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  #101  
Old 07-13-2020, 10:35 AM
100backstroke 100backstroke is offline
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If there had been the Cy Young Award when Grove pitched, how many would he have won? Somewhere between minimum 5 to as many as 7 , perhaps ?
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  #102  
Old 07-13-2020, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by rats60 View Post
I haven't ignored any of these. I have addressed them all with fact and stats. However, in order to claim Grove is the best you have ignored on all the stats, ignored all the great Negro League players Grove didn't pitched to and cherry picker made up stats that are seriously flawed..
Your entire statistical argument was predicated on ignoring context, and supposing that stats in the 1930's AL and the 1960's NL are directly comparable in the raw. You then cherrypicked only the stats that ignore that Koufax played 9 full years, and was average or below for half his career while Grove pitched nearly 2x innings. I would love to hear a coherent, logical argument as to how Foxx is responsible for Grove's 9 ERA titles and what Koufax's offense has to do with his ERA, WHIP, and anything but W/L record, a statistic I have not cited at all in support or against any candidate.

You are right, I ignored the Negro League players as there are no reliable statistics to compare with. The question posed was "All-Time" not "Since 1947". If you would like to make a thread about the best lefty since 1947 instead of all-time to disqualify Grove for being alive at the wrong time, go do that.
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  #103  
Old 07-13-2020, 10:43 AM
Jason19th Jason19th is offline
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One of my all time stats which comes from Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract in the early 1980ís

As of the early 1980ís Warren Spahn had more 20 win seasons than all of the New York Yankee lefties combined. Not more then all of the current Yankees, but more then all of the Yankees lefties for the entire history of the franchise.

I have always thought this stat shows both how great Spahn was and how rare great lefties are
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  #104  
Old 07-13-2020, 11:15 AM
bbcard1 bbcard1 is online now
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Originally Posted by Jcosta19 View Post
Also if Koufax had the benefit of modern medicine he probably would have been the best lefty if all time.
I don't know. Arthritis is a kind of tough draw among non-lethal diseases. A lot of advances have led to better quality of life and basic functionality, but not at a peak level of performance. I am actually really happy to see him still able to get round at his age. I have a brother in law with RA that has really had to struggle and work hard just to stay able to walk and drive.
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  #105  
Old 07-13-2020, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Jcosta19 View Post
Also if Koufax had the benefit of modern medicine he probably would have been the best lefty if all time.

I do love this debate and I'm actually a huge Koufax fan, but Don Mattingly would be a 1st ballot HOFer if we just looked at 4 or 5 years.

That's just my opinion obviously.

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I agree with you totally on Mattingly, and I agree this is a fun debate. But if we were giving Koufax the benefit of modern medicine, we should probably give it to Grove, too, right?
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  #106  
Old 07-13-2020, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Jason19th View Post
One of my all time stats which comes from Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract in the early 1980ís

As of the early 1980ís Warren Spahn had more 20 win seasons than all of the New York Yankee lefties combined. Not more then all of the current Yankees, but more then all of the Yankees lefties for the entire history of the franchise.

I have always thought this stat shows both how great Spahn was and how rare great lefties are
I see three more seasons for Pettite and Sabathia, I wonder how close this is now? (I'm too lazy to research.)

Cool stat!!
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  #107  
Old 07-13-2020, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by earlywynnfan View Post
I see three more seasons for Pettite and Sabathia, I wonder how close this is now? (I'm too lazy to research.)

Cool stat!!
I count 17 20 win seasons by a Yankee/Highlander, perusing Baseball Reference:

Lefty Gomez, 26 (1934)
Whitey Ford, 25 (1961)
Ron Guidry, 25 (1978)
Lefty Gomez, 24 (1932)
Whitey Ford, 24 (1963)
Herb Pennock, 23 (1926)
Tommy John, 22 (1980)
Lefty Gomez, 21 (1931)
Lefty Gomez, 21 (1937)
Ed Lopat, 21 (1951)
Herb Pennock, 21 (1924)
Tommy John, 21 (1979)
Ron Guidry, 21 (1983)
Andy Pettite, 21 (1996)
Andy Pettite, 21 (2003)
C.C. Sabathia, 21 (2010)
Fritz Peterson, 20 (1970)


Warren Spahn retired with 13 20 win seasons. The Yankees Lefties tied Spahn in 1980 with John's season, and passed him in 1983 with Guidry's.

Without Lefty Gomez, the Yankees would be tied with Spahn today.

