PDA

View Full Version : Nolan Ryan


soxfantony
06-12-2006, 03:30 PM
Some say hes the best pitcher to ever pick up a baseball. others say he was nothing but a cheater and a disgrace to baseball. i just wanted some opinions.

tebman
06-12-2006, 03:38 PM
Cheater? I don't think so. Bully? Most definitely. Flamethrower? Absolutely. Ryan could thrown Mach-1 fastballs but relied more on intimidation than control, and successfully built around that.

Kind of like the scene in "Bull Durham" where catcher Crash Davis tells pitcher LaLoosh to throw the next pitch at the costumed mascot. Then Davis tells the batter, "I don't know where the next one's going. Swear to God." The batter is spooked and strikes out on the next pitch.

MarySwiss
06-12-2006, 03:39 PM
I understand the beef from his ranch is delicious. :redneck

soxfan13
06-12-2006, 03:44 PM
I have never heard him be accused of cheating.:?: Unless I missed something? He played on a lot of bad teams and could have ended up with alot more wins if he was on better teams.

TheKittle
06-12-2006, 03:49 PM
I have never heard him be accused of cheating.:?: Unless I missed something? He played on a lot of bad teams and could have ended up with alot more wins if he was on some good teams.

I think he admitted it in his book, that came out in the mid 80's. Sandpaper, etc. I think Ryan is vastly overrated. Could he throw the hell out of the ball? No question. But he was a 500 pitcher, walked too many batters, and was more a thrower than a pitcher. Give me Palmer or Seaver over Ryan any day.

munchman33
06-12-2006, 03:56 PM
Ryan isn't even the best intimidator to take the mound. I'd take Bob Gibson any day.

soxfan13
06-12-2006, 03:58 PM
I think he admitted it in his book, that came out in the mid 80's. Sandpaper, etc. I think Ryan is vastly overrated. Could he throw the hell out of the ball? No question. But he was a 500 pitcher, walked too many batters, and was more a thrower than a pitcher. Give me Palmer or Seaver over Ryan any day.

yes just little over .500 but career era of 3.10 in 27 years. Look at the horrible Angels teams he played for in the early 70's. He lost over 16 games 3 or 4 times while winning around 20 games(in the same year) and era in the 2's. I think he was one of the best and being on some better teams would have been thought of more highly.

monkeypants
06-12-2006, 04:17 PM
I think Ryan is vastly overrated. Could he throw the hell out of the ball? No question. But he was a 500 pitcher, walked too many batters, and was more a thrower than a pitcher. Give me Palmer or Seaver over Ryan any day.

I completely agree. Yes he was a great pitcher but he wasn't nearly the greatest.

Dan Mega
06-12-2006, 04:47 PM
Nolan Ryan overrated? C'mon now. He just didn't play for good teams.

Single Season Averages
IP:231.7
W:13
L: 12
GS: 33
ERA: 3.19
K: 245
WHIP: 1.25

And he held that average for 27 years! If he was so overrated, don't you think hitters would have figured him out at some point? As for the wins column, that is dependant upon the offense of the team the pitcher is on.

Tom Seaver pitched a comparable amount of innings each season to Ryan. His season average was about 10 innings more each year. His WHIP was 1.21, barely better than Ryan's. He had a better ERA by a 1/3rd of a run and struck out about 50 guys less per year. This makes Tom Seaver that much better?

TheKittle
06-12-2006, 05:04 PM
Nolan Ryan overrated? C'mon now. He just didn't play for good teams.

Single Season Averages
IP:231.7
W:13
L: 12
GS: 33
ERA: 3.19
K: 245
WHIP: 1.25

And he held that average for 27 years! If he was so overrated, don't you think hitters would have figured him out at some point? As for the wins column, that is dependant upon the offense of the team the pitcher is on.

Tom Seaver pitched a comparable amount of innings each season to Ryan. His season average was about 10 innings more each year. His WHIP was 1.21, barely better than Ryan's. He had a better ERA by a 1/3rd of a run and struck out about 50 guys less per year. This makes Tom Seaver that much better?

Stats don't tell the entire story. Ryan overrated. Walks, number of pitches and his record when the teams he played for were good, tell the story. 79 Angels win the AL West and he was 16-14. I would expect an ace to win a little more but more importantly lose less.

Dan Mega
06-12-2006, 05:11 PM
His ERA in 1979 was 3.60. Not lights out but not bad. And if you're gonna measure his talent by wins and walks (and again I point out his career WHIP was similiar to Seavers) then you have to count intangibles as well, which I hate counting.

Baby Fisk
06-12-2006, 05:17 PM
Ryan was obsessed with getting strikeouts. He liked to make batters look stupid, and that was why he was a .500 pitcher instead of a perennial 20-game winner. He'd rather give up a home run here and there if it meant he could keep challenging the next batter up with more high hard ones. His approach to the game was "Pitcher vs. Batter" instead of "What is best for the team in this situation?".

