginal players on teams. 2. Transportation was way harder. 3. No modern day training etc etc. 4. No access to all the modern day pitches.

Also if you assume Johnson's era was easier then in this fantasy discussion you also have to compare what he might have been if he was Kershaw's contemporary right now. What would Walter Johnson have done with all the perks modern day pitchers have.

Same with Pedro and Kershaw. Would Kershaw have been as good at the peak of the steroid era playing in the AL East's band box ball parks with pressure on him for all 9 spots in the line-up? The lack of a DL is a huge HUGE help for NL pitchers. Not just facing a fellow pitcher but also the "pressure pitches" they don't have to throw at that time. Even the 8th batter tends to be easier in the NL. If you want to say Walter Johnson had it easier then in turn you have to say that Kershaw has it easier than Pedro had it.

In the end it's just pov. But I would never ever say anyone today is the best ever after only a few years in the league. That is just asking for a fall from grace for that player.

im dont know how many times i have to say this im talking about kershaws 1st 5 years.... kershaws 1st 5 years are equal 2 or better than pedros elite years and how can you accurately factor a ballpark? are you also taking into temperature LA hotter than boston ball fly further, wind? what about day games vs night games? theres so many variables that affect every game

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I always use the NFL running back analogy, its pretty tough to argue that anyone other than Emmitt Smith has had the greatest career of all time for a RB: MVPs, All Time leading rusher, All time TDs for RB, had TD per season record for a while, Super Bowls, Super Bowl MVP, Rushing title, etc. But...ask most people if Emmitt Smith is the greatest running back of all time? You will get a pretty resounding No, most of just that era would say Barry Sanders was better, including me who is a die-hard Cowboy fan

I can argue that Jim Brown, Gale Sayers, and Walter Payton were better than either. Different eras and different rules. Number of games per season. What I marvel at is an Alan Page was considered one of the greatest defensive tackles (and he was a blast to watch), but he played at 220 pounds some years if I remember right. Now days that is light for the waterboy. Different times.

There are too many variances to proclaim any one player the greatest of all time. For pitchers in this era going over a 100 pitches or 7 innings brings cries of anguish that they will be ruining his arm. Another era it was common for both to happen. Think it was Marichal of the Giants who went 15+ innings and over 200 pitches in a single game. The other pitcher did the same.

Blyleven (not saying he is close to a GOAT) but look at the number of innings he put up year after year except injury years. He states that in that time it was a pitcher's job to finish what he started. Takes a toll after awhile. Now days a there is a pitcher for the 7th, 8th, and 9th inning which really helps both in prolonging a career and even letting a pitcher just go maximum effort at all times. Kershaw maybe an exception but time will tell if all the innings start adding up.

Makes for an interesting discussion though

One of the all time if not the all-time greatest game in terms of a pitchers duel, it was Warren Spahn, another HOF, Marichal went 16 innings of scoreless ball, Spahn went into the 16th, gave up solo jack to Willie Mays to lose the game 1-0, both pitchers went full distance.

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I hate to say it but it's hard to even take stats from those days seriously. Yes, Ruth is the GOAT if our sole definition of that is who had the biggest gap in talent relative to his respective era. He's right there with Wilt for the clearest-cut GOAT candidates in the four major American sports. But then there's the fact that neither could ever come close to that level of dominance today, and you pair that with the fact that training regimens and ballpark sizes and competition levels are different today, and there's simply no way to pair across eras.

Of course current Kershaw is a superior pitcher to any version of Cy Young, Christy Mathewson or Walter Johnson. But then so is Bartolo Colon. Hell, you stick 2005 Jeff Suppan with everything that comes with 2005 back in the dead ball era or very early 1900s, and he's putting up a sub-2 ERA every season of his career. It's really not fair to pitchers of yesteryear to be involved in this discussion, because it's difficult NOT to minimize their achievements when the game was so different back then. These guys were the best of their time, but claiming to know whether Cy Young would be nearly as effective a pitcher if his career spanned 1990-2010 is impossible to say.