Last edited by G1911; 07-13-2020 at 01:39 PM.
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  #108  
Old 07-13-2020, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by G1911 View Post
I count 17 20 win seasons by a Yankee/Highlander, perusing Baseball Reference:

Lefty Gomez, 26 (1934)
Whitey Ford, 25 (1961)
Ron Guidry, 25 (1978)
Lefty Gomez, 24 (1932)
Whitey Ford, 24 (1963)
Herb Pennock, 23 (1926)
Tommy John, 22 (1980)
Lefty Gomez, 21 (1931)
Lefty Gomez, 21 (1937)
Ed Lopat, 21 (1951)
Herb Pennock, 21 (1924)
Tommy John, 21 (1979)
Ron Guidry, 21 (1983)
Andy Pettite, 21 (1996)
Andy Pettite, 21 (2003)
C.C. Sabathia, 21 (2010)
Fritz Peterson, 20 (1970)


Warren Spahn retired with 13 20 win seasons. The Yankees Lefties tied Spahn in 1980 with John's season, and passed him in 1983 with Guidry's.

Without Lefty Gomez, the Yankees would be tied with Spahn today.

Listen, we would have been great with Spahn on our team but between Lefty and Guidry the Yankees won 18 championships whereas the Braves won just the one in 1957.
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  #109  
Old 07-13-2020, 01:57 PM
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Listen, we would have been great with Spahn on our team but between Lefty and Guidry the Yankees won 18 championships whereas the Braves won just the one in 1957.
Spahn added to that 50's Yankees team would have been even more ridiculous!


Another note -
Mathewson won 20 games 13 times, Young 15, putting Spahn tied for 2nd most 20 win seasons all time, the only post-war pitcher anywhere near the top.

He led the league in wins 8 times, the 2nd most is 6, tied by Johnson, Alexander, Feller and Spaulding, who pitched on a literal all-star team that destroyed the NA. If you don't count Spaulding, Spahn has the most consecutive Win titles, at 5. Johnson and Roberts posted 4. He is one of only 3 pitchers to lead the league in 3 different decades, alongside Seaver and Feller.

Spahn really has some insane longevity and consistency records.
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  #110  
Old 07-13-2020, 05:42 PM
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Koufax wins three Cy Young Awards, all UNANIMOUS. I rest my case.
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  #111  
Old 07-13-2020, 05:48 PM
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Koufax wins three Cy Young Awards, all UNANIMOUS. I rest my case.
Well, you got us. Lefty Grove didn't win a single Cy Young Award, let alone unanimous.
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  #112  
Old 07-13-2020, 05:54 PM
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Hubbell had a tremendous mid-career stretch that rivals or exceeds any stretch Grove ever had. Carl Hubbell had 4 years with lower WHIP than Grove ever did have. Hubbell also had 2 MVP's plus a 3rd - again better than Grove. For a 5 year stretch one could argue Hubbell better than Grove. They pitched in same 1930's. Hubbell needs some love. And heck, wasn't Koufax' great run abut 5 years?

Last edited by 100backstroke; 07-13-2020 at 05:54 PM.
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  #113  
Old 07-13-2020, 05:56 PM
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The Koufax advocates are now arguing that

A) pitchers before integration do not count for "all time"

and

B) pitchers before the Cy Young Award do not count for "all time"

When I said the logic had run off the rails earlier, well, it's now even worse.

Also, Randy Johnson won 5 Cy Young's, so even with this twisted logic, Koufax loses.
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  #114  
Old 07-13-2020, 06:03 PM
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And we all know the story of the 1934 All-Star Game where Hubbell struck out Ruth, Gehrig, Foxx, Simmons & Cronin - in a row. Legendary.
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  #115  
Old 07-13-2020, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G1911 View Post
The Koufax advocates are now arguing that

A) pitchers before integration do not count for "all time"

and

B) pitchers before the Cy Young Award do not count for "all time"

When I said the logic had run off the rails earlier, well, it's now even worse.

Also, Randy Johnson won 5 Cy Young's, so even with this twisted logic, Koufax loses.