Still, seven no-hitters? Not too shabby.

"Disgrace to baseball?" Don't be ridiculous.

mwc44
06-12-2006, 05:18 PM
Pitched in 4 decades, over 5700 strike outs, seven no-hitters, 12 one-hitters and 491 votes on 497 ballots for Hall of Fame induction or 98.8% of the baseball writers...

Overated? I think not.

SouthSide_HitMen
06-12-2006, 05:36 PM
Bill James has him 24th all time in his New Historical Baseball Abstract (revised the Top 20 in 2003 - leaving all others where they were in 2000 leaves you with this list):

1. Walter Johnson
2. Lefty Grove
3. Pete Alexander
4. Cy Young
5. Warren Spahn
6. Tom Seaver
7. Roger Clemens
8. Christy Mathewson
9. Greg Maddux
10. Bob Gibson
11. Kid Nichols
12. Bob Feller
13. Randy Johnson
14. Sandy Koufax
15. Carl Hubbell
16. Steve Carlton
17. Robin Roberts
18. Jim Palmer
19. Gaylord Perry
20. Ed Walsh
21. Mordecai Brown
22. Juan Marichal
23. Whitey Ford
24. Fergie Jenkins
25. Nolan Ryan

He is one of the all time greats but I'd take Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Steve Carlton, Randy Johnson and Tom Seaver over him among the pitchers I have seen in my lifetime (have watched MLB for 31 seasons).

D. TODD
06-12-2006, 06:20 PM
Cheater no, over rated hell yes!! Ryan was argueably the best when he was on for a single game, but game in game out he is not in the same league as the top pitchers of all time, which he is often considered to be part of. Hence OVERRATED in my book. He had alot of Kerry Wood in him pre injuries. Can be unbelievable for a game, but nowhere near my top choice for a season.

ode to veeck
06-12-2006, 08:07 PM
His best years were spent with really crappy teams, other than the '69 Amazin' Mets. Nolan was one of the best and toughest best pitchers I ever saw in my 45 years of going to games. Sure Bob Gibson was more indimidating, but that's just about it. Overrated? I don't think so. Just ask Pudge Fisk.

I don't see how you could rate some pitchers in that list ahead of him --Fergie Jenkins, just not as good, period, Jim Palmer? a relative flash in the pan, and with a dynasty team behind him almost his entire career--I'd call Jim Palmer (relatively) overrated, whilke Nolan had years like '73 when he was 22-16 on a dead last place team with >330 innings at < 3 ERA on a team that was also dead last in runs scored.

Gimme a break. Nolan's one of the very best all-time.

SouthSide_HitMen
06-12-2006, 08:16 PM
His best years were spent with really crappy teams, other than the '69 Amazin' Mets. Nolan was one of the best and toughest best pitchers I ever saw in my 45 years of going to games. Sure Bob Gibson was more indimidating, but that's just about it. Overrated? I don't think so. Just ask Pudge Fisk.

I don't see how you could rate some pitchers in that list ahead of him --Fergie Jenkins, just not as good, period, Jim Palmer? a relative flash in the pan, and with a dynasty team behind him almost his entire career--I'd call Jim Palmer (relatively) overrated, whilke Nolan had years like '73 when he was 22-16 on a dead last place team with >330 innings at < 3 ERA on a team that was also dead last in runs scored.

Gimme a break. Nolan's one of the very best all-time.

I agree (and edited my post deleting Jim Palmer as better than Ryan - I felt funny typing that).

I still think Clemens is by far the most dominant pitcher I have seen watching baseball since the mid 1970s. Historians rate Walter Johnson as the best ever. Maddux had a great career but I think guys rather take their chances against Maddux vs. facing Pedro Martinez or Randy Johnson or Nolan Ryan who are ranked behind him for whatever reason.

soxfantony
06-12-2006, 09:58 PM
ryan was caught spitting numerous amounts of time. im not denying that he was awesome without it, but like steroids, this takes away from the authenticity of a good ballplayer.

LongLiveFisk
06-12-2006, 10:02 PM
Overrated? I don't think so. Just ask Pudge Fisk.

No kidding. I still remember the phone ringing right after Fisk would look at Strike 1, 2, and 3, then sit down. The call was always from my friend Ron, a huge Ryan fan who would laugh at me over the phone everytime Pudge looked bad against Ryan.

That was a lot of phone calls from Ron, trust me! :redneck

soxinem1
06-12-2006, 10:51 PM
This is not even a tough call, as I had watched Ryan pitch as a young wild guy, and as an older pitcher.

In the 70's this guy threw moving gas. But he walked over 200 a season and lost a lot of games. It seemed he pitched well enough to lose sometimes, but he always looked tough and I never saw him get rocked.

In the early 80's, many thought he was through, as Steve Carlton actually passed him in career K's at one point, and was far ahead in wins. But his bad arm in 1987 actually helped him push on, as he was on strict pitch counts all year.

