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  #551  
Old 07-30-2020, 11:59 PM
Kenny Cole Kenny Cole is offline
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Originally Posted by G1911 View Post
Any other Koufaxers got any more? "bad self", "idiotic", jock sniffer. Surely we can get 5 today. My block list is filling up fast.
Please do. Then I don't have to deal with your idiocy any more.
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  #552  
Old 07-31-2020, 02:07 AM
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Default Of with there heads!

Holy smokes...without me even paying any attention, this thread has 550 replies.

I did not check, nor am I going to, but I am pretty sure no one has mentioned the misspelling in the thread title. It was of-putting enough to make me want to bypass this thread altogether.

Brian (by the way, I am the best lefty ever, even though I am right handed)
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  #553  
Old 07-31-2020, 06:02 AM
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So after 550+ posts it appears we now have a consensus..... Koufax is the "Best Lefty of All Time" - correct?
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  #554  
Old 07-31-2020, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by HistoricNewspapers View Post
One could also imagine him pitching his entire career at Coors field in the live ball era, then he would never even have a thread dedicated to him...and only the people who recognize the importance of context, would see his value.


But really, what you said is the entire point. He would need five more elite years just to get into the discussion, because only then would he would begin to match the length of dominance of Unit or Grove.

Until he puts up those five more elite years...he doesn't belong in the conversation of all time best lefty.
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Yep, that I'm a jock sniffing idiot for using statistics in an all-time debate. Really opened my eyes. Thanks.
I never called any poster a jock sniffing idiot but if you insist on wearing that mantle go right ahead. Reread my post. I will repeat, I am not a Koufax fan but I have seen him pitch several times. His performance was jaw dropping total dominance. So yeah I have never saw a better pitcher than him. When you compare Pfeister to Koufax itís time to leave the building
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  #555  
Old 07-31-2020, 08:09 AM
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I never called any poster a jock sniffing idiot but if you insist on wearing that mantle go right ahead. Reread my post. I will repeat, I am not a Koufax fan but I have seen him pitch several times. His performance was jaw dropping total dominance. So yeah I have never saw a better pitcher than him. When you compare Pfeister to Koufax itís time to leave the building
Please identity which of Grove's stats are suspect.
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  #556  
Old 07-31-2020, 08:57 AM
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Iím not the first to compare koufax to Newhouser! This article even includes the allstar appearance similarity. Hopefully there is a more rigorous statistical comparison out there so I donít have to try to do it. Ondeckcircle.wordpress.com
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  #557  
Old 07-31-2020, 09:40 AM
HistoricNewspapers HistoricNewspapers is offline
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Randy Johnson is best lefty of all time and is in serious discussion for best pitcher of all time as well.

Had Johnson gone the Koufax route and put everything he had into a five year stretch, with no concern for his future, he would be putting up 420 strikeouts per year while pitching another 60+ innings a year. However, he didn't do that. He didn't need to do that...but still had a greater peak than Koufax.

Instead, Johnson was still able to throw a perfect game at age 40, win five Cy Young awards, and finish second three more times.

You know what is crazy?

If you remove those FIVE years where Johnson won the Cy Young award, he still has more career wins than Koufax; 204-165.


Best ERA+ seasons:
Johnson....Koufax.....Grove
197........190............217
195........186............189
193........160............185
188........159............185
184........143............175
181........122............165
176........105............160
152........101............160
135.........93
135.........Not good enough to pitch enough innings to qualify
118.........Not good enough to pitch enough innings to qualify
112.........Not good enough to pitch enough innings to qualify


Johnson had unrivaled physical tools. No pitcher in MLB history can match his physical tools. He was six foot eleven and threw over 100 MPH with a ridiculous slider....WITH COMMAND(after a few year learning curve). Some pitchers had one or two of those tools, but nobody had ALL of those tools like he did.

Let me explain why the physical tools are of such importance. Why would you take another pitcher over Johnson if the other pitcher was ten inches shorter, threw three miles an hour slower, had lesser command, and similar or less breaking pitches? The only other factor would be mental make up. Do they have the ability to handle being a professional player? Johnson obviously answered that question. Do they have the mental ability to thrive for a long time? Johnson answered that question YES.

Environments a player plays in severely muddles or hides statistical measurements, but the tools are concrete. The tools are a known. A lot of the statistical measurements are unknowns because environment muddles them. An environment can give false perceptions of ones true ability. Six foot eleven cannot be muddled. 100 MPH cannot be muddled. Nasty slider cannot be muddled. Command cannot be muddled. The only other obstacle is mental make up and thrive to succeed. He obviously passed that only unknown hurdle.

So when you are weighing all this, the physical tools play a vital role in solving the dilemma of cross era comparison.


He had the results to back it up.

He was umpire proof. He didn't need the inches off the plate like Maddux and Glavine often did to excel to the levels they did.

He was era proof. He didn't need lineups in the league where numbers six through nine were zero threats and hit basically zero power...like which occurred in other eras where scoring was depressed, or era's like the 30's where only the elite few were legit power threats.

In fact, he pitched in probably the toughest era to be a pitcher, with the live ball, DH, and steroids. Any pitcher that can handle the toughest environment to pitch in, surely would have no problem in the eras where it was pitcher friendly.

He didn't need a dead ball to excel or last a long time.

He was stadium proof. He didn't need to rely on a certain stadium to make him dominant.

He had peak dominance and longevity dominance.

He was the guy that if you lined all these historic pitchers up at a local baseball field standing shoulder to shoulder, then watched him unleash what he had, he would be the guy every single coach would pick. Coaches would be drooling.

Last edited by HistoricNewspapers; 07-31-2020 at 10:07 AM.
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  #558  
Old 07-31-2020, 10:37 AM
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I agree that it comes down to Grove or Johnson. Excelling like they did in the hitter's era really clinches it.
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  #559  
Old 07-31-2020, 11:16 AM
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False. We haven't changed any argument. From the get-go, the argument from the anti-Koufax crowd - if you want to call us that - is that his severe home/road splits, specifically during his 1962/3 - 66 stretch, work against him, same as they do for Larry Walker, Jim Rice, Chuck Klein, et al.
This is a circular argument. A logical falacy. It's not a valid argument. Dodger Stadium has an average park factor of 95. That means that Koufax benefited 5% from pitching there. 5% is all. The reason he was so good in Dodger Stadium is because he is the best lefty of all time. Dodger Stadium's park factor is in line with other pitchers parks. The Astrodome averaged 94. Candlestick Park averaged 97. Why couldn't Marichal come within 2% of Koufax's home ERA? Or any Astros pitcher match it?

