Thursday, May 12, 2005

Of non-bellyitchers

Since Diddy Mao is apparently at a stage of his blogging career where he will only respond to direct prompts, and since it’s been a while since we’ve gone ahead with a debate-oriented topic, I am going to ask him to answer a little baseball question for me. Any other readers are welcome and encouraged to follow suit, and give me their answers to the query. Said query is this:

It is fairly well established that, despite this being the Age of the Juice in baseball, we are witnessing four unequivocal masters at work on the pitching mound, in Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux, and Pedro Martinez. So, I want Dids and anyone else to give me their opinions on the following two questions: Which of the four do you think had the best career, and, alternatively, which of the four, at the absolute zenith of their respective powers, was the best? In your answers, please give rationales, and for the second question, please tell me how you’re defining what a player’s "peak" actually is (like "1 year" or "3-year stretch" or whatever).

Let’s hear what you ‘mos have to say.


At 1:25 PM, May 17, 2005, Blogger Jack Fu said...

I guess I will give a succinct answer to my question first. As for who has had the best career, I probably have to go with Clemens, as much as I dislike the guy. He’s got over 330 wins, and will probably be one of the last guys to ever get to 300, what with the way young pitchers blow their arms out early nowadays. Throw in two World Series, umpteen frickin’ Cy Young awards, a career K/BB ratio of 3:1, and being the only guy to throw two 20-strikeout games, and you’ve got a guy who is, as much as I hate to admit it, truly one of the all-time greats. The fucker.

“Best while at his peak” is a damn tough one. You’ve got Randy Johnson’s last ten years or so, when he was dominant but never really otherworldly. You’ve got Clemens’s season a few years ago with the Yankees when he started the year with like 11 straight wins. You’ve got Pedro’s ‘99 and ‘00 seasons, when he was throwing (Don) beebees and just making hitters look stupid (and I hate to bring it up, but that time he came out of the ‘pen against Cleveland in the ‘99 playoffs and absolutely slammed the door with six innings of no-hit ball was one of the single most dominant performances I’ve ever seen in any sport). But to pick one over all the others, I think I might have to go with Greg Maddux’s 1995 season. You may remember that as the year in which he went 19-2, with 10 complete games, a 1.63 ERA and a WHIP of ... wait for it ... 0.81! He went 19-2, for Christ’s sake! But you really can’t go wrong with any of these guys, and just thinking about pitching this good is making me angry, as I’m stuck remembering that the best Tigers pitcher since Jack Morris skipped town is probably a toss-up between Bill Gullickson and Jeff Weaver...


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