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Clemens' stats stack up well against RJ

Postby LTMac » Wed Nov 10, 2004 8:37 pm

Look, I understand the arguments that people are making about run support and how bad the D-Backs were, etc. But in my earlier post, I put Clemens' stats up next to those of RJ for a reason. They match up very well!

Run support aside, the difference between RJ's ERA and Clemens' was only 0.38. That's trivial over the course of a year. Clemens may have had one or two high-run games over the course of the season that kept his ERA above RJ's. But so what? He also WON those games, and, as a pitcher, that's all he has to do. So, I don't give RJ any extra points for having a slightly lower ERA. Both ERAs are in the same ballpark, in my opinion. (And if ERA is such an important criterion, why isn't anyone talking about Jake Peavy?)

Same thing with strikeouts. Yes, RJ blew away more batters than Clemens did. But so what? Clemens struck out more than one batter per inning, and that's a great ratio. Does he really need to strike out 1.18 batters per inning (RJ's ratio) in order to be considered in the same league as RJ? The bottom line is getting 3 outs per inning, regardless of how you do it.

Look at it this way: is there a single stat in Clemens' line for 2004 that would make someone hesitate to consider him a legit candidate for Cy Young? The answer is no. Wins? 2nd in the league. W/L percentage? Over .800. K's? Over 200, and better than 1 per IP. ERA? 5th in the league and under 3.00. Batting average against? .217. Non-statistical arguments? Clutch performances in key situations (if I remember right, the Astros won each of Clemens' last nine starts of the season).

Unfortunately for Johnson, his W/L record does cause people to hesitate just long enough to give Clemens a first-place vote and RJ a second-place vote. I don't think this is inappropriate. There is nothing in Clemens' record that he can be penalized for. Sure, it's not entirely fair that RJ is penalized for having a worse W/L record, but the bottom line is that Clemens did not give RJ an opening to squeeze by him in the voting. Clemens had a legitimate Cy Young year, all across the board.

Finally, a comment about Oswalt--in my opinion, the main reason anyone would vote for Oswalt is because he won 20 games. Otherwise, he ranks significantly below both Clemens and RJ on most statistical dimensions--his ERA is around 3.50, his WHIP is much higher, as is batting average against, etc. I think Oswalt is a good example of how writers cast Cy Young votes for victories, rather than other statistical indicators. But I do not think the same argument holds for Clemens, at all.
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Re: Clemens' stats stack up well against RJ

Postby LBJackal » Wed Nov 10, 2004 8:50 pm

LTMac wrote:Look, I understand the arguments that people are making about run support and how bad the D-Backs were, etc. But in my earlier post, I put Clemens' stats up next to those of RJ for a reason. They match up very well! No they don't

Run support aside, the difference between RJ's ERA and Clemens' was only 0.38. That's trivial over the course of a year. No it's not Clemens may have had one or two high-run games over the course of the season that kept his ERA above RJ's. But so what? He also WON those games, and, as a pitcher, that's all he has to do. So you ARE saying that Rocket should get bonus points for having a better offense? So, I don't give RJ any extra points for having a slightly lower ERA. Both ERAs are in the same ballpark, in my opinion. (And if ERA is such an important criterion, why isn't anyone talking about Jake Peavy?) He didn't pitch in enough games

Same thing with strikeouts. Yes, RJ blew away more batters than Clemens did. But so what? Clemens struck out more than one batter per inning, and that's a great ratio. Not that K rate matters, but haveing a great ratio is different than having the best ratio. It's not "a great pitcher in the NL". It's "the BEST pitcher in the NL" Does he really need to strike out 1.18 batters per inning (RJ's ratio) in order to be considered in the same league as RJ? No he needs to be better at something though, LOLThe bottom line is getting 3 outs per inning, regardless of how you do it.