Now let's look at hitters parks. The "Launching Pad" in Atlanta had an average park factor of 105 with a high of 114. So, a hitter in Atlanta got the same bonus that a pitcher did in Dodger Stadium. The Baker Bowl was a little more extreme. From 1921-1937 it averaged 112 with a high of 116. The Rockies average park factor for their entire history...118 with a high of 128. I will let you figure out Fenway, but it is going to be close to 105, the best season was 112. I find it a little hypocritical that you mention Jim Rice. Sure he got a boost from the Green Monster being 310 feet in LF. Why doesn't Koufax get the same respect for pitching 4 seasons with a LF screen 251 feet in LF?

A normal park factor is 100. +/- 5% is a normal range. Denver is way outside of any normal range. That none of the parks in the discussion have had a single season what Denver averages is why home/road spits matter for Rockies players. For Koufax, it is a very minor factor.
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  #560  
Old 07-31-2020, 11:25 AM
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Yep, that I'm a jock sniffing idiot for using statistics in an all-time debate. Really opened my eyes. Thanks.
You haven't used any stats.
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  #561  
Old 07-31-2020, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by rats60 View Post
This is a circular argument. A logical falacy. It's not a valid argument. Dodger Stadium has an average park factor of 95. That means that Koufax benefited 5% from pitching there. 5% is all. The reason he was so good in Dodger Stadium is because he is the best lefty of all time. Dodger Stadium's park factor is in line with other pitchers parks. The Astrodome averaged 94. Candlestick Park averaged 97. Why couldn't Marichal come within 2% of Koufax's home ERA? Or any Astros pitcher match it?

Now let's look at hitters parks. The "Launching Pad" in Atlanta had an average park factor of 105 with a high of 114. So, a hitter in Atlanta got the same bonus that a pitcher did in Dodger Stadium. The Baker Bowl was a little more extreme. From 1921-1937 it averaged 112 with a high of 116. The Rockies average park factor for their entire history...118 with a high of 128. I will let you figure out Fenway, but it is going to be close to 105, the best season was 112. I find it a little hypocritical that you mention Jim Rice. Sure he got a boost from the Green Monster being 310 feet in LF. Why doesn't Koufax get the same respect for pitching 4 seasons with a LF screen 251 feet in LF?

A normal park factor is 100. +/- 5% is a normal range. Denver is way outside of any normal range. That none of the parks in the discussion have had a single season what Denver averages is why home/road spits matter for Rockies players. For Koufax, it is a very minor factor.
So wait, now Park Factor is a legit stat? I'm having a hard time keeping up with you. You told me the only stats that mattered, but didn't respond when others pointed out that those specific stats could be used show others as better than Koufax, like bringing up ERA+ to use against Marichal but ignoring it with Grove.

Last edited by earlywynnfan; 07-31-2020 at 11:33 AM.
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  #562  
Old 07-31-2020, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by 999Tony View Post
Iím not the first to compare koufax to Newhouser! This article even includes the allstar appearance similarity. Hopefully there is a more rigorous statistical comparison out there so I donít have to try to do it. Ondeckcircle.wordpress.com
Newhouser ERA 3.06 WHIP 1.311 FIP 3.19
Koufax ERA 2.76 WHIP 1.106 FIP 2.69

for their careers, Koufax was clearly better.

Let's look at their 5 year peaks

Newhouser ERA 2.35 WHIP 1.189 FIP 2.59
Koufax ERA 1.95 WHIP 0.926 FIP 2.00

Koufax's peak was much higher.

That people have now chosen to pull "deadball" era pitchers in to compare Koufax is more evidence to Koufax's greatness. Plank was the best of the deadball era.
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  #563  
Old 07-31-2020, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by rats60 View Post
Newhouser ERA 3.06 WHIP 1.311 FIP 3.19
Koufax ERA 2.76 WHIP 1.106 FIP 2.69

for their careers, Koufax was clearly better.

Let's look at their 5 year peaks

Newhouser ERA 2.35 WHIP 1.189 FIP 2.59
Koufax ERA 1.95 WHIP 0.926 FIP 2.00

Koufax's peak was much higher.

That people have now chosen to pull "deadball" era pitchers in to compare Koufax is more evidence to Koufax's greatness. Plank was the best of the deadball era.
The one major issue with Newhouser is that his best seasons were during WWII when many of the leagueís star players were overseas. League was significantly ďwatered down.Ē
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  #564  
Old 07-31-2020, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by earlywynnfan View Post
So wait, now Park Factor is a legit stat? I'm having a hard time keeping up with you. You told me the only stats that mattered, but didn't respond when others pointed out that those specific stats could be used show others as better than Koufax, like bringing up ERA+ to use against Marichal but ignoring it with Grove.
You must not have read my post. Park factor isn't a significant factor. I also never used ERA+ against Marichal, I was giving another poster the benfit of the doubt who was using it, but it is seriously flawed. Its fatal flaw is the assumption that pitching is equal from one era to another which it clearly isn't. People picking deadball era pitchers to compare to Koufax doesn't need a response. I addressed that early in the thread and it should be obvious to any baseball fan why.
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  #565  
Old 07-31-2020, 11:56 AM
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I love these type of threads. Throw out a question with no answer and here comes the passion. I always learn a lot.
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  #566  
Old 07-31-2020, 12:04 PM
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Brian - Historic Newspapers -

Very well thought out posts. Appreciate both the statistical analysis and the physical points. Unfortunately, the physical stature of an individual is becoming more and more sought out every year in athletics.
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  #567  
Old 07-31-2020, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by HistoricNewspapers View Post
Randy Johnson is best lefty of all time and is in serious discussion for best pitcher of all time as well.

Had Johnson gone the Koufax route and put everything he had into a five year stretch, with no concern for his future, he would be putting up 420 strikeouts per year while pitching another 60+ innings a year. However, he didn't do that. He didn't need to do that...but still had a greater peak than Koufax.

Instead, Johnson was still able to throw a perfect game at age 40, win five Cy Young awards, and finish second three more times.

You know what is crazy?