I think it was in 1990 when Ryan pitched one of the ten best games I ever watched, and Alex Fernandez or Melido Perez pitched for us. Ryan whiffed 15 and the only hit he gave up was a ball Ron Kittle barely touched. I never saw someone throw so hard and just hit spots with perfection like he did that night.

I believe the rumor was that he taught Mike Scott how to scuff when they were in Houston, but only they know the truth.

300+ wins on a lot of really bad teams? No one will break his K records. He belongs in the HOF, without a doubt.

PKalltheway
06-13-2006, 01:44 AM
Nolan Ryan was one of the greatest pitchers to ever toe the rubber, without question. C'mon, he won 22 games in 1973 for a last place team! Ryan in 1987 went 8-16, but still led the majors in ERA. He just had the unfortunate distinction of playing on a lot of horse**** teams. To lump him in the same category as Kerry Wood is absurd and nothing short of ridiculous.

DSpivack
06-13-2006, 02:21 AM
In some ways Ryan and Clemens are similar; power pitchers who have been able to pitch well after age 40. However, numbers suggest that Clemens has had far superior control--Ryan consistently walked 100+ in a year, while Clemens has only once done so. Other numbers are similar; Ryan's career ERA was 3.19, Clemens 3.12. I think Clemens is a far superior pitcher---he was putting up those numbers in an offense-heavy period. Still, Ryan is a HOFer. Best pitcher ever? Far from it. I'd pick Clemens over Ryan, and Pedro over either of them. Best ever? None of those three and I'm not sure whom.

SoxFan76
06-13-2006, 09:28 AM
ryan was caught spitting numerous amounts of time. im not denying that he was awesome without it, but like steroids, this takes away from the authenticity of a good ballplayer.

:rolleyes:

Please. The vast majority of pitchers "cheated" back then. That's just how it was.

downstairs
06-13-2006, 09:47 AM
ryan was caught spitting numerous amounts of time. im not denying that he was awesome without it, but like steroids, this takes away from the authenticity of a good ballplayer.

You're comparing spitting on the ball and scuffing it with injecting hormones and chemicals into your body?

There are degrees of "cheating."

cbotnyse
06-13-2006, 10:19 AM
How could nobody mention the fact that he is the all time leader in strikeouts???? Ryan ranks first all-time in strikeouts (5,714), fewest hits allowed per nine innings (6.56), first in no-hitters (7), fifth in innings pitched (5386), second in games started (773), seventh in shutouts (61) and tied for 13th in wins (324).

yes he did walk alot of batters and played for some bad teams, but overrrated?? and 7 no hitters, come on!!!.....I admit I never saw him pitch because I am too young, but I cant classify a career like his as overrated. He belongs right where he is, in the Hall of Fame.

another immpressive stat.....Ryan also is the only player in Major League history to strike out a side in nine pitches in BOTH leagues.

SoxFan76
06-13-2006, 10:25 AM
How could nobody mention the fact that he is the all time leader in strikeouts???? Ryan ranks first all-time in strikeouts (5,714), fewest hits allowed per nine innings (6.56), first in no-hitters (7), fifth in innings pitched (5386), second in games started (773), seventh in shutouts (61) and tied for 13th in wins (324).

yes he did walk alot of batters and played for some bad teams, but overrrated?? and 7 no hitters, come on!!!.....I admit I never saw him pitch because I am too young, but I cant classify a career like his as overrated. He belongs right where he is, in the Hall of Fame.

another immpressive stat.....Ryan also is the only player in Major League history to strike out a side in nine pitches in BOTH leagues.

5th in IP...and he didn't play from 1901-1928. That's quite a feat.

jackbrohamer
06-13-2006, 11:24 AM
Ryan had phenominal individual statistics in what is a team sport. He absolutely buried the record for most bases on balls given up by a pitcher.

I've considered him one of the biggest wusses in baseball history ever since he dusted Craig Grebek a week after Grebek hit a homer off of him. A true hall of famer should be bigger than that.

And when he got into the fight with Ventura, the Texas catcher was clearly holding Ventura's arms when Ryan was punching him.

PKalltheway
06-13-2006, 01:57 PM
Ryan had phenominal individual statistics in what is a team sport. He absolutely buried the record for most bases on balls given up by a pitcher.

I've considered him one of the biggest wusses in baseball history ever since he dusted Craig Grebek a week after Grebek hit a homer off of him. A true hall of famer should be bigger than that.