Don't forget that Koufax pitched against some great hitters (which he did,) while Grove only pitched against white stumblebums. Pitching against Pete Rose was way tougher than pitching against wussies like "Ruth" or "Gehrig."
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  #116  
Old 07-13-2020, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by earlywynnfan View Post
Don't forget that Koufax pitched against some great hitters (which he did,) while Grove only pitched against white stumblebums. Pitching against Pete Rose was way tougher than pitching against wussies like "Ruth" or "Gehrig."
And somehow, pitching in the most friendly park to a pitcher in the most pitcher friendly era in the last century is somehow further proof that Koufax is the GOAT.
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  #117  
Old 07-13-2020, 06:48 PM
The Nasty Nati The Nasty Nati is offline
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Not even close. This guy had a career that was basically only 10 years.... He won 3 Cy Youngs in just 4 years!, and he had 4 no hitters. His last 4 years he compiled a record of 97-25 with an ERA under 1.70! Plus, he was lights out in the post season.... He was a HOFer in his mid 30's!!
Only thing is, his first 7 years were nothing special. And he retired at 30, so who knows if he would have continued that 4 year dominance that he did in his late 20s.

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  #118  
Old 07-13-2020, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by G1911 View Post
The Koufax advocates are now arguing that

A) pitchers before integration do not count for "all time"

and

B) pitchers before the Cy Young Award do not count for "all time"

When I said the logic had run off the rails earlier, well, it's now even worse.

Also, Randy Johnson won 5 Cy Young's, so even with this twisted logic, Koufax loses.

Randy Johnson was unanimous pick once. Koufax was unanimous pick 3 times in all of baseball not just one league. I rest my case
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  #119  
Old 07-13-2020, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by cammb View Post
Randy Johnson was unanimous pick once. Koufax was unanimous pick 3 times in all of baseball not just one league. I rest my case
Thank you for clarifying. I shall amend too:



"The Koufax advocates are now arguing that

A) pitchers before integration do not count for "all time"

and

B) pitchers before the Cy Young Award do not count for "all time"


When I said the logic had run off the rails earlier, well, it's now even worse.

Also, Randy Johnson won 5 Cy Young's, *but since they were not unanimous Koufax wins*"


A stunning logical argument.
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  #120  
Old 07-13-2020, 07:03 PM
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Hubbell had a tremendous mid-career stretch that rivals or exceeds any stretch Grove ever had. Carl Hubbell had 4 years with lower WHIP than Grove ever did have. Hubbell also had 2 MVP's plus a 3rd - again better than Grove. For a 5 year stretch one could argue Hubbell better than Grove. They pitched in same 1930's. Hubbell needs some love. And heck, wasn't Koufax' great run abut 5 years?
I love Hubbell and find it sad he's pretty much forgotten except that All Star feat. He's truly great. But I don't believe his peak beats Grove's. Sure, the King won two MVP's vs. Grove's one. But the only other stat you bring up is WHIP, and I see that Hubbell led the league 6 out of 8 times, Grove 5 out of 7. Not quite sure that's dominance. If you are only looking at 'prime,' two of his best WHIP seasons are outside the prime 5!
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  #121  
Old 07-13-2020, 07:06 PM
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Randy Johnson was unanimous pick once. Koufax was unanimous pick 3 times in all of baseball not just one league. I rest my case
Forgive me, you keep resting your case but I'm not really sure what case you are trying to make. Stop dropping the mike and walking away without completing a thought. It looks like you are saying Koufax is better than Randy Johnson??

Last edited by earlywynnfan; 07-13-2020 at 07:12 PM.
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  #122  
Old 07-13-2020, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by The Nasty Nati View Post
Only thing is, his first 7 years were nothing special. And he retired at 30, so who knows if he would have continued that 4 year dominance that he did in his late 20s.
And Grove, in 4 years of dominance in which he was older than Koufax, had a record of 108-27, then injured his arm, learned how to pitch with control instead of power, and came back and won almost 100 more games.
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  #123  
Old 07-13-2020, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by earlywynnfan View Post
I love Hubbell and find it sad he's pretty much forgotten except that All Star feat. He's truly great. But I don't believe his peak beats Grove's. Sure, the King won two MVP's vs. Grove's one. But the only other stat you bring up is WHIP, and I see that Hubbell led the league 6 out of 8 times, Grove 5 out of 7. Not quite sure that's dominance. If you are only looking at 'prime,' two of his best WHIP seasons are outside the prime 5!
I agree with this, Hubbell is a little overshadowed by being a direct contemporary of Grove, and both are overshadowed by the context of the offensive dominance of their context. Hubbell is a top 4 lefty for me.