If you remove those FIVE years where Johnson won the Cy Young award, he still has more career wins than Koufax; 204-165.


Best ERA+ seasons:
Johnson....Koufax.....Grove
197........190............217
195........186............189
193........160............185
188........159............185
184........143............175
181........122............165
176........105............160
152........101............160
135.........93
135.........Not good enough to pitch enough innings to qualify
118.........Not good enough to pitch enough innings to qualify
112.........Not good enough to pitch enough innings to qualify


Johnson had unrivaled physical tools. No pitcher in MLB history can match his physical tools. He was six foot eleven and threw over 100 MPH with a ridiculous slider....WITH COMMAND(after a few year learning curve). Some pitchers had one or two of those tools, but nobody had ALL of those tools like he did.

Let me explain why the physical tools are of such importance. Why would you take another pitcher over Johnson if the other pitcher was ten inches shorter, threw three miles an hour slower, had lesser command, and similar or less breaking pitches? The only other factor would be mental make up. Do they have the ability to handle being a professional player? Johnson obviously answered that question. Do they have the mental ability to thrive for a long time? Johnson answered that question YES.

Environments a player plays in severely muddles or hides statistical measurements, but the tools are concrete. The tools are a known. A lot of the statistical measurements are unknowns because environment muddles them. An environment can give false perceptions of ones true ability. Six foot eleven cannot be muddled. 100 MPH cannot be muddled. Nasty slider cannot be muddled. Command cannot be muddled. The only other obstacle is mental make up and thrive to succeed. He obviously passed that only unknown hurdle.

So when you are weighing all this, the physical tools play a vital role in solving the dilemma of cross era comparison.


He had the results to back it up.

He was umpire proof. He didn't need the inches off the plate like Maddux and Glavine often did to excel to the levels they did.

He was era proof. He didn't need lineups in the league where numbers six through nine were zero threats and hit basically zero power...like which occurred in other eras where scoring was depressed, or era's like the 30's where only the elite few were legit power threats.

In fact, he pitched in probably the toughest era to be a pitcher, with the live ball, DH, and steroids. Any pitcher that can handle the toughest environment to pitch in, surely would have no problem in the eras where it was pitcher friendly.

He didn't need a dead ball to excel or last a long time.

He was stadium proof. He didn't need to rely on a certain stadium to make him dominant.

He had peak dominance and longevity dominance.

He was the guy that if you lined all these historic pitchers up at a local baseball field standing shoulder to shoulder, then watched him unleash what he had, he would be the guy every single coach would pick. Coaches would be drooling.
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  #568  
Old 07-31-2020, 03:29 PM
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He was superman because he was bullet proof
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  #569  
Old 07-31-2020, 03:40 PM
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Why doesn't Koufax get the same respect for pitching 4 seasons with a LF screen 251 feet in LF?
If you go back and look over my posts, I specifically talked about Koufax's four seasons at the Coliseum. Excluded them from stats, in fact. However, had people saying "park doesn't matter" (paraphrase) when it come to explaining Koufax's greatness at Dodger Stadium but wanted to say that the Coliseum hurt Koufax. You can't have it both ways. Either the stadium matters or it doesn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rats60 View Post
A normal park factor is 100. +/- 5% is a normal range. Denver is way outside of any normal range. That none of the parks in the discussion have had a single season what Denver averages is why home/road spits matter for Rockies players. For Koufax, it is a very minor factor.
If it was such a minor factor, Koufax wouldn't have average well over double outside of Dodger Stadium what he averaged inside it. If it didn't matter, he wouldn't have an ERA over 3.50 at half the stadiums where he pitched 6 or more times.
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  #570  
Old 07-31-2020, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by rats60 View Post
You must not have read my post. Park factor isn't a significant factor. I also never used ERA+ against Marichal, I was giving another poster the benfit of the doubt who was using it, but it is seriously flawed. Its fatal flaw is the assumption that pitching is equal from one era to another which it clearly isn't. People picking deadball era pitchers to compare to Koufax doesn't need a response. I addressed that early in the thread and it should be obvious to any baseball fan why.
ERA+ makes no assumption about eras. People who misuse it do that. ERA+ *only* measures a pitcher against his yearly contemporaries. It's a measure of how great he is relative to his competition.
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  #571  
Old 07-31-2020, 04:01 PM
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I also want to point out that Randy Johnson injuries also forced him to miss most of two seasons in the middle of his prime when he won his FIVE CY Youngs and nearly FOUR more.

He also missed most of another season near the end of his career when he was averaging 11.4 K per nine innings.

He also had to retire earlier than his stuff dictated due to injury. He had more years left as he was averaging 8.1 K per nine innings in his last season...and pitching through pain costing him effectiveness as well.

SO if Koufax is getting credit for injuries...don't forget to give that to Randy Johnson as well.

It cost Johnson the all time strikeout record.

Last edited by HistoricNewspapers; 07-31-2020 at 04:21 PM.
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  #572  
Old 07-31-2020, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by HistoricNewspapers View Post
I also want to point out that Randy Johnson injuries also forced him to miss most of two seasons in the middle of his prime when he won his FIVE CY Youngs and nearly FOUR more.

He also missed most of another season near the end of his career when he was averaging 11.4 K per nine innings.

He also had to retire earlier than his stuff dictated due to injury. He had more years left as he was averaging 8.1 K per nine innings in his last season...and pitching through pain costing him effectiveness as well.

SO if Koufax is getting credit for injuries...don't forget to give that to Randy Johnson as well.

It cost Johnson the all time strikeout record.
Eh, he was still 900 Ks short of the record after pitching to 45. He would have needed another 3 full seasons of top-flight effectiveness to get there and he didn't miss that much time.
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  #573  
Old 08-01-2020, 08:33 AM
HistoricNewspapers HistoricNewspapers is offline
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Eh, he was still 900 Ks short of the record after pitching to 45. He would have needed another 3 full seasons of top-flight effectiveness to get there and he didn't miss that much time.
Point is, if you are going to assume with Koufax, you have to do the same with Randy Johnson. Johnson was averaging around 10 K's a game(it's ten for this exercise to make the math easy . He usually started 34 games a year. Just looking at the years where he missed significant time:


1994/95 missed 15 starts due to the strike......150 k's
1996 he only started 8 games................260 K's
2003 he only started 18 games.............160 K's
2007 he only started 10 games..............240 K's

That is 810 K's right there going into his last season.