Look at it this way: is there a single stat in Clemens' line for 2004 that would make someone hesitate to consider him a legit candidate for Cy Young? ERA - the stat that matters, and however you want to alter it to acocunt for ballpark and defense The answer is no. Wins? 2nd in the league. W/L percentage? Over .800. K's? Over 200, and better than 1 per IP. ERA? 5th in the league and under 3.00. Batting average against? .217. Non-statistical arguments? Clutch performances in key situations (if I remember right, the Astros won each of Clemens' last nine starts of the season). It was 6, not 9. Do the last 6 count more than a random 6 throughout the season anyway? No. And thsi still is based on run support, which is a weak argument

Unfortunately for Johnson, his W/L record does cause people to hesitate just long enough to give Clemens a first-place vote and RJ a second-place vote. I don't think this is inappropriate. There is nothing in Clemens' record that he can be penalized for. Sure, it's not entirely fair that RJ is penalized for having a worse W/L record, but the bottom line is that Clemens did not give RJ an opening to squeeze by him in the voting. Clemens had a legitimate Cy Young year, all across the board. How do you define legit CY year? For me, it means you have to be arguably the best in your league. Clemens was not, therefore: not a legit CY season

Finally, a comment about Oswalt--in my opinion, the main reason anyone would vote for Oswalt is because he won 20 games. Otherwise, he ranks significantly below both Clemens and RJ on most statistical dimensions--his ERA is around 3.50, his WHIP is much higher, as is batting average against, etc. I think Oswalt is a good example of how writers cast Cy Young votes for victories, rather than other statistical indicators. Yep, it is. Oswalt shouldn't have sniffed any 3rd place CY votes, let alone get 16 voting points. I still can't believe all Sheets got was a single 3rd place vote, he was pretty clearly the #2 SP after RJ But I do not think the same argument holds for Clemens, at all.


I don't see a good argument there for Clemens..... oh well. There isn't one, so it's nothing I didn't expect :-D
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Re: Clemens' stats stack up well against RJ

Postby DK » Wed Nov 10, 2004 8:54 pm

LTMac wrote:Look, I understand the arguments that people are making about run support and how bad the D-Backs were, etc. But in my earlier post, I put Clemens' stats up next to those of RJ for a reason. They match up very well!

They match up all right. They're just worse.


Run support aside, the difference between RJ's ERA and Clemens' was only 0.38. That's trivial over the course of a year. Clemens may have had one or two high-run games over the course of the season that kept his ERA above RJ's. But so what? He also WON those games, and, as a pitcher, that's all he has to do. So, I don't give RJ any extra points for having a slightly lower ERA. Both ERAs are in the same ballpark, in my opinion. (And if ERA is such an important criterion, why isn't anyone talking about Jake Peavy?)

Again, it's better, no matter how you slice it. He was better and for longer (more innings). Peavy didn't pitch nearly enough to factor in. BOB is 103 (favors hitters). MM is 100 (Neutral). Clemens had a 145 ERA+, RJ 171.

Same thing with strikeouts. Yes, RJ blew away more batters than Clemens did. But so what? Clemens struck out more than one batter per inning, and that's a great ratio. Does he really need to strike out 1.18 batters per inning (RJ's ratio) in order to be considered in the same league as RJ? The bottom line is getting 3 outs per inning, regardless of how you do it.

Strikeouts are VERY important, don't kid yourself. We've been over this debate a million times, don't start it again. BB/9, K/9, HR/9 are bases for ERA.

Look at it this way: is there a single stat in Clemens' line for 2004 that would make someone hesitate to consider him a legit candidate for Cy Young? The answer is no. Wins? 2nd in the league. W/L percentage? Over .800. K's? Over 200, and better than 1 per IP. ERA? 5th in the league and under 3.00. Batting average against? .217. Non-statistical arguments? Clutch performances in key situations (if I remember right, the Astros won each of Clemens' last nine starts of the season).

For starters, CLUTCH DOESN'T EXIST. Wins and WP are directly influenced by the team. K's? RJ is better overall and K/9. ERA? RJ. BAA? RJ. Your arguments are baseless because RJ beats him in every category you list.

Unfortunately for Johnson, his W/L record does cause people to hesitate just long enough to give Clemens a first-place vote and RJ a second-place vote. I don't think this is inappropriate. There is nothing in Clemens' record that he can be penalized for. Sure, it's not entirely fair that RJ is penalized for having a worse W/L record, but the bottom line is that Clemens did not give RJ an opening to squeeze by him in the voting. Clemens