1. Grove
2. R. Johnson
3. Spahn
4. Hubbell

Hubbell has better peak than Spahn, but Spahn was so reliably effective for so many more innings. I think 2-4 all have valid arguments for any position in that range. 5 on down is a drop from the top 4, I think. Plank (hurt by never leading the league in much), Ford, Carlton (inconsistent) would come next I think in some order. Kershaw is climbing up and just needs solid years, not great ones, to quickly jump up the rankings. Less than 2,300 innings and the postseason is all that holds him back
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  #124  
Old 07-13-2020, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by G1911 View Post
The Koufax advocates are now arguing that

A) pitchers before integration do not count for "all time"
Ha! This thread is now jumping the shark. Anyway, in my last post, I said that if you're weighing the factor of expansion you could look at integration as an extra factor which made for stronger competition. This is not to say there wasn't strong competition for major league pitchers pre-integration. Of course, there was.

At any rate, again, I haven't been saying that there aren't strong cases to make for others being the greatest lefty. I am not saying that Koufax was or wasn't the greatest. But the idea that Koufax wasn't a great pitcher is ridiculous. The detractor camp is just not giving him his full due. At this point, I would say they're trying way too hard not to acknowledge him. If it comes to down to listening to what they think, and what guys like Hank Aaron think, I'll go with Aaron.
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  #125  
Old 07-13-2020, 07:35 PM
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Ha! This thread is now jumping the shark. Anyway, in my last post, I said that if you're weighing the factor of expansion you could look at integration as an extra factor which made for stronger competition. This is not to say there wasn't strong competition for major league pitchers pre-integration. Of course, there was.

At any rate, again, I haven't been saying that there aren't strong cases to make for others being the greatest lefty. I am not saying that Koufax was or wasn't the greatest. But the idea that Koufax wasn't a great pitcher is ridiculous. The detractor camp is just not giving him his full due. At this point, I would say they're trying way too hard not to acknowledge him. If it comes to down to listening to what they think, and what guys like Hank Aaron think, I'll go with Aaron.
A) was not in reference to you, but another poster who used the integration cutoff to dismiss anyone pre-1947 pitchers.

Hanks testimony is useless, as he did not face any of the other pitchers in the discussion except Carlton. All of the guys in this thread have quotes from hitters about them being tough to bat against. That we selectively only apply this for Koufax, because statistical arguments in context cannot be found, is just one more reason he is not the greatest. The argument entirely relies on emotional appeals like this

Last edited by G1911; 07-13-2020 at 07:36 PM.
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  #126  
Old 07-13-2020, 07:40 PM
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I, for one, have never felt that Koufax, for 4 seasons at least and possibly even 6, wasn't great. I think he's the best pitcher of the 60's, RH or LH. I feel his lack of longevity keeps him from being best ever, and his peak, when taken in the context of eras, is not as great as Grove's.

I enjoy these topics, and I know I can come across as yelling sometimes, but that's because I love the debate, not because I think ill of someone with differing opinions.

I did learn something about Grove in this: his #1 comparable stunned me! Without looking, can anyone guess? I'll post tomorrow. Not the HOFer I was expecting!
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  #127  
Old 07-13-2020, 07:46 PM
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I, for one, have never felt that Koufax, for 4 seasons at least and possibly even 6, wasn't great. I think he's the best pitcher of the 60's, RH or LH. I feel his lack of longevity keeps him from being best ever, and his peak, when taken in the context of eras, is not as great as Grove's.

I enjoy these topics, and I know I can come across as yelling sometimes, but that's because I love the debate, not because I think ill of someone with differing opinions.

I did learn something about Grove in this: his #1 comparable stunned me! Without looking, can anyone guess? I'll post tomorrow. Not the HOFer I was expecting!
I donít think anyone has actually argued Koufax is merely good; one poster said Koufax was merely good, not great, on the toad and posted the math to back it up. It has turned into a talking point to argue against that nobody actually said unless I missed a post.

Since Baseball Reference similarity scores donít adjust for era... is it Hubbell or John Clarkson? A lot of their career stats are fairly close off memory
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  #128  
Old 07-13-2020, 07:57 PM
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A) was not in reference to you, but another poster who used the integration cutoff to dismiss anyone pre-1947 pitchers.

Hanks testimony is useless, as he did not face any of the other pitchers in the discussion except Carlton. All of the guys in this thread have quotes from hitters about them being tough to bat against. That we selectively only apply this for Koufax, because statistical arguments in context cannot be found, is just one more reason he is not the greatest. The argument entirely relies on emotional appeals like this
Well, I believe I was the first to make a reference to integration. But maybe I missed a comment, or like you say, you were commenting in response to somebody else.