2009 he only started 17 games.....?

2010 he retired even though he still had elite K ability having pitched through injury while still maintaining 8.1 K per nine innings in his last season.

So who knows how long he could have gone. A healthy Johnson easily had two or three years left after he retired.

Also, if he is within 100 strike outs when he decided to retire in 2010...seems to be a good chance he sticks it out for more seasons.

I personally don't see the need in adding the what if, but just being fair that if you apply it to one player, make sure you apply it to others as well.

Last edited by HistoricNewspapers; 08-01-2020 at 08:59 AM.
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  #574  
Old 08-01-2020, 10:21 AM
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I always feel the complication with these arguments are you have different criteria for "best ever"

Is it the best overall career statically? (think Jerry Rice)
Is it the most accomplished career? (think Tom Brady)
Is it the best at his absolute peak? (Puts Gooden in the best pitcher argument)
Is it the best peak statistical seasons strung together?
Is it the most talented at peak? (Michael Vick was as scary as there was for a time, but is not in any sort of greatest conversation)

Probably most agree it is a combination I think career statistically combined with peak seasons is how we look at baseball players. Football and basketball have more emphasis on most accomplished which is why they count Rings in the arguments.

Based on this, Its very hard to argue against Randy Johnson as he checks all the boxes.
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  #575  
Old 08-01-2020, 10:43 AM
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It is hard to argue for Koufax as "best ever" due to his short career. You can say greatest pitcher to dominate a sport during his time which he was. When you talk of legends of the game you can put Koufax in that category. I don't think anyone can consider Johnson a legend. Go to youtube and see for yourself the videos of Koufax , how he was held in high esteem, treated like a movie star. See f how other great players of his time spoke about him. You try to compare Johnson's mediocre injuries to Koufax. Are you kidding. Koufax ended his career. We will never know what kind of stats Koufax would have given if he pitched another five years. you can't play the "what if "game with Grove or Johnson because they played out their careers.
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  #576  
Old 08-01-2020, 11:32 AM
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Go to youtube and see for yourself the videos of Koufax , how he was held in high esteem, treated like a movie star.
Sounds like you're talking about Bo Belinsky again.

All the things you say about Koufax above are true. What I say about Grove is true. So I think we've pretty much come around to agreeing, generally. Or if not, close. Koufax was dominant for a stretch; Grove was dominant for a full-length career.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:03 PM
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It is hard to argue for Koufax as "best ever" due to his short career. You can say greatest pitcher to dominate a sport during his time which he was. When you talk of legends of the game you can put Koufax in that category. I don't think anyone can consider Johnson a legend. Go to youtube and see for yourself the videos of Koufax , how he was held in high esteem, treated like a movie star. See f how other great players of his time spoke about him. You try to compare Johnson's mediocre injuries to Koufax. Are you kidding. Koufax ended his career. We will never know what kind of stats Koufax would have given if he pitched another five years. you can't play the "what if "game with Grove or Johnson because they played out their careers.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:07 PM
HistoricNewspapers HistoricNewspapers is offline
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It is hard to argue for Koufax as "best ever" due to his short career. You can say greatest pitcher to dominate a sport during his time which he was. When you talk of legends of the game you can put Koufax in that category. I don't think anyone can consider Johnson a legend. Go to youtube and see for yourself the videos of Koufax , how he was held in high esteem, treated like a movie star. See f how other great players of his time spoke about him. You try to compare Johnson's mediocre injuries to Koufax. Are you kidding. Koufax ended his career. We will never know what kind of stats Koufax would have given if he pitched another five years. you can't play the "what if "game with Grove or Johnson because they played out their careers.
If you open the 'what if' game, you can play it with anyone.

For instance, in a 12 year stretch, Johnson won five cy Young awards, finished second three other times, third, and 7th.

THat stretch itself is more dominating than anything Koufax every did.

However, if we play the 'what if' game....what if Johnson wasn't injured for two of those seasons during that stretch?

Randy Johnson is best lefty of all time and is in serious discussion for best pitcher of all time as well.

Had Johnson gone the Koufax route and put everything he had into a five year stretch, with no concern for his future, he would be putting up 420 strikeouts per year while pitching another 60+ innings a year. However, he didn't do that. He didn't need to do that...but still had a greater peak than Koufax.

Instead, Johnson was still able to throw a perfect game at age 40, win five Cy Young awards, and finish second three more times.

You know what is crazy?

If you remove those FIVE years where Johnson won the Cy Young award, he still has more career wins than Koufax; 204-165.


Best ERA+ seasons:
Johnson....Koufax.....Grove
197........190............217
195........186............189
193........160............185
188........159............185
184........143............175
181........122............165
176........105............160
152........101............160
135.........93
135.........Not good enough to pitch enough innings to qualify
118.........Not good enough to pitch enough innings to qualify
112.........Not good enough to pitch enough innings to qualify


Johnson had unrivaled physical tools. No pitcher in MLB history can match his physical tools. He was six foot eleven and threw over 100 MPH with a ridiculous slider....WITH COMMAND(after a few year learning curve). Some pitchers had one or two of those tools, but nobody had ALL of those tools like he did.

Let me explain why the physical tools are of such importance. Why would you take another pitcher over Johnson if the other pitcher was ten inches shorter, threw three miles an hour slower, had lesser command, and similar or less breaking pitches? The only other factor would be mental make up. Do they have the ability to handle being a professional player? Johnson obviously answered that question. Do they have the mental ability to thrive for a long time? Johnson answered that question YES.

Environments a player plays in severely muddles or hides statistical measurements, but the tools are concrete. The tools are a known. A lot of the statistical measurements are unknowns because environment muddles them. An environment can give false perceptions of ones true ability. Six foot eleven cannot be muddled. 100 MPH cannot be muddled. Nasty slider cannot be muddled. Command cannot be muddled. The only other obstacle is mental make up and thrive to succeed. He obviously passed that only unknown hurdle.

So when you are weighing all this, the physical tools play a vital role in solving the dilemma of cross era comparison.


He had the results to back it up.

He was umpire proof. He didn't need the inches off the plate like Maddux and Glavine often did to excel to the levels they did.

He was era proof. He didn't need lineups in the league where numbers six through nine were zero threats and hit basically zero power...like which occurred in other eras where scoring was depressed, or era's like the 30's where only the elite few were legit power threats.

