Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 30, 2006
BASEBALL: Starting for the National League

If my math is correct, the National League career record for games started is 677, by Steve Carlton. Greg Maddux started number 673 today, notching his 333rd victory and reaching 15 wins for the 18th time.

Will Maddux return next year? Hard to say. As more than one reader has pointed out to me, I was premature in declaring Maddux done this summer after consecutive months of 1-4 with a 5.94 ERA, 1-4 with a 6.25 ERA, and 2-3 with a 5.21 ERA before reviving with the Dodgers (as an aside, one reason I was skeptical that Maddux would get better in LA was that he had actually pitched much better at Wrigley this year than on the road, so the "get to a better park" theory seemed strained).

Even if he doesn't, you have to ask at this point a question I intend to address in more detail at a later date: whether Maddux is, in fact, the best pitcher in the National League's history, surpassing - when you adjust for the context of his time, including levels of offense as well as the difference in pitcher workloads over time - the National League careers of such luminaries as Carlton, Christy Mathewson, Grover Alexander, Tom Seaver, Warren Spahn, Kid Nichols, John Clarkson, Bob Gibson, and Sandy Koufax.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:35 PM | Baseball 2006 | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Maddux is the best.

With the PED allegations about Clemens resurfacing thanks to the Grimsley affadavit, we should reconsider the conventional wisdom that Clemens has been the best pitcher of this generation.

Maddux outsmarted the opposition, he didn't out-steroid them.
That's the difference.

Posted by: fred at October 1, 2006 12:03 PM

Not even.

At this point I'm not buying new accusations against anyone, especially not from someone that's trying to buy their ass out of jail with the feds. I don't buy it, not for a minute.

This guy makes the same claims about Andy Pettitte in that affidavit. Pettitte is a religious man and I just do not believe he was shooting up steroids. He hasn't commented, the new accusations came out after they were gone from the clubhouse yesterday. I want to hear what he has to say about it, but his (and Clemens) agent was pretty outraged from what I'm reading.

Baseball clearly has a steroid/performance enhancing drug problem. Both Pettitte and Clemens have played for YEARS now under the new testing regime and there's never been a whiff of a problem.

They both deserve the benefit of the doubt - since they PROVEN by being tested repeatedly for years and passing - that they aren't doping, and their level of performance has been maintained, hell even increased in Clemens case. Clemens is maintaining a sub 2.00 ERA for the last 2 years while being tested, and that's pretty damn solid proof IMO.

New explosive accusations - especially from some guy trying to buy his ass out of jail, or trying to sell a book - have to be proved before you take away the benefit of the doubt from big name players like Clemens and Pettitte. Its cheap, nasty and sleazy. It needs to stop.

Posted by: Dwilkers at October 1, 2006 12:46 PM

Dwikers, your arguement about testing is ridiculous. Clemens et al are being specificly accused of taking a drug FOR WHICH THERE IS NO TEST. Clemens is being called a cheater - not a moron, and considering his penchant for repeatedly screwing fans as a mercenary, I can believe he tried to buy an edge.

Posted by: BENSDAD00 at October 1, 2006 1:12 PM

Sorry, my paper doesn't say which drug they're being accused of using.

And to be clear, I'm not even arguing about which pitcher is best of all times or anything. I'm simply sick guys with a stake in making these accusations being believed or given the benefit of the doubt when THEY'RE the ones that are in trouble with the law.

Posted by: Dwilkers at October 1, 2006 1:19 PM

Here's a late story from the Houston Chronicle that didn't make it in my home delivered edition, and you can read for yourself what Pettitte and Clemens say about this.

Posted by: Dwilkers at October 1, 2006 1:44 PM

What does Pettite being a religious man have anything to do with it?

Posted by: Matt at October 1, 2006 2:38 PM

I just don't believe it Matt, but never mind. I give it up.

In any case, the Astros just lost, its the Cards for sure. Smoltz tossed an excellent game today, had a lot of movement on his pitches, beat us fair and square. Good luck to you guys in the playoffs, I'll be rooting for you.

Posted by: Dwilkers at October 1, 2006 3:56 PM

I would not put Koufax in the same category as Seaver, Maddux or Carlton. Sandy just didn't do it long enough.

Posted by: steve at October 1, 2006 6:22 PM

As a big, big Maddux fan I have no hesitation in saying that if I was managing game 7 of the World Series tomorrow, I'd take Koufax and Gibson over Maddux in a split second. I'd give serious thought to Seaver and Carlton, too. I remember Spahn but he was at the end of his career.

Posted by: Ignatius J Reilly at October 4, 2006 11:49 PM
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