If Aaron's testimony is useless, so is that of everyone who is coming out against Koufax, because you guys didn't face him either, lol. Aaron wasn't saying Koufax was the greatest lefty ever, but was the greatest of the pitchers he had faced in his era. And yes, there are other quotes that will testify as to the greatness of the other pitchers. Who knows how players of the 30's would have felt against Koufax, and how players of the 60's would have felt against Grove or Johnson?

But I think some of the remarks I made, as well as those by a couple of the other posters haven't been reflected on enough by those deriding Koufax's pre-1963 seasons. I'm not saying that some of the things you guys have brought up didn't help Koufax. But Koufax dominated that mid-60's time frame, and it wasn't merely due to Chavez Ravine. He developed as a player. If you had put him in Chavez Ravine in the late 50's, he would not have excelled as he did when he actually arrived there. You keep saying that I am making emotional appeals. I think that you are taking too clinical an approach.
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  #129  
Old 07-13-2020, 08:09 PM
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Well, I believe I was the first to make a reference to integration. But maybe I missed a comment, or like you say, you were commenting in response to somebody else.

If Aaron's testimony is useless, so is that of everyone who is coming out against Koufax, because you guys didn't face him either, lol. Aaron wasn't saying Koufax was the greatest lefty ever, but was the greatest of the pitchers he had faced in his era. And yes, there are other quotes that will testify as to the greatness of the other pitchers. Who knows how players of the 30's would have felt against Koufax, and how players of the 60's would have felt against Grove or Johnson?

But I think some of the remarks I made, as well as those by a couple of the other posters haven't been reflected on enough by those deriding Koufax's pre-1963 seasons. I'm not saying that some of the things you guys have brought up didn't help Koufax. But Koufax dominated that mid-60's time frame, and it wasn't merely due to Chavez Ravine. He developed as a player. If you had put him in Chavez Ravine in the late 50's, he would not have excelled as he did when he actually arrived there. You keep saying that I am making emotional appeals. I think that you are taking too clinical an approach.
Yes, it was as I said. 97. Take offense if you wish, though.

Yes, we didn't hit against him. Nobody hit against all the great lefties. Which is EXACTLY why some of us are using math and verifiable facts here; something besides completely subjective testimony of people who did not face the others discussed and so have no useful relevance.

The math suggests it WAS largely due to Chavez Ravine, as he did not have excellent numbers outside of his home park. See previous breakdowns.

Yes, I am taking a clinical approach using math and things that can be verified, instead of an emotional attachment to Koufax. The question posited was who is the best of all time, not who your favorite is.

Last edited by G1911; 07-13-2020 at 08:10 PM.
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  #130  
Old 07-13-2020, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by earlywynnfan View Post
Forgive me, you keep resting your case but I'm not really sure what case you are trying to make. Stop dropping the mike and walking away without completing a thought. It looks like you are saying Koufax is better than Randy Johnson??
Bingo!
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  #131  
Old 07-13-2020, 08:25 PM
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So I dug out my Bill James Abstract to see his rankings. It's the 2001 version, so no Randy Johnson. He has Grove tops (#2 overall), then Spahn (5), and Koufax (10).
Then:
13 Hubbell
15 Carlton
22 Ford
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  #132  
Old 07-13-2020, 08:25 PM
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I wonder how many of you mathematicians have seen Koufax pitch? I have and the players he pitched against say he was the best they had ever seen. The Yankees gave him accolades when they met in the World Series even commenting on his record of 25 and 5 stating "How did he loose 5 games?" I rest my case whether you like it or not
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Old 07-13-2020, 08:29 PM
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I wonder how many of you mathematicians have seen Koufax pitch? I have and the players he pitched against say he was the best they had ever seen. The Yankees gave him accolades when they met in the World Series even commenting on his record of 25 and 5 stating "How did he loose 5 games?" I rest my case whether you like it or not
How many of those yankees saw Grove pitch?
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Old 07-13-2020, 08:30 PM
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I picked Valenzuela because he was the best left-hander that I witnessed. I saw Carlton and Johnson, and they were also good.

Of the players I did not see, like Koufax, Sphan, Grove etc., the most eye-popping stats belong to Ed Morris.