All I know is Greg Maddux and Pedro are the current 1a/1b out of all the pitchers who (in my eyes) can be justifiably compared to those of today's game. Kershaw is very close to that level, and while he doesn't have any of the top 3-4 seasons out of those 3 (including if you throw in guys like Clemens/Big Unit), there's still plenty of time for him to do so. The fact that he's still so young means he can reach top 2-3 ever or higher resume-wise just on longevity alone.

But we say that about every superstar of his caliber who is in his mid-20s. And normally it doesn't happen. Personally I think Kershaw has the potential to leapfrog just about every pitcher over the past 30 or so years, but he's also pitching in the NL in a top three pitcher's ballpark in the majors. Pedro was more dominant, in the middle of a juiced up era with some of the most productive hitters ever, across two leagues. To me, Pedro is the best pitcher of all time. But since I'm a Yankee fan: I hope you enjoyed what we did to you in your last two starts ever, Pedro. 2004 doesn't erase who your daddy is.

not taking anything away from pedro but he wasnt good/elite untill he was 25 (his 5th full year in the show)

then from age 25-31 he had his sting of elite years.... kershaw has matched those numbers in his 1st 6 years

so if kershaw can go another 4-7years and dominate sub 3 era 220plus ks ect 1 whip he will dominate pedros numbers

i do also take into account al vs nl ballpark and PEDs and pedro is definatly an all time great

i wasnt trying to trash or bag on any of the greats walter pedro maddex the unit but i just want to bring to lite how fricking amazing kershaw has been since he was 21 years old and cant think of another pitcher to dominate at such a young age and keep it up

a career 2.48 era 1.05whip 9.4 kper9

last 4 years a 2.07 era 0.93whip 9.55 kper9

Bold above. Do you really? Doesn't seem so. NL = no DL. Massive difference given what Pedro faced in Boston in a ball park hitter friendly AL (DL) East. Steroids haven't gone totally away but they have been way reigned in compared to the steroid era. Just look at the home run, RBI and run totals compared to today's new deadball era.

Also before you dismiss Walter Johnson because of his deadball era 1.0. 1. Less teams meant less marginal players on teams. 2. Transportation was way harder. 3. No modern day training etc etc. 4. No access to all the modern day pitches.

Also if you assume Johnson's era was easier then in this fantasy discussion you also have to compare what he might have been if he was Kershaw's contemporary right now. What would Walter Johnson have done with all the perks modern day pitchers have.

Same with Pedro and Kershaw. Would Kershaw have been as good at the peak of the steroid era playing in the AL East's band box ball parks with pressure on him for all 9 spots in the line-up? The lack of a DL is a huge HUGE help for NL pitchers. Not just facing a fellow pitcher but also the "pressure pitches" they don't have to throw at that time. Even the 8th batter tends to be easier in the NL. If you want to say Walter Johnson had it easier then in turn you have to say that Kershaw has it easier than Pedro had it.

In the end it's just pov. But I would never ever say anyone today is the best ever after only a few years in the league. That is just asking for a fall from grace for that player.

im dont know how many times i have to say this im talking about kershaws 1st 5 years.... kershaws 1st 5 years are equal 2 or better than pedros elite years and how can you accurately factor a ballpark? are you also taking into temperature LA hotter than boston ball fly further, wind? what about day games vs night games? theres so many variables that affect every game

Which part of Kershaw's last 5 years(I went with his last 5 years, as they're better than his first 5) is better than Pedro's elite stretch? I'm seeing better ERA/WHIP, more K's, and more wins for Pedro. I hate wins, but whatever. I think we can all agree that the degree of difficulty regarding lineups/ballparks that Pedro dealt with is much higher than what Kershaw is seeing today. Look at the bottom three in the lineups of ARI/SF/COL and the great park he pitches in, not to mention the higher runs/game in general during Pedro's days.

None of that is to knock Kershaw, but that run that Pedro had was special. Puts it even more in perspective given how much we are in awe of Kershaw's current numbers.

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I hate to say it but it's hard to even take stats from those days seriously. Yes, Ruth is the GOAT if our sole definition of that is who had the biggest gap in talent relative to his respective era. He's right there with Wilt for the clearest-cut GOAT candidates in the four major American sports. But then there's the fact that neither could ever come close to that level of dominance today, and you pair that with the fact that training regimens and ballpark sizes and competition levels are different today, and there's simply no way to pair across eras.