And when he got into the fight with Ventura, the Texas catcher was clearly holding Ventura's arms when Ryan was punching him.
Well, I guess that means you think that Roger Clemens, Don Drysdale, Bob Gibson, and Pedro Martinez are wusses too because they dusted people after they hit home runs off of them too (and they probably did a week afterwards too sometimes).:rolleyes:

D. TODD
06-13-2006, 03:04 PM
The word overrated always gets people worked up. Most overrated players are damn good, you don't hear about a .240 lifetime hitter being overrated. Ryan is easily a hall of famer, but when he is considered at the top of the all time list, if not the best pitcher of all time by enough people he becomes vastly overrated in my book. He had maybe the best "wow" factor with his stuff, and on any given night he was unhittable. Pitching has alot of intangibles and Ryan often found ways to be just good enough to lose. He would be nowhere near my pick for a guy to pitch in a must win game during his era, let alone of all time. Now, if I wanted a guy who could throw a no-hitter or strike out 20 on a given night then he would be my man. Great pitcher: yes. Overrated: no doubt in my humble opinion.

StockdaleForVeep
06-13-2006, 03:34 PM
I think he admitted it in his book, that came out in the mid 80's. Sandpaper, etc. I think Ryan is vastly overrated. Could he throw the hell out of the ball? No question. But he was a 500 pitcher, walked too many batters, and was more a thrower than a pitcher. Give me Palmer or Seaver over Ryan any day.

Yea striking out 383 batters in a season. Also only pitcher to strike out the side on 9 pitches. Yeah he sucks

mwc44
06-13-2006, 04:03 PM
Yea striking out 383 batters in a season. Also only pitcher to strike out the side on 9 pitches. Yeah he sucks

HALL OF FAME TRIVIA:

Did You Know... that Nolan Ryan is the only pitcher to strike out the side on nine pitched balls in both the National League (April 19, 1968) and the American League (July 9, 1972)?

As I said previously, he may not have been the best, but overrated? I think not!

cbotnyse
06-13-2006, 04:12 PM
HALL OF FAME TRIVIA:

Did You Know... that Nolan Ryan is the only pitcher to strike out the side on nine pitched balls in both the National League (April 19, 1968) and the American League (July 9, 1972)?

As I said previously, he may not have been the best, but overrated? I think not!
you are way late...I mentioned this a few posts back....:cool:

another immpressive stat.....Ryan also is the only player in Major League history to strike out a side in nine pitches in BOTH leagues.

Nolan Ryan does make for an interesting debate though.....He is the all time leader in stikeouts and walks...both good and bad.....I only wish I was old enough to see him pitch live then Id have a better opinion, but all i can go on is his stat line......which I think is extemely impressive.

kobo
06-13-2006, 04:20 PM
When talking about pitchers I really don't see how you can include wins and losses as a measurement for a pitcher. Wins and losses are more of a team statistic than an individual statistic, as evidenced by some of the crappy teams Ryan played for. Ryan has great pitching stats, except for the amount of walks he gave up, but he still has a 1.25 career WHIP. He's definitely one of the greatest pitchers of all time.

D. TODD
06-13-2006, 05:28 PM
When talking about pitchers I really don't see how you can include wins and losses as a measurement for a pitcher. Wins and losses are more of a team statistic than an individual statistic, as evidenced by some of the crappy teams Ryan played for. Ryan has great pitching stats, except for the amount of walks he gave up, but he still has a 1.25 career WHIP. He's definitely one of the greatest pitchers of all time. I don't agree at all that wins and loses are not an important stat to pitchers. For a short period, yes they can be misleading, but over the long haul the intangables of a pitcher lead directly to many wins or loses. The stats do not paint the picture of any particular game, working out of jams, bearing down in close games, strategy used in games with a big lead, or in a one run game is key to being a WINNING pitcher. The stat heads like to look at numbers as the end all. A pitcher and how he reacts to certain key situations in a game directly effects many a win or loss. Again Ryan was a GREAT pitcher, just overrated in many peoples eyes, including mine, because people get blinded by his stats and overpowering single game preformances and miss his never being a clutch go to guy for a needed win that many others of his era were. Mark Buehrle is an example of a guy that if you just look at his stats he is not that impressive, but he consistently pitches to the game situation and gets the job done for the win. A guy who wins 5-4, 7-6, 2-1 consistenly for a long period of time is not by luck. Some have it and some don't, and you have to watch the guy pitch to see it, not just look at WHIP, ERA, K's etc.

The whole overrated thing again is almost exclusivly used on great players. How great they were is the debate. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder I guess.

jackbrohamer
06-13-2006, 05:53 PM
Well, I guess that means you think that Roger Clemens, Don Drysdale, Bob Gibson, and Pedro Martinez are wusses too because they dusted people after they hit home runs off of them too (and they probably did a week afterwards too sometimes).:rolleyes:

Nope. Hitting batters & brushbacks are part of the game, but I never saw any of those guys drill an absolute nobody a week after just hitting a homerun; Grebeck did nothing to show Ryan up. And while I like The Little Hurt, he was a 5-foot-7 utility infielder who Ryan made a bad pitch to, he cannot possibly have thought he had to send a "message" to a guy who hit 19 homers over parts of 12 seasons.