In fact, he pitched in probably the toughest era to be a pitcher, with the live ball, DH, and steroids. Any pitcher that can handle the toughest environment to pitch in, surely would have no problem in the eras where it was pitcher friendly.

He didn't need a dead ball to excel or last a long time.

He was stadium proof. He didn't need to rely on a certain stadium to make him dominant.

He had peak dominance and longevity dominance.

He was the guy that if you lined all these historic pitchers up at a local baseball field standing shoulder to shoulder, then watched him unleash what he had, he would be the guy every single coach would pick. Coaches would be drooling.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:55 PM
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If you open the 'what if' game, you can play it with anyone.

For instance, in a 12 year stretch, Johnson won five cy Young awards, finished second three other times, third, and 7th.

THat stretch itself is more dominating than anything Koufax every did.

However, if we play the 'what if' game....what if Johnson wasn't injured for two of those seasons during that stretch?

Randy Johnson is best lefty of all time and is in serious discussion for best pitcher of all time as well.

Had Johnson gone the Koufax route and put everything he had into a five year stretch, with no concern for his future, he would be putting up 420 strikeouts per year while pitching another 60+ innings a year. However, he didn't do that. He didn't need to do that...but still had a greater peak than Koufax.

Instead, Johnson was still able to throw a perfect game at age 40, win five Cy Young awards, and finish second three more times.

You know what is crazy?

If you remove those FIVE years where Johnson won the Cy Young award, he still has more career wins than Koufax; 204-165.


Best ERA+ seasons:
Johnson....Koufax.....Grove
197........190............217
195........186............189
193........160............185
188........159............185
184........143............175
181........122............165
176........105............160
152........101............160
135.........93
135.........Not good enough to pitch enough innings to qualify
118.........Not good enough to pitch enough innings to qualify
112.........Not good enough to pitch enough innings to qualify


Johnson had unrivaled physical tools. No pitcher in MLB history can match his physical tools. He was six foot eleven and threw over 100 MPH with a ridiculous slider....WITH COMMAND(after a few year learning curve). Some pitchers had one or two of those tools, but nobody had ALL of those tools like he did.

Let me explain why the physical tools are of such importance. Why would you take another pitcher over Johnson if the other pitcher was ten inches shorter, threw three miles an hour slower, had lesser command, and similar or less breaking pitches? The only other factor would be mental make up. Do they have the ability to handle being a professional player? Johnson obviously answered that question. Do they have the mental ability to thrive for a long time? Johnson answered that question YES.

Environments a player plays in severely muddles or hides statistical measurements, but the tools are concrete. The tools are a known. A lot of the statistical measurements are unknowns because environment muddles them. An environment can give false perceptions of ones true ability. Six foot eleven cannot be muddled. 100 MPH cannot be muddled. Nasty slider cannot be muddled. Command cannot be muddled. The only other obstacle is mental make up and thrive to succeed. He obviously passed that only unknown hurdle.

So when you are weighing all this, the physical tools play a vital role in solving the dilemma of cross era comparison.


He had the results to back it up.

He was umpire proof. He didn't need the inches off the plate like Maddux and Glavine often did to excel to the levels they did.

He was era proof. He didn't need lineups in the league where numbers six through nine were zero threats and hit basically zero power...like which occurred in other eras where scoring was depressed, or era's like the 30's where only the elite few were legit power threats.

In fact, he pitched in probably the toughest era to be a pitcher, with the live ball, DH, and steroids. Any pitcher that can handle the toughest environment to pitch in, surely would have no problem in the eras where it was pitcher friendly.

He didn't need a dead ball to excel or last a long time.

He was stadium proof. He didn't need to rely on a certain stadium to make him dominant.

He had peak dominance and longevity dominance.

He was the guy that if you lined all these historic pitchers up at a local baseball field standing shoulder to shoulder, then watched him unleash what he had, he would be the guy every single coach would pick. Coaches would be drooling.
Randy Johnson stats from his 4 consecutive CY Young seasons vs. Koufax 63-66

ERA Koufax 1.86 Johnson 2.48
WHIP Koufax .909 Johnson 1.044
FIP Koufax 1.97 Johnson 2.53

Now some counting stats
CG Koufax 89 Johnson 31
ShO Koufax 23 Johnson 11
Wins Koufax 97 Johnson 81
Ks Koufax 1228 Johnson 1417


They are clearly picking Koufax.
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  #580  
Old 08-01-2020, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by rats60 View Post
randy johnson stats from his 4 consecutive cy young seasons vs. Koufax 63-66

era koufax 1.86 johnson 2.48
whip koufax .909 johnson 1.044
fip koufax 1.97 johnson 2.53

now some counting stats
cg koufax 89 johnson 31
sho koufax 23 johnson 11
wins koufax 97 johnson 81
ks koufax 1228 johnson 1417


they are clearly picking koufax.
home run!!!!!!
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Old 08-01-2020, 02:11 PM
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home run!!!!!!
Fielder's choice!


How many birds did Koufax kill?
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:03 PM
HistoricNewspapers HistoricNewspapers is offline
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Randy Johnson stats from his 4 consecutive CY Young seasons vs. Koufax 63-66

ERA Koufax 1.86 Johnson 2.48
WHIP Koufax .909 Johnson 1.044
FIP Koufax 1.97 Johnson 2.53

Now some counting stats
CG Koufax 89 Johnson 31
ShO Koufax 23 Johnson 11
Wins Koufax 97 Johnson 81
Ks Koufax 1228 Johnson 1417


They are clearly picking Koufax.

Wrong because you are picking Koufax based on those statistics resulting from the low run scoring environment, not based on his abilities.

You also forget the key measurement from those years, ERA+
Johnson 187
Koufax 172

So again, Johnson had a better peak, a longer peak, and a vastly better career. Johnson was also better in every physical measurement and tool. Mentally better too because he didn't quit. Johnson was better. Period.

For example, the environment in the NL in 1965 created a league where the league average ERA was 3.54. Compared to 2001 where it was 4.36.

So what you are saying is that half the pitchers in the league in 1965 were better than every National League pitcher in 2001, except for the 12 in 2001 who who were able to have an ERA below 3.54(the league average of the NL in 1965)?

I guess Vern Law with his 2.15 ERA that year was ALSO better than Randy Johnson and his 2.49 ERA in 2001?