Over a 3 year span, from 1884-1886, Morris was 114-57. He threw 1566 innings in those 3 seasons.
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Old 07-13-2020, 08:32 PM
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Kind of difficult to decide on any single lefty pitcher given the different eras in which they played ball. Koufax supporters have a good case for Sandy but something that plays into this should be longevity and dominance. For Koufax, he pitched in 12 seasons but in only less than half of his career could he be considered totally dominant. So, why not pull out the best 5 years of any pitcher and see how it all shakes out. Koufax, an ace? Yes! The best lefty? Debatable.
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  #136  
Old 07-13-2020, 08:35 PM
G1911 G1911 is offline
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Originally Posted by earlywynnfan View Post
How many of those yankees saw Grove pitch?
It amuses me that this kind of "evidence" is cited in support for Koufax and dismissed for everyone else (as it should be). Nobody faced all the lefties in discussion, and so "best I ever faced" is absolutely irrelevant to the question of who is best all time. Yet they keep dragging this horse out, because no mathematical arguments are really there.

Seperately,
I do not see how Valenzuela can possibly be ranked ahead of Randy Johnson.

Last edited by G1911; 07-13-2020 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 07-13-2020, 08:46 PM
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I do not see how Valenzuela can possibly be ranked ahead of Randy Johnson.
Greg, Johnson left the Astros after only half a season. He was brought in to take them to the World Series, which he did not do.

Valenzuela was always tough on the Astros. The Dodgers were in the same division, so I saw him pitch a lot. It's the same reason I think Kevin Brown is the greatest right-hander I ever saw. Rob
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Old 07-13-2020, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by RCMcKenzie View Post
I picked Valenzuela because he was the best left-hander that I witnessed. I saw Carlton and Johnson, and they were also good.

Of the players I did not see, like Koufax, Sphan, Grove etc., the most eye-popping stats belong to Ed Morris.

Over a 3 year span, from 1884-1886, Morris was 114-57. He threw 1566 innings in those 3 seasons.
So no one jumped on my Ruth suggestion but he had a three year span of about 2.00 average ERA, 20 wins a year and 300 innings a year. Then he went on to hit 714 home runs from the left side with over 2,200 RBI and a BA of .342 and OBP of .474 lifetime. Thatís why heís the greatest left handed ball player of all time.

Fernando? Címon.
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Old 07-13-2020, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Bram99 View Post

Fernando? Címon.
What can I say. I have a very dry sense of humor.
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  #140  
Old 07-13-2020, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by RCMcKenzie View Post
Greg, Johnson left the Astros after only half a season. He was brought in to take them to the World Series, which he did not do.

Valenzuela was always tough on the Astros. The Dodgers were in the same division, so I saw him pitch a lot. It's the same reason I think Kevin Brown is the greatest right-hander I ever saw. Rob
Now I get it
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Old 07-13-2020, 09:10 PM
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So no one jumped on my Ruth suggestion but he had a three year span of about 2.00 average ERA, 20 wins a year and 300 innings a year. Then he went on to hit 714 home runs from the left side with over 2,200 RBI and a BA of .342 and OBP of .474 lifetime. Thatís why heís the greatest left handed ball player of all time.

Fernando? Címon.
What is there to say? Sure, he was the most valuable left handed player who pitched, but it seems to be missing the spirit of the question if not the exact verbiage. OP obviously was referring to the best as a pitcher, which is clearly not Ruth.
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Old 07-14-2020, 05:55 AM
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What is there to say? Sure, he was the most valuable left handed player who pitched, but it seems to be missing the spirit of the question if not the exact verbiage. OP obviously was referring to the best as a pitcher, which is clearly not Ruth.
Ok now I get it. My other choice was either going to be Einstein or Oprah.
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Old 07-14-2020, 06:12 AM
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Koufax wins three Cy Young Awards, all UNANIMOUS. I rest my case.
Which makes him the best lefty of his era, not best of all time.
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Old 07-14-2020, 06:41 AM
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Your entire statistical argument was predicated on ignoring context, and supposing that stats in the 1930's AL and the 1960's NL are directly comparable in the raw. You then cherrypicked only the stats that ignore that Koufax played 9 full years, and was average or below for half his career while Grove pitched nearly 2x innings. I would love to hear a coherent, logical argument as to how Foxx is responsible for Grove's 9 ERA titles and what Koufax's offense has to do with his ERA, WHIP, and anything but W/L record, a statistic I have not cited at all in support or against any candidate.