IMO, Ryan's drilling Grebeck was more akin to Jose Mesa going after Vizquel years after Vizquel dumped on him in a book, petty and stupid. I expect that conduct from bushers but not from Hall of Famers.

soxfantony
06-13-2006, 10:07 PM
:rolleyes:

Please. The vast majority of pitchers "cheated" back then. That's just how it was.

well a vast majority of ballplayers today use steroids. thats just how it is. but those players still recieve full recognition from the mlb officials, but not the fans. take barry bonds for example. a lot of people hate him for his steriod use. some people the same for ryan.

FarWestChicago
06-13-2006, 10:51 PM
take barry bonds for example. a lot of people hate him for his steriod use. some complete, gasbrained morons the same for ryan.Fixed it for you.

SouthSide_HitMen
06-13-2006, 10:52 PM
I'm still trying to figure out what Nolan Ryan has to do with the "No Flubs!" icon. :redneck

Johnny Mostil
06-13-2006, 11:14 PM
I'm still trying to figure out what Nolan Ryan has to do with the "No Flubs!" icon. :redneck

Good question. I was wondering if Ryan had a better record against the Cubs than other teams, but I couldn't find any historical information on this. (Does anybody know where to find Ryan's record against different teams?)

I did find two web pages by somebody with, um, issues, formatting being the least of them . . .

http://nolanryannot.tripod.com
http://members.tripod.com/NolanRyanNot/index-2.html

I think Crash Davis had the abridged version of these web pages when he said, "Don't try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic." (Edited with correct quote--I'm guessing Tommy John was one of Crash's favorite pitchers . . .)

(Honestly, though, I am a Ryan fan . . .)

PKalltheway
06-14-2006, 01:16 AM
Nope. Hitting batters & brushbacks are part of the game, but I never saw any of those guys drill an absolute nobody a week after just hitting a homerun; Grebeck did nothing to show Ryan up. And while I like The Little Hurt, he was a 5-foot-7 utility infielder who Ryan made a bad pitch to, he cannot possibly have thought he had to send a "message" to a guy who hit 19 homers over parts of 12 seasons.

IMO, Ryan's drilling Grebeck was more akin to Jose Mesa going after Vizquel years after Vizquel dumped on him in a book, petty and stupid. I expect that conduct from bushers but not from Hall of Famers.
It was pretty classless of Roger Clemens to throw a broken piece of a bat at Mike Piazza during the World Series too, three months after that beaning incident, which led Piazza to make unfavorable comments about Clemens. I am not condoning what Clemens or Ryan did, but I'm not about to put a black mark on a 27 year career just because of one incident with Craig Grebeck. Personally, I think Roger Clemens is more of a prick.

fquaye149
06-14-2006, 10:30 AM
Nolan Ryan overrated? C'mon now. He just didn't play for good teams.

Single Season Averages
IP:231.7
W:13
L: 12
GS: 33
ERA: 3.19
K: 245
WHIP: 1.25

And he held that average for 27 years! If he was so overrated, don't you think hitters would have figured him out at some point? As for the wins column, that is dependant upon the offense of the team the pitcher is on.

Tom Seaver pitched a comparable amount of innings each season to Ryan. His season average was about 10 innings more each year. His WHIP was 1.21, barely better than Ryan's. He had a better ERA by a 1/3rd of a run and struck out about 50 guys less per year. This makes Tom Seaver that much better?

LOL...you use THOSE stats to show he's not overrated? a 3.19 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP...and he was named the greatest pitcher of all time, the highest pct vote getter in the HOF and he's not overrated with a 3+ era and a greater than 1 WHIP?

Look at Carlton, Koufax, Spahn, Clemens...and tell me this guy who is considered by many to be the g.o.a.t. despite never being seriously considered for a Cy Young is not overrated...

Railsplitter
06-14-2006, 10:37 AM
Ryan Never won a Cy Young Award. Draw whatever conclusions you may from that.

PaulDrake
06-14-2006, 11:12 AM
He's not in my all time top ten, maybe not top 15 either. It made me sick when he was voted the greatest pitcher ever. I'm not a big fan of Bill James, but I find a lot of thought in his all time position by position rankings.

soxfantony
06-14-2006, 11:56 AM
I'm still trying to figure out what Nolan Ryan has to do with the "No Flubs!" icon. :redneck
nothing. i just really really hate them

Johnny Mostil
06-14-2006, 12:04 PM
LOL...you use THOSE stats to show he's not overrated? a 3.19 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP...and he was named the greatest pitcher of all time, the highest pct vote getter in the HOF and he's not overrated with a 3+ era and a greater than 1 WHIP?

Look at Carlton, Koufax, Spahn, Clemens...and tell me this guy who is considered by many to be the g.o.a.t. despite never being seriously considered for a Cy Young is not overrated...

Carlton (3.22), Spahn (3.09), and Clemens (3.12) all have 3+ career ERAs. Koufax (2.76) did not, but he had far fewer IP. As near as I can tell, of the ten pitchers with the most IP since WWII, only one (Seaver, 2.86) had a career ERA below 3.