Also the dozens of pitchers with more complete games were better than Johnson too??

From 1964-1968 Joe Horlen had 2.32 ERA. Hmmm.

Seems like there are plenty of choices of low ERA's from that time to choose from, other than Koufax. Can't quite be that dominant if several other players offer similar output

Put Horlen in the HOF I guess.

It is the environment creating those statistics..

Also, Dodger Stadium was responsible for 15-20% of those numbers from Koufax. Again, the environment.




Just because the league was easy to pitch in in the 1960's doesn't make you better. If you flip that around and compare the hitters from the era's without understanding the context, then you are going to get a lot of Colorado players with better peaks than several Hall of Famers from the 1960's.

Vinny Castilla, Hall of Fame, here we come I guess.

Vinny Castilla 162 game average from 1996-1999

41 HR
120 RBI
.301 BA


Ellis Burks 162 game average from 1994-1997
39 HR
110 RBI
.311 BA

Todd Helton 2000-2003
40 HR
133 RBI
.349 BA

Dante Bichette 1995-1999
33 HR
137 RBI
.318 BA

Those guys are in a dead heat with Willie Mays from the 1960's. Mays and Aaron are the only ones from the 1960's that can compete with them.

Nobody else from the 1960's can match those peaks.


So if you are going to hold tight to looking at Koufax without the context of the league or stadium, that is fine.

Just don't forget to do the same with the Colorado group above.


If you are out there selecting a team, please let me know if you have two pitchers with equal mental capacity, and one is ten inches taller than the other, throws 5-7 MPH harder, has better command, better movement, and more physical mental toughness in pitching through pain.

I'll take the taller kid. You can have the other one.

Last edited by HistoricNewspapers; 08-01-2020 at 03:45 PM.
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  #583  
Old 08-01-2020, 03:43 PM
Shoeless Moe Shoeless Moe is offline
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and although its been mentioned, you can't mention it enough

Johnson pitched in the steroid era......and pitched in the Kingdome and Arizona's park, two very hitter friendly parks.

and still put up those numbers.
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:47 PM
Mark17 Mark17 is offline
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Fielder's choice!


How many birds did Koufax kill?
Wait... I've seen the video of Johnson hitting that bird and the feathers flying, but did the bird actually die?
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  #585  
Old 08-01-2020, 03:49 PM
HistoricNewspapers HistoricNewspapers is offline
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and although its been mentioned, you can't mention it enough

Johnson pitched in the steroid era......and pitched in the Kingdome and Arizona's park, two very hitter friendly parks.

and still put up those numbers.
And more than half of his starts came in the DH league.

Johnson had a better peak than Koufax, a longer peak, and a vastly better career. Johnson was also better in every physical measurement and tool. Mentally better too because he didn't quit. Johnson was better. Period.

Last edited by HistoricNewspapers; 08-01-2020 at 03:49 PM.
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  #586  
Old 08-01-2020, 04:09 PM
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Wait... I've seen the video of Johnson hitting that bird and the feathers flying, but did the bird actually die?
The dove died. Thankfully, it probably didn't hurt much to be annihilated by a fastball. A dead dove is the logo for his photography business now
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  #587  
Old 08-01-2020, 04:17 PM
HistoricNewspapers HistoricNewspapers is offline
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It really is easy to get enamored with performances without knowing the full context. I knew a guy who told me he hit 18 home runs one summer league. I was ashamed with my 13....until I noticed his home park was 75 feet smaller in every field.

It is easy to fall in love with Koufax's peak and ERA raw numbers.

However, It is already shown with ERA+ how the context of the league and park show your TRUE level of dominance.

It was simply an easier time to be a pitcher in the 1960's since the rules and environment made it easier for them to get outs and pitch longer into games.

Take the complete games. Everyone is enamored with Koufax's 27 complete games in his final year, and then laugh when they compare it to Randy Johnsons 12 complete games in 1999.

If you dig a little deeper you will see that in 1966 it wasn't that hard to throw a complete game(for several reasons, some of which mentioned above).

How dominant are you really if you are doing something that everyone else can do too?

In fact, the next best nine guys in the league averaged 15.3 complete games in 1966.

In 1999, the next best nine guys in the league averaged only 4.6 complete games.

Now if you want to talk about dominance.

Johnson was 160 percent better at complete games than the next nine best pitchers in the league.

Koufax was only 74 percent better than the nine next best in the league.


Can't argue. 27 is more than 12. Just like that guy's 18 home runs were more than my 13
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  #588  
Old 08-01-2020, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by HistoricNewspapers View Post
Wrong because you are picking Koufax based on those statistics resulting from the low run scoring environment, not based on his abilities.

You also forget the key measurement from those years, ERA+
Johnson 187
Koufax 172

So again, Johnson had a better peak, a longer peak, and a vastly better career. Johnson was also better in every physical measurement and tool. Mentally better too because he didn't quit. Johnson was better. Period.

For example, the environment in the NL in 1965 created a league where the league average ERA was 3.54. Compared to 2001 where it was 4.36.

So what you are saying is that half the pitchers in the league in 1965 were better than every National League pitcher in 2001, except for the 12 in 2001 who who were able to have an ERA below 3.54(the league average of the NL in 1965)?

I guess Vern Law with his 2.15 ERA that year was ALSO better than Randy Johnson and his 2.49 ERA in 2001?

Also the dozens of pitchers with more complete games were better than Johnson too??

From 1964-1968 Joe Horlen had 2.32 ERA. Hmmm.

Seems like there are plenty of choices of low ERA's from that time to choose from, other than Koufax. Can't quite be that dominant if several other players offer similar output

Put Horlen in the HOF I guess.

It is the environment creating those statistics..

Also, Dodger Stadium was responsible for 15-20% of those numbers from Koufax. Again, the environment.




Just because the league was easy to pitch in in the 1960's doesn't make you better. If you flip that around and compare the hitters from the era's without understanding the context, then you are going to get a lot of Colorado players with better peaks than several Hall of Famers from the 1960's.

Vinny Castilla, Hall of Fame, here we come I guess.

Vinny Castilla 162 game average from 1996-1999

41 HR
120 RBI
.301 BA


Ellis Burks 162 game average from 1994-1997
39 HR
110 RBI
.311 BA

Todd Helton 2000-2003
40 HR
133 RBI
.349 BA

Dante Bichette 1995-1999
33 HR
137 RBI
.318 BA

Those guys are in a dead heat with Willie Mays from the 1960's. Mays and Aaron are the only ones from the 1960's that can compete with them.