You are right, I ignored the Negro League players as there are no reliable statistics to compare with. The question posed was "All-Time" not "Since 1947". If you would like to make a thread about the best lefty since 1947 instead of all-time to disqualify Grove for being alive at the wrong time, go do that.
No it wasnít. I get it if you just want to ignore what is posted that you donít agree with, but you have never addressed any of my points. I have addressed yours. We can just agree to disagree.
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Old 07-14-2020, 07:24 AM
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Which makes him the best lefty of his era, not best of all time.
Yet, the same argument is being made for Grove because he won more ERA titles. The difference is that Koufax did that against much tougher competition. To be unanimous over Spahn, Gibson, Marichal, Drysdale, Bunning, Perry and Sutton is far more impressive. He did that by winning the pitching triple crown each year as well as leading in most other stats. Grove was the best lefty of his era, but if he was truly great, why could he only pitch 35 shutouts in 17 seasons?
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Old 07-14-2020, 08:00 AM
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Yet, the same argument is being made for Grove because he won more ERA titles. The difference is that Koufax did that against much tougher competition. To be unanimous over Spahn, Gibson, Marichal, Drysdale, Bunning, Perry and Sutton is far more impressive. He did that by winning the pitching triple crown each year as well as leading in most other stats. Grove was the best lefty of his era, but if he was truly great, why could he only pitch 35 shutouts in 17 seasons?
I never made an argument about Groves ERA titles. I was replying to a post about Koufax 3 unanimous Cy Youngs.

Cy Youngs are not fair judge of pitchers of different eras, only fair when judging contemporaries since their in direct competition.
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Old 07-14-2020, 08:42 AM
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Yes, it was as I said. 97. Take offense if you wish, though.

Yes, we didn't hit against him. Nobody hit against all the great lefties. Which is EXACTLY why some of us are using math and verifiable facts here; something besides completely subjective testimony of people who did not face the others discussed and so have no useful relevance.

The math suggests it WAS largely due to Chavez Ravine, as he did not have excellent numbers outside of his home park. See previous breakdowns.

Yes, I am taking a clinical approach using math and things that can be verified, instead of an emotional attachment to Koufax. The question posited was who is the best of all time, not who your favorite is.
Oh hey, there are no bad vibes. I wasn't at all offended. It just seemed like there were a string of a couple of sarcastic remarks by a couple of the guys, and when I saw the one I responded to, I just wanted to clarify where I was coming from. This is a great discussion, and I have learned a lot from it. I will acknowledge that Chavez Ravine was an asset for Koufax, but not the reason for his greatness.

After we spoke last night, I decided to look a bit more at the stats, and I came up with what I feel is statistical proof that bears out my point.

If you break down Koufax's home and away E.R.A's year by year, they go like this:

1955

Home 2.25
Away 4.08


1956

Home 7.50
Away 3.76


1957

Home 3.70
Away 4.10


1958

Home 3.70
Away 4.10


1959

Home 2.71
Away 5.50


1960

Home 5.27
Away 3.00


1961

Home 4.22
Away 2.77



1962

Home 1.75
Away 3.53



1963

Home 1.38
Away 2.31



1964

Home 0.85
Away 2.93



1965

Home 1.38
Away 2.72



1966

Home 1.52
Away 1.96



Okay. If your argument is that Chavez Ravine, largely created the phenomenon that was Sandy Koufax, look at his away E.R.A's. You'll notice that from 1955 - 1959, they were really quite high. He brought things down a bit in 1960, but obviously with an 8-13 Won/Loss Record, and an overall 3.91 E.R.A. for the year, it wasn't exactly a banner year.

Then look at 1961, which was a year before Koufax and the Dodgers played at Chavez. Koufax' away E.R.A. is down below 3.00 for the first time, at 2.77. His Won/Loss Record goes up to 18-13.

Interestingly, in the spring of that year, catcher Norm Sherry spoke with Koufax about his control. In an interview, he said:

'It was 1961 in Orlando, where we went to play the Twins in an exhibition game. We’d talked on the plane going over there, and he said, “I want to work on my change-up and my curveball.” We went with a very minimal squad because one of our pitchers missed the plane. Gil Hodges went as our manager. [Koufax] couldn’t throw a strike, and he ended up walking the first three guys. I went to the mound and said, “Sandy, we don’t have many guys here; we’re going to be here a long day. Why don’t you take something off the ball and just put it in there? Don’t try to throw it so hard. Just put it in there and let them hit it.”'