That said, I would agree Ryan is not the "g.o.a.t.," much less indisputably so, although I do remain a fan . . .

jm11744
06-14-2006, 12:08 PM
Just for the fact that he will be remembered makes him a great pitcher, but The Greatest? I dunno, I'm partial to Clemons and I always liked Jack McDowell's style.

Dan Mega
06-14-2006, 12:30 PM
Carlton (3.22), Spahn (3.09), and Clemens (3.12) all have 3+ career ERAs. Koufax (2.76) did not, but he had far fewer IP. As near as I can tell, of the ten pitchers with the most IP since WWII, only one (Seaver, 2.86) had a career ERA below 3.

That said, I would agree Ryan is not the "g.o.a.t.," much less indisputably so, although I do remain a fan . . .

Thank you.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out why so many people hate Nolan Ryan. Was it because he dominated their one of their favorite teams? Never won many games or a Cy Young, yet put of similiar (or better) numbers compared to Seaver, Koufax, Gibson, etc?

Yes, he IS one of the greatest ever! 27 years of dominance doesn't make you just "really good". It makes you one of the best to ever take the mound.

SouthSide_HitMen
06-14-2006, 12:42 PM
Carlton (3.22), Spahn (3.09), and Clemens (3.12) all have 3+ career ERAs. Koufax (2.76) did not, but he had far fewer IP. As near as I can tell, of the ten pitchers with the most IP since WWII, only one (Seaver, 2.86) had a career ERA below 3.

That said, I would agree Ryan is not the "g.o.a.t.," much less indisputably so, although I do remain a fan . . .

ERA needs to be adjusted for league scoring and ballpark otherwise Ed Walsh will always be overrated (as well as Koufax, Gibson and other pitchers in the 1960s) and players like Clemens who pitched in the AL during a high scoring era would be underrated.

Seaver benefited by pitching several years in a low scoring era (before they raised the pitchers mound) as well as Shea Stadium and the NL.

I am not taking anything away from any of these great pitchers - my point is stats need to be reviewed / compared in context.

Nolan Ryan was an excellent pitcher who retained his excellence for a very, very long time which is why he ranks among the all time greats.

That logic also applies to Nolan Ryan's W-L record playing for ****ty teams. Randy Johnson went 16-14 in 2004 but was hands down one of the best if not the best pitcher that season (2.60 ERA - League ERA 4.44, 245 2/3 IP, 290 K, 0.900 WHIP).

PaulDrake
06-14-2006, 12:47 PM
ERA needs to be adjusted I thought that's what the ERA+ stat was supposed to do. Using that, Ryan pales in comparison to many other HOF pitchers.

Johnny Mostil
06-14-2006, 12:50 PM
ERA needs to be adjusted for league scoring and ballpark otherwise Ed Walsh will always be overrated (as well as Koufax, Gibson and other pitchers in the 1960s) and players like Clemens who pitched in the AL during a high scoring era would be underrated.

Seaver benefited by pitching several years in a low scoring era (before they raised the pitchers mound) as well as Shea Stadium and the NL.

I am not taking anything away from any of these great pitchers - my point is stats need to be reviewed / compared in context.

Nolan Ryan was an excellent pitcher who retained his excellence for a very, very long time which is why he ranks among the all time greats.

I agree. I had wanted to break down the top ten in post-WWII IP by AL and NL, but was too lazy.

FWIW, here are (as near as I can tell!) the top ten by IP among post-WWII pitchers, as well as their ERAs:

Phil Niekro, 5404 1/3, 3.35

Nolan Ryan, 5386, 3.19

Gaylord Perry, 5350 1/3, 3.11

Don Sutton, 5282 1/3, 3.26

Warren Spahn, 5243 2/3, 3.09 (I didn't subtract his WWII years)

Steve Carlton, 5217 1/3, 3.22

Bert Blyleven, 4970, 3.31

Tom Seaver, 4782 2/3, 2.86

Tommy John, 4710 1/3, 3.34

Roger Clemens, 4704 1/3, 3.12

None of these, BTW, is among the top 100 ERA leaders posted to http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/ERA_career.shtml. (Koufax is #91, and Pedro Martinez is #78.) That probably just underscores your point about adjusting for other variables.

On the original point, though, I don't think Ryan's career ERA detracts from his record . . .

sullythered
06-14-2006, 01:33 PM
To me, Ryan seems like Kerry Wood if Wood was always healthy and pitched for a long time. Yeah, he can put up huge numbers and be dominating. But whatever else is said, he's about a .500 pitcher. And he is a giant jerk.

jdm2662
06-14-2006, 01:44 PM
I couldn't stand Ryan as much as the next guy, especially in that famous game in 1990. When Hibbard hit the first guy the next inning, and the fight broke out, Ryan sat in the dugout the entire time. Hell, Torborg was pushing 50, if not over it, and he was in the middle of the fight. Once the fight settled down, here comes Ryan walking out of the dugout with his finger in the air. I wish Torborg would've jumped his ass. That would've been awesome.