Nobody else from the 1960's can match those peaks.


So if you are going to hold tight to looking at Koufax without the context of the league or stadium, that is fine.

Just don't forget to do the same with the Colorado group above.


If you are out there selecting a team, please let me know if you have two pitchers with equal mental capacity, and one is ten inches taller than the other, throws 5-7 MPH harder, has better command, better movement, and more physical mental toughness in pitching through pain.

I'll take the taller kid. You can have the other one.
Just sayin, Rats has already addressed these arguments:
the 60's has weaker hitting stats because the pitching was so good, although there are incredible hitters that Koufax had to face.
there really isn't a difference between eras, except of course the actual dead ball era, so comparing pitchers is linear post-1920
Don't be bringin' ERA+ or any other of those made-up BS stats, the only ones that count are WHIP, ERA, and strikeouts. Except, of course, when Kershaw is mentioned because he outperforms in all categories (in the vaccuum of "there is no difference between eras"). Then we move on to post-season performance.
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Old 08-01-2020, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by HistoricNewspapers View Post
It really is easy to get enamored with performances without knowing the full context. I knew a guy who told me he hit 18 home runs one summer league. I was ashamed with my 13....until I noticed his home park was 75 feet smaller in every field.

It is easy to fall in love with Koufax's peak and ERA raw numbers.

However, It is already shown with ERA+ how the context of the league and park show your TRUE level of dominance.

It was simply an easier time to be a pitcher in the 1960's since the rules and environment made it easier for them to get outs and pitch longer into games.

Take the complete games. Everyone is enamored with Koufax's 27 complete games in his final year, and then laugh when they compare it to Randy Johnsons 12 complete games in 1999.

If you dig a little deeper you will see that in 1966 it wasn't that hard to throw a complete game(for several reasons, some of which mentioned above).

How dominant are you really if you are doing something that everyone else can do too?

In fact, the next best nine guys in the league averaged 15.3 complete games in 1966.

In 1999, the next best nine guys in the league averaged only 4.6 complete games.

Now if you want to talk about dominance.

Johnson was 160 percent better at complete games than the next nine best pitchers in the league.

Koufax was only 74 percent better than the nine next best in the league.


Can't argue. 27 is more than 12. Just like that guy's 18 home runs were more than my 13
Pretty sure the argument for Koufax here will be the same as against Grove: Koufax was the supreme pitcher of his era (and in all honesty, I fully agree with that.) But he had an incredible amount of HOF pitchers he was competing with, making his accomplishments EVEN GREATER!! But Grove had Hubbell and a bunch of stumblebums. I'm not looking, but I'm sure RJ had no competition, that's why he was so much better than his league.
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Old 08-01-2020, 04:58 PM
HistoricNewspapers HistoricNewspapers is offline
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Pretty sure the argument for Koufax here will be the same as against Grove: Koufax was the supreme pitcher of his era (and in all honesty, I fully agree with that.) But he had an incredible amount of HOF pitchers he was competing with, making his accomplishments EVEN GREATER!! But Grove had Hubbell and a bunch of stumblebums. I'm not looking, but I'm sure RJ had no competition, that's why he was so much better than his league.


So the pitchers were elite in 1900-1915 with all those 2.11 ERA's and 40 complete games a year...then forgot how to pitch in the 1930's, then were elite again in the 1960s....but just a few years later forgot how to pitch again when offense upticked....then got real good in the late 80's/early 90's...then forgot how to pitch again starting in 1994?

Sounds like a plan.

I'm waiting for the Koufax group to start the Dante Bichette for the Hall of Fame based on his dominant peak offensive years.

If we flip the switch on the peak dominance:

Dante Bichette 1995-1999, 162 game average:
33 HR
137 RBI
.318 BA

Willie Mays best five year stretch in the 1960's when he won an MVP and finished in top five three other of those years.

46 HR
118 RBI
.304 BA

Hank Aaron
40 HR
120 RBI
.313

Bichette beats both in two out of three categories. Raw stats only count remember. If no ERA+, then no OPS+. So if you are championing Koufax and his raw numbers compared to Randy Johnson, then that same method makes Bichette a better hitter at his peak than both Mays and Aaron in the 1960's.

Welcome to the HOF Dante Bichette.

Last edited by HistoricNewspapers; 08-01-2020 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 08-01-2020, 05:03 PM
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It really is easy to get enamored with performances without knowing the full context. I knew a guy who told me he hit 18 home runs one summer league. I was ashamed with my 13....until I noticed his home park was 75 feet smaller in every field.

It is easy to fall in love with Koufax's peak and ERA raw numbers.

However, It is already shown with ERA+ how the context of the league and park show your TRUE level of dominance.

It was simply an easier time to be a pitcher in the 1960's since the rules and environment made it easier for them to get outs and pitch longer into games.

Take the complete games. Everyone is enamored with Koufax's 27 complete games in his final year, and then laugh when they compare it to Randy Johnsons 12 complete games in 1999.

If you dig a little deeper you will see that in 1966 it wasn't that hard to throw a complete game(for several reasons, some of which mentioned above).

How dominant are you really if you are doing something that everyone else can do too?

In fact, the next best nine guys in the league averaged 15.3 complete games in 1966.

In 1999, the next best nine guys in the league averaged only 4.6 complete games.

Now if you want to talk about dominance.

Johnson was 160 percent better at complete games than the next nine best pitchers in the league.

Koufax was only 74 percent better than the nine next best in the league.


Can't argue. 27 is more than 12. Just like that guy's 18 home runs were more than my 13
You are misusing ERA+. It is irrelevant for comparing pitchers in different eras. The 60s were a low run scoring environment because of the quality of pitchers. It is easy to dominate in a league of lousy pitchers. Also, Johnson didnít pitch in a DH league those years, he pitched for Arizona the years I listed. Koufax is better in every stat except for strikeouts. 3 pitching triple crowns, 3 unanimous MLB Cy Young, 4 no hitters, more shutouts, 2 WS MVP, those show true dominance, not being better than lousy pitchers.
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Old 08-01-2020, 05:17 PM
HistoricNewspapers HistoricNewspapers is offline
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You are misusing ERA+. It is irrelevant for comparing pitchers in different eras. The 60s were a low run scoring environment because of the quality of pitchers. It is easy to dominate in a league of lousy pitchers. Also, Johnson didn’t pitch in a DH league those years, he pitched for Arizona the years I listed. Koufax is better in every stat except for strikeouts. 3 pitching triple crowns, 3 unanimous MLB Cy Young, 4 no hitters, more shutouts, 2 WS MVP, those show true dominance, not being better than lousy pitchers.

