Melo255 wrote:I can't say that I've seen the older era of pitchers but I find it very hard to believe that anyone throughout baseball history had stuff as nasty as Pedro Martinez in his prime. At least ompared to the stars of today such as Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson I think you have to say Pedro had the best stuff of any of them and at his best it was by a significant margin.
I don't know where you would find this info but I've heard that if you adjust ERAs for the deadball era, and the offensive era we're in, or at least were in, and for the mound being lowered, and a number of other factors, Pedro has the lowest era of anybody in the history of the bigs.
Leyland said, "We thought we were getting a hell of a player, but Neifi simply did not perform well."
I'm inclined to believe that players are better now than they have ever been. Improvements in virtually Olympic speed and strength record over the years would seem to support the fact that the bar is being continually raised. It's hard to argue with Pedro. I don't particulalry like him, but he was/is a master at what he does.
Koufax was the best period. He did it with two pitches only, fastball and unbelievable curve. Scoring a run against him was major achievement, two runs was a bad day for him and three runs meant he was rocked! Marichal had the best repetoire and Gibson the most competitive.
Pedro certainly ranks near the top as does Clemens and Vida Blue and even Ryan.
One pitcher who had Koufax stuff but wasted his career was Gooden.
As far as player being better today -- whens last time you saw pitcher pitch 300+ innings ?
The question wasn't who was the greatest pitcher, but who has the greatest stuff. That usually means: hardest throwing, most intimidating, hardest to hit, raw power, best tools (regardless of results), etc.
I think I read a story about Randy Johnson in Sports Illustrated many years ago that mentioned a game in which RJ's slider was really working. According to this story, after setting a lefty hitter up with one of his usual scorching fastballs, he then delivered his slider. The batter, thinking that this 90 mph pitch was coming straight at his head, dove out of the way. The slider then broke in for a called strike.
I never saw Koufax pitch, but I think we all can agree that that story is a strong example of the nastiness of RJ's slider.
I too have never seen Koufax or Gibson pitch so I really can't speak for them. (Though I will always be in awe of Gibson's stat line for '67 WS: 3-0, 1.00 ERA, 3CG 26K. Not human.)
So my vote will go to Pedro. My fondest memory of Pedro was in game 5 of the 1999 ALDS. The game starts off with 3 innings of wild hitting with a 8-7 score after 3. Then the Red Sox bring in Pedro in relief and all you see on the board from the 4th inning on for Cleveland is zeros. And this was the Cleveland lineup with Lofton, Alomar, Ramirez, and Thome. In my mind, the late 90's Pedro probaby had the best stuff of any pitcher in baseball history. Definitely the best stuff of this era. There will always be pitchers who are more consistent (Maddux) or more decorated (Clemens) but Pedro has stuff that cannot be described with stats or awards alone. You just have to see to believe.
BTW to the person who mentioned Doc Gooden, I agree. Man, what a sad waste of talent. I truly believe he could've been one of the greats. I guess this is just a lesson to all kids ...always in moderation