'I went back behind the plate. Good God! He tried to ease up, and he was throwing harder than when he tried to. We came off the field, and I said, “Sandy, I don’t know if you realize it, but you just now threw harder than when you were trying to.” What he did was that he got his rhythm better and the ball jumped out of his hand and exploded at the plate. He struck out the side. It made sense to him that when you try to overdo something, you do less. Just like guys who swing so hard, they can’t hit the ball. He got really good.'


Koufax himself said, 'I became a good pitcher when I stopped trying to make them miss the ball and started trying to make them hit it.'

Now if you look at his record going forward, the next year, yes, the Dodgers moved to Chavez, and his record improved. But his away record improved also. The 3.53 E.R.A he posted on the road in 1962, is misleading. His last legitimate start was on July 12th where he pitched 7 innings beating the Mets 1-0. However, by this point, the pain in his pitching due to a crushed artery in his left palm, put him on the disabled list after a one-inning outing at Crosley Field on July 17th, a game in which he was tagged for the loss, and was credited with an 18.00 E.R.A.

He attempted to pitch again in September and October, getting into four games. Three out of those four were on the road. His E.R.A for the month of September was 8.22 and for October, ws 27.00. He only pitched a total of 8.2 innings in September and October. And if you add the inning he pitched on July 17th, that's a total of 9.2 innings. Four out of five of those games were on the road. If you eliminate the E.R.A.'s from those games, his away E.R.A. goes down significantly. It would be interesting to calculate that. Maybe we could do that in a bit.

Then you go on the 1963 -1966 run. And we all know what Koufax did there. His E.R.A.'s on the road respectively are 2.31, 2.93, 2.72, 1.96.


1.96, his last year.


To make the claim that Chavez Ravine was largely responsible for Koufax's improvement, as evidenced by the significant improvement of Koufax's record on the road, where he had to deal with everything every other visiting pitcher had to deal with in those parks, makes the claim that Chavez Ravine made Koufax the pitcher he was, preposterous. Again, look at Koufax's stats on the road from 1955-1960, and then from 1961 onward. Koufax became a better pitcher because he changed his approach toward pitching. His stats may have been helped somewhat at home by pitching at Chavez, but given his overall improvement, as evidenced by what his E.R.A. was on the road, the argument that Chavez was responsible for his improvement, collapses.

Also, one should take into account that he struck out 269 batters in 1961, which was the year before the Dodgers moved into Chavez Ravine, and took place after the Norm Sherry conversation.

You can argue that the confluence of events such as the widened strike zone and Chavez played a role in boosting his stats at home. But there is absolutely no doubt that Koufax improved in a stunning way, largely determined by his change in his approach toward pitching. His significantly improved stats on the road, bear this out.

Last edited by jgannon; 07-14-2020 at 08:49 AM.
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  #148  
Old 07-14-2020, 09:14 AM
Mark17 Mark17 is offline
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You can argue that the confluence of events such as the widened strike zone and Chavez played a role in boosting his stats at home. But there is absolutely no doubt that Koufax improved in a stunning way, largely determined by his change in his approach toward pitching. His significantly improved stats on the road, bear this out.
And, as I mentioned earlier, in 1962, two really feeble expansion teams were added to the N.L., and from 1962-1966, Sandy was 31-4 against them. That had to help, too.
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Old 07-14-2020, 09:20 AM
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Hubbell had a tremendous mid-career stretch that rivals or exceeds any stretch Grove ever had. Carl Hubbell had 4 years with lower WHIP than Grove ever did have. Hubbell also had 2 MVP's plus a 3rd - again better than Grove. For a 5 year stretch one could argue Hubbell better than Grove. They pitched in same 1930's. Hubbell needs some love. And heck, wasn't Koufax' great run abut 5 years?
This is a good point. Hubbell was better than Grove. 2.98 ERA to 3.06. 1.166 WHIP to 1.278. In fact of the top 8 lefties, Grove had the worst WHIP of all. Kershaw is really the only one close to Koufax, it could be argued that he was the better regular season pitcher, but his poor pitching in the postseason makes him #2.

1. Koufax
2. Kershaw
3. Ford
4. Hubbell
5. Johnson
6. Grove
7. Carlton
8. Spahn

3 and 4 are close, 5-8 are close, but there are 3 clear tiers.
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Old 07-14-2020, 09:23 AM
jgannon jgannon is offline
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And, as I mentioned earlier, in 1962, two really feeble expansion teams were added to the N.L., and from 1962-1966, Sandy was 31-4 against them. That had to help, too.
That's right, because he was great and they were not. If they hadn't been in the league he would have posted great numbers as well.
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