That said, he was still one of the best pitchers of my lifetime. I only saw the last eight or so years of his career, but it was enough to convince me of his greatness.

Johnny Mostil
06-14-2006, 02:03 PM
I thought that's what the ERA+ stat was supposed to do. Using that, Ryan pales in comparison to many other HOF pitchers.

Eh, it's not that bad compared to other "modern" (i.e., post-WWII) pitchers who threw a lot of innings. Yeah, maybe that qualification is a bit much, but here are the career ERA+ numbers for the ten pitchers I mentioned before (seven in the HoF, and an eighth, Clemens, likely to make it as well):

Phil Niekro, 115

Nolan Ryan, 112

Gaylord Perry, 117

Don Sutton, 108

Warren Spahn, 118

Steve Carlton, 115

Bert Blyleven, 118

Tom Seaver, 127

Tommy John, 111

Roger Clemens, 143

Only two of the above, Seaver and Clemens, appear to be in the top 100 of career ERA+. Maybe how one views Ryan's "greatness" depends on how one views longevity . . .

PaulDrake
06-14-2006, 02:40 PM
Maybe how one views Ryan's "greatness" depends on how one views longevity . . . Very good point.

AZChiSoxFan
06-14-2006, 04:13 PM
I think Ryan is vastly overrated. Could he throw the hell out of the ball? No question. But he was a 500 pitcher, walked too many batters, and was more a thrower than a pitcher. Give me Palmer or Seaver over Ryan any day.

:thumbsup:

fquaye149
06-14-2006, 06:15 PM
Thank you.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out why so many people hate Nolan Ryan. Was it because he dominated their one of their favorite teams? Never won many games or a Cy Young, yet put of similiar (or better) numbers compared to Seaver, Koufax, Gibson, etc?

Yes, he IS one of the greatest ever! 27 years of dominance doesn't make you just "really good". It makes you one of the best to ever take the mound.

I'll give you a hint why I think he's vastly overrated (though I, and I think many others, don't actually "hate" him).

Nolan Ryan has the highest pct of votes for a HOFer ever. That's correct. He has a higher pct than Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays, Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, Hank Aaron, Steve Carlton, etc. etc. etc.

Nolan Ryan was named the starting pitcher for the All-Century Team above any of the other pitchers who have ever pitched a baseball as a pitcher in the 20th century. Pitcher.

Nolan Ryan has never won (nor deserved to win) a Cy Young Award.

Nolan Ryan has a winning pct. of .526.

Nolan Ryan avg'd 120 walks a season and had two seasons of over 200 walks


There's no doubt that Nolan Ryan was a great pitcher, but there are enough who claim him the greatest of all time that it's a little bit annoying...imagine if we had to hear everybody claim that Pete Rose is the greatest hitter of all time just because he had the longevity (and, admittedly, talent) to knock out the most hits in a career.

Johnny Mostil
06-14-2006, 06:39 PM
I'll give you a hint why I think he's vastly overrated (though I, and I think many others, don't actually "hate" him).

Nolan Ryan has the highest pct of votes for a HOFer ever. That's correct. He has a higher pct than Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays, Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, Hank Aaron, Steve Carlton, etc. etc. etc.

Nolan Ryan was named the starting pitcher for the All-Century Team above any of the other pitchers who have ever pitched a baseball as a pitcher in the 20th century. Pitcher.

Nolan Ryan has never won (nor deserved to win) a Cy Young Award.

Nolan Ryan has a winning pct. of .526.

Nolan Ryan avg'd 120 walks a season and had two seasons of over 200 walks


There's no doubt that Nolan Ryan was a great pitcher, but there are enough who claim him the greatest of all time that it's a little bit annoying...imagine if we had to hear everybody claim that Pete Rose is the greatest hitter of all time just because he had the longevity (and, admittedly, talent) to knock out the most hits in a career.

Even as a Ryan fan, I agree with a lot of this, but, for the sake of friendly discussion, I hope you won't mind a few responses . . .

--should Ryan have the highest % of votes for a first-time HoFer? Nah. But I think the better question is why some pigheaded voters didn't cast first-time ballots for Williams, Mantle, etc. I've never quite understood the logic of making an obviously worthy candidate wait. (I still can't get over the fact Cy Young wasn't chosen in the first election, or George Sisler having to wait until 1939, or Rogers Hornsby having to wait five elections . . .)

--I'd like to see a comparison by year (which I'm too lazy to do right now) of how Ryan's winning percentage and that of his teams. (Incidentally, by this standard, I don't know if anybody has beaten, or ever will beat, what Steve Carlton did for the Phillies in '72--27-10 for a team that went 59-97.)