ERA+ measures the domiance vs their peers. That is not misused at all: However, no point beating a dead horse:

So the pitchers were elite in 1900-1915 with all those 2.11 ERA's and 40 complete games a year...then forgot how to pitch in the 1930's, then were elite again in the 1960s....but just a few years later forgot how to pitch again when offense upticked....then got real good in the late 80's/early 90's...then forgot how to pitch again starting in 1994?

Sounds like a good plan.



If we flip the switch onto the hitters and peak dominance:

Dante Bichette 1995-1999, 162 game average:
33 HR
137 RBI
.318 BA

Willie Mays best five year stretch in the 1960's when he won an MVP and finished in top five three other of those years.

46 HR
118 RBI
.304 BA

Hank Aaron
40 HR
120 RBI
.313

Bichette beats both in two out of three categories. Raw stats only count remember. If no ERA+, then no OPS+. So if you are championing Koufax and his raw numbers compared to Randy Johnson, then that same method makes Bichette a better hitter at his peak than both Mays and Aaron in the 1960's.

Welcome to the HOF Dante Bichette.



PS The ONLY measurable across eras is:

If you are out there selecting a team, please let me know if you have two pitchers with equal mental capacity, and one is ten inches taller than the other, throws 5-7 MPH harder, has better command, better movement, and more physical mental toughness in pitching through pain.

I'll take the taller kid. You can have the other one.

Last edited by HistoricNewspapers; 08-01-2020 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 08-01-2020, 05:36 PM
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You are misusing ERA+. It is irrelevant for comparing pitchers in different eras. The 60s were a low run scoring environment because of the quality of pitchers. It is easy to dominate in a league of lousy pitchers. Also, Johnson didnít pitch in a DH league those years, he pitched for Arizona the years I listed. Koufax is better in every stat except for strikeouts. 3 pitching triple crowns, 3 unanimous MLB Cy Young, 4 no hitters, more shutouts, 2 WS MVP, those show true dominance, not being better than lousy pitchers.
Told you, Brian!
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Old 08-01-2020, 06:05 PM
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KEVIN MIZE
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Randy Johnson versus Sandy Koufax in a one win for all?? Please......KOUFAX
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Old 08-01-2020, 06:09 PM
Mark17 Mark17 is offline
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Randy Johnson versus Sandy Koufax in a one win for all?? Please......KOUFAX
If you get the 1955-1961 Koufax to show up, you've lost.
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Old 08-01-2020, 06:10 PM
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Randy Johnson versus Sandy Koufax in a one win for all?? Please......KOUFAX
I assume you mean circa 1965 Koufax, right? Versus RJ who has a lower mound, facing a DH, in the steroid era? I agree!
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Old 08-01-2020, 06:20 PM
stlcardsfan stlcardsfan is offline
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Bob Uecker had a 200 lifetime average and hit .429 off Koufax in over 50 ABs. So....

Last edited by stlcardsfan; 08-01-2020 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 08-01-2020, 06:49 PM
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Bob Uecker had a 200 lifetime average and hit .429 off Koufax in over 50 ABs. So....
So, so what?
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:17 PM
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Johnson would be my #2 pick. That his first season where he was notably above the league average was at age 29 is largely offset by his great effectiveness over age 40.

There are the 7 best (leaving Kershaw out; it is exceptionally difficult and unbalanced to account a player who is not done. His ERA+ will decline significantly, balanced by his effective innings increasing but who knows exactly how this will balance or when he will stop) + the 2 super short careers

ERA+
Grove - 148
Johnson - 135
Ford - 133
Koufax - 131
Newhouser - 130
Hubbell - 130
Plank - 122
Spahn - 119
Carlton - 115

Innings
Spahn - 5,243
Carlton - 5,217
Plank - 4,495
Johnson - 4,135
Grove - 3,940
Hubbell - 3,590
Ford - 3,170
Newhouser - 2,993
Koufax - 2,324

Black Ink
Grove - 111
Spahn - 101
Johnson - 99
Koufax - 78
Carlton - 69
Hubbell - 51
Newhouser - 47
Ford - 41
Plank - 15

Gray Ink
Spahn - 374
Grove - 319
Plank - 291
Carlton - 285
Johnson - 280
Hubbell - 252
Ford - 234
Newhouser - 180
Koufax - 151


If we have to pick one thing, the most important attribute of a pitcher is to give up as few runs as possible. His effectiveness at doing this is, in the context of an all-time debate, has to be measured relative to the context in which events actually happened, in time and place; which means ERA+. Innings Pitched is the balance to this; a pitcher who hurls a 0.90 ERA for 1 year is clearly not the best ever; how long a pitcher is effective is the other half of the equation.

Black and Gray ink I think are the best of the modern analytics, again in the context of "best all time". Black Ink is preferable, but a player CAN benefit or be hurt by not having their peak align with some other legends (Johnson suffers in black ink due to Maddux). It also matter where the ink comes from; I wouldn't value the categories in the same 1/2/3/4 point order assigned by the formula. Spahn gains a lot of his from wins, which I don't think are actually an effective metric to determine a pitchers performance.

These aren't everything, but I think these should be the starting points. Grove's ERA and league domination + a good, but not great, inning count puts #1 pretty easily in my book. Johnson seems to me pretty clearly the #2 as well. Spahn wins #3 without much difficulty, I think. After that, it gets harder to pick.

How one weighs different values, any of these 3 can reasonably be assigned the title of the greatest lefty of all time. Johnson and Spahn have excellent cases. The statistical and logically consistent reasons to pick between these three, and not anecdotal, emotional, and logically contradictory arguments based on what seems to currently favor the pitcher we want to win, are what the real debate should be.

If I have a bias for any of these pitchers, it is in favor of Randy Johnson.
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Old 08-02-2020, 07:53 AM
HistoricNewspapers HistoricNewspapers is offline
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Told you, Brian!
Good call
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