Of course current Kershaw is a superior pitcher to any version of Cy Young, Christy Mathewson or Walter Johnson. But then so is Bartolo Colon. Hell, you stick 2005 Jeff Suppan with everything that comes with 2005 back in the dead ball era or very early 1900s, and he's putting up a sub-2 ERA every season of his career. It's really not fair to pitchers of yesteryear to be involved in this discussion, because it's difficult NOT to minimize their achievements when the game was so different back then. These guys were the best of their time, but claiming to know whether Cy Young would be nearly as effective a pitcher if his career spanned 1990-2010 is impossible to say.

All I know is Greg Maddux and Pedro are the current 1a/1b out of all the pitchers who (in my eyes) can be justifiably compared to those of today's game. Kershaw is very close to that level, and while he doesn't have any of the top 3-4 seasons out of those 3 (including if you throw in guys like Clemens/Big Unit), there's still plenty of time for him to do so. The fact that he's still so young means he can reach top 2-3 ever or higher resume-wise just on longevity alone.

But we say that about every superstar of his caliber who is in his mid-20s. And normally it doesn't happen. Personally I think Kershaw has the potential to leapfrog just about every pitcher over the past 30 or so years, but he's also pitching in the NL in a top three pitcher's ballpark in the majors. Pedro was more dominant, in the middle of a juiced up era with some of the most productive hitters ever, across two leagues. To me, Pedro is the best pitcher of all time. But since I'm a Yankee fan: I hope you enjoyed what we did to you in your last two starts ever, Pedro. 2004 doesn't erase who your daddy is.

not taking anything away from pedro but he wasnt good/elite untill he was 25 (his 5th full year in the show)

then from age 25-31 he had his sting of elite years.... kershaw has matched those numbers in his 1st 6 years

so if kershaw can go another 4-7years and dominate sub 3 era 220plus ks ect 1 whip he will dominate pedros numbers

i do also take into account al vs nl ballpark and PEDs and pedro is definatly an all time great

i wasnt trying to trash or bag on any of the greats walter pedro maddex the unit but i just want to bring to lite how fricking amazing kershaw has been since he was 21 years old and cant think of another pitcher to dominate at such a young age and keep it up

a career 2.48 era 1.05whip 9.4 kper9

last 4 years a 2.07 era 0.93whip 9.55 kper9

Bold above. Do you really? Doesn't seem so. NL = no DL. Massive difference given what Pedro faced in Boston in a ball park hitter friendly AL (DL) East. Steroids haven't gone totally away but they have been way reigned in compared to the steroid era. Just look at the home run, RBI and run totals compared to today's new deadball era.

Also before you dismiss Walter Johnson because of his deadball era 1.0. 1. Less teams meant less marginal players on teams. 2. Transportation was way harder. 3. No modern day training etc etc. 4. No access to all the modern day pitches.

Also if you assume Johnson's era was easier then in this fantasy discussion you also have to compare what he might have been if he was Kershaw's contemporary right now. What would Walter Johnson have done with all the perks modern day pitchers have.

Same with Pedro and Kershaw. Would Kershaw have been as good at the peak of the steroid era playing in the AL East's band box ball parks with pressure on him for all 9 spots in the line-up? The lack of a DL is a huge HUGE help for NL pitchers. Not just facing a fellow pitcher but also the "pressure pitches" they don't have to throw at that time. Even the 8th batter tends to be easier in the NL. If you want to say Walter Johnson had it easier then in turn you have to say that Kershaw has it easier than Pedro had it.

In the end it's just pov. But I would never ever say anyone today is the best ever after only a few years in the league. That is just asking for a fall from grace for that player.

im dont know how many times i have to say this im talking about kershaws 1st 5 years.... kershaws 1st 5 years are equal 2 or better than pedros elite years and how can you accurately factor a ballpark? are you also taking into temperature LA hotter than boston ball fly further, wind? what about day games vs night games? theres so many variables that affect every game

Which part of Kershaw's last 5 years(I went with his last 5 years, as they're better than his first 5) is better than Pedro's elite stretch? I'm seeing better ERA/WHIP, more K's, and more wins for Pedro. I hate wins, but whatever. I think we can all agree that the degree of difficulty regarding lineups/ballparks that Pedro dealt with is much higher than what Kershaw is seeing today. Look at the bottom three in the lineups of ARI/SF/COL and the great park he pitches in, not to mention the higher runs/game in general during Pedro's days.