--Fair point about the walks, but in the second half of his career (from '79 on), he exceeded 100 BBs only three times (and never exceeded 115), but still managed a good many Ks, getting at least 200 in nine more seasons.

fquaye149
06-14-2006, 11:01 PM
Even as a Ryan fan, I agree with a lot of this, but, for the sake of friendly discussion, I hope you won't mind a few responses . . .

--should Ryan have the highest % of votes for a first-time HoFer? Nah. But I think the better question is why some pigheaded voters didn't cast first-time ballots for Williams, Mantle, etc. I've never quite understood the logic of making an obviously worthy candidate wait. (I still can't get over the fact Cy Young wasn't chosen in the first election, or George Sisler having to wait until 1939, or Rogers Hornsby having to wait five elections . . .)

--I'd like to see a comparison by year (which I'm too lazy to do right now) of how Ryan's winning percentage and that of his teams. (Incidentally, by this standard, I don't know if anybody has beaten, or ever will beat, what Steve Carlton did for the Phillies in '72--27-10 for a team that went 59-97.)

--Fair point about the walks, but in the second half of his career (from '79 on), he exceeded 100 BBs only three times (and never exceeded 115), but still managed a good many Ks, getting at least 200 in nine more seasons.

The point of HOF voters is well-taken...the voters, on the whole, are notoriously stubborn about people "not being babe ruth" and sometimes even slightly racist...(i.e. Willie Mays--anyone who could have NOT voted for Mays for HOF first ballot...I don't want to make accusations...but unconscious [or conscious] racism must play some part in that)...

What I mainly take issue with is the all-century team thing...and beyond that how prominent Ryan is in discussions of the greatest pitchers ever. I think that Ryan is a top pitcher of all time, obviously, top 10 even...but I don't think he merits serious discussion in the top 5 of all time...much less best ever.

SouthSide_HitMen
06-15-2006, 12:05 AM
The point of HOF voters is well-taken...the voters, on the whole, are notoriously stubborn about people "not being babe ruth" and sometimes even slightly racist...(i.e. Willie Mays--anyone who could have NOT voted for Mays for HOF first ballot...I don't want to make accusations...but unconscious [or conscious] racism must play some part in that)...

I don't agree (agree with the stubborn - not the racism).

http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/hofers_and_honorees/lists/full_pct&desc.htm

Babe Ruth and Willie Mays were within a half of a percent of the same total. Cobb and Aaron were left off of ballots. Ted Williams had a lower vote total than Mays. It took Hornsby 5 years to reach the HOF. Some writers (and HOF inductees for the Veterans ballot) will put nobody on their ballot period - black, white or brown.

No player had a higher vote total since the original class and no player received a higher vote total after his 1979 induction until Hank Aaron.

No player was elected unanimously and no player ever will be - not even Cal Ripken Jr. (Probably the most popular player over the past generation) or Roger Clemens (most talented pitcher this generation).

If Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Joe Montana went through this election process they wouldn't get an unanimous vote either.

PKalltheway
06-15-2006, 02:29 AM
Ryan Never won a Cy Young Award. Draw whatever conclusions you may from that.
The Cy Young Award means a lot, but it doesn't mean everything. The Cy Young Award voting process is just as biased as the Hall of Fame voting. Tell me how in the hell can Juan Marichal have 6 20-win seasons during the sixties, and not win ONE Cy Young Award? Dontrelle Willis was ROBBED last year of the Cy Young Award. Phil Niekro and Don Sutton were also 300 game winners and Hall of Famers who never won a Cy Young Award. Then again, Steve Bedrosian has won a Cy Young Award and he's obviously not a Hall of Famer nor will he ever be. The Cy Young Award can mean a whole lot, but it isn't everything.

Johnny Mostil
06-15-2006, 07:16 AM
The point of HOF voters is well-taken...the voters, on the whole, are notoriously stubborn about people "not being babe ruth" and sometimes even slightly racist...(i.e. Willie Mays--anyone who could have NOT voted for Mays for HOF first ballot...I don't want to make accusations...but unconscious [or conscious] racism must play some part in that)...

What are you talking about? Mays only had a .302 lifetime batting average--only .002 better than John Kruk!--was third in lifetime Ks when he retired, and played for only one World Series champ--and that early in his career.

I'm not sure about the racism (not that it would surprise me), but the stubbornness can't be denied. I'm actually (and pleasantly) surprised that I've yet to see somebody use Mays's BA against him.

Incidentally, if HoF votes are a standard for greatness, Cy Young is surely one of the most underrated pitchers in history. To paraphrase his HoF plaque, the only pitcher to win more than 500 games in baseball's first century and not be elected to the HoF in his first year on the ballot . . .

Johnny Mostil
06-15-2006, 08:25 AM
I don't agree (agree with the stubborn - not the racism).

http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/hofers_and_honorees/lists/full_pct&desc.htm



Interesting list. From a glance, it does seem like more recent inductees have generally received higher vote percentages--supporting your point that stubbornness more than anything else may be at work here, but maybe also showing it's decreasing over time.