None of that is to knock Kershaw, but that run that Pedro had was special. Puts it even more in perspective given how much we are in awe of Kershaw's current numbers.

I love this comparison so far.. because Pedro peaked in his age 27/28 seasons... and Kershaw is 26 this year... I gotta make myself not trade him in my keeper league for at least 2+ more years now :)

PS - Kershaw has had to deal with Coors Field - that helps level the field a bit... (and no, Coors field hasn't slowed him down - I doubt an AL lineup would either... this is what I was saying before - both him and Pedro probably hit the "floor" of what an ERA can possibly be for a long stretch - neither is really more impressive than the other - but Pedro gets more credit because scoring was higher then... basically Kershaw would have to put up a sub-1.0 ERA for the statheads to say he's equivalent to Pedro's peak - and that's not possible)

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Pedro's FIP in 1999 was 1.39... that's what 313 Ks, 37 BBs and 9 HRs will do for ya.

Yeah his 2.07ERA really didn't do him justice, crazy.

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Another couple things - Kershaw will end up leading the league in ERA/WHIP for 4 straight years - Pedro never did that... Kershaw started his run at age 23... Pedro at age 25. It's really scary to think about how good Kershaw could be if he stays healthy.

Mental note - don't even think about trading him in your keeper league.

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I hate to say it but it's hard to even take stats from those days seriously. Yes, Ruth is the GOAT if our sole definition of that is who had the biggest gap in talent relative to his respective era. He's right there with Wilt for the clearest-cut GOAT candidates in the four major American sports. But then there's the fact that neither could ever come close to that level of dominance today, and you pair that with the fact that training regimens and ballpark sizes and competition levels are different today, and there's simply no way to pair across eras.

Of course current Kershaw is a superior pitcher to any version of Cy Young, Christy Mathewson or Walter Johnson. But then so is Bartolo Colon. Hell, you stick 2005 Jeff Suppan with everything that comes with 2005 back in the dead ball era or very early 1900s, and he's putting up a sub-2 ERA every season of his career. It's really not fair to pitchers of yesteryear to be involved in this discussion, because it's difficult NOT to minimize their achievements when the game was so different back then. These guys were the best of their time, but claiming to know whether Cy Young would be nearly as effective a pitcher if his career spanned 1990-2010 is impossible to say.

All I know is Greg Maddux and Pedro are the current 1a/1b out of all the pitchers who (in my eyes) can be justifiably compared to those of today's game. Kershaw is very close to that level, and while he doesn't have any of the top 3-4 seasons out of those 3 (including if you throw in guys like Clemens/Big Unit), there's still plenty of time for him to do so. The fact that he's still so young means he can reach top 2-3 ever or higher resume-wise just on longevity alone.

But we say that about every superstar of his caliber who is in his mid-20s. And normally it doesn't happen. Personally I think Kershaw has the potential to leapfrog just about every pitcher over the past 30 or so years, but he's also pitching in the NL in a top three pitcher's ballpark in the majors. Pedro was more dominant, in the middle of a juiced up era with some of the most productive hitters ever, across two leagues. To me, Pedro is the best pitcher of all time. But since I'm a Yankee fan: I hope you enjoyed what we did to you in your last two starts ever, Pedro. 2004 doesn't erase who your daddy is.

Not trying to derail this into a basketball argument but just for the sake of argument who the hell could stop Wilt in any era? Hahahaha he would literally manhandle anyone from Shaq to Hakeem to Kareem... He only went down a little bit when he got older and Kareem was in his prime that was the only time Wilt looked somewhat human....If he would have just put up half the #'s he did he'd still easily be one of the best if not the best the fact that the man never came out of the game, put up absurd statistics, had remarkable talent unseen in any other era of basketball just makes it icing on the cake he's the best player of all time... Could you imagine Wilt against the bum centers of the NBA Today hahaha that would be a joy to see probably drop 70 a game... at least back then players fouled Wilt and were all over him 24/7 but he got no calls today they wouldn't be able to touch him and he'd be like a video game cheat code out there.... But for the Babe everyone likes to say that he wouldn't be as good the competition is better and all that stuff, but nobody will ever know for sure... what if Ruth was honestly just THAT good... its possible he was and if he lived in this era with modern training he could still be the GOAT but we will never know for certain

sorry but have you seen deandre jordan, dwight howard, and andre drummond play??? they are pyhsical freaks just like wilt... neither of them re anywhere near as good or willl be as good but they could hold there own guarding him(not give up 30pts-55points)

again i hate to bring up the look who played against but look who he played against how many centers were even close to 7 ft tall and weight 250plus lbs?

For the next six years, Wilt controlled his opponents in similar fashion–his averages for the first half of his career are 39.5 points per game and 24.9 rebounds per game, including a 50.4 PPG season and a 27.2 RPG season, both NBA records.

However, despite his individual performance, Wilt’s teams never managed to win an NBA Finals, and Wilt gained a reputation of a loser whose first concern was individual statistics rather than team achievements, and a notoriously poor teammate both on and off the court

im sorry but how in the world can you avg 50 pts 27 reb and not win the nba finals and be considered the GOAT???

he didnt win a nba finals until he was traded and his points dropped to 20 a game

he still and all time great like ruth just trying to give his stats some prospective

Wow......like i said i won't turn this into a basketball conversation but never in my life have a heard a more ignorant opinion about Wilt Chamberlain .... actually i have and that is the sad part Wilt is the best bball player ever to me this is not even remotely a discussion Jordan who? Oh you mean the guy ESPN D-rides 24/7 because he won 6 titles in the 90s and is the most recent best player during his time playing? Don't get me wrong Jordan is a monster and my #2 ever but to discredit Wilt is just a joke Wilt wasn't human to me personally he's the greatest athlete of all time Track star, world class volleyball player, a man that could bench 550 lbs, 7' 3'' wingspan like a God 50" inch vertical the best passing big man of all time, the only center to ever lead the NBA in assists, the best player ever in his own sport, Must i go on? the man literally broke the game of basketball once you mentioned guys like Howard and Deandre I just lost all respect.... Chamberlain in high school towered over Howard at his current age and the fact that he's a 1000000000000x better player just is icing on the cake

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^^^ just stop dwight 6 11 265 same vert

drummond 7 foot 280

wilt 7ft 1 276 lbs

HE PLAYED AGAINST 6 FT 7 CENTERS DO YOU NOT GET THAT?????

and again i never said howard was better did i? no i said howard dj and drummond would not allow wilt 30-55 pts and 25 rebs

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When asking these questions, you gotta look at peak vs. career value. At peak value, I can argue that Pedro was the greatest pitcher of all-time for a seven-year stretch from 1997-2003. That peak is at least in the same stratosphere as the Big Train, the Big Unit, the Professor, Koufax or Kershaw. But for career value, Pedro can't come close to any of those other guys (except Koufax) because he was merely good-not-great outside his peak years.

We have no reasonable idea what Kershaw's career value is going to be. Close to Pedro or closer to Johnson (Walter or Randy)? He needs to keep it up for 4-6 more years if you're going to start putting him in with the all-time greats.

FWIW, there have been six pitching seasons with WAR >= 10.0 since 1990. Pedro, Greinke, and Randy and Roger twice each. Kershaw has yet to break 8.0, although he might this year.

Is he on the right path for all-time great? Sure. But he's maybe 1/4th of the way there.

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Who are the true, transcendent, dominant, changed-their-game greats ever?

Babe Ruth

Byron Nelson (11 in a row)

Pele

Jim Brown (led the league 8 out of his 9 years)

I can make an argument for Air Jordan, maybe

Emmitt? Even Walter Johnson? Inner circle due to longevity and greatness. But the above are the only ones I can think of who were truly unstoppable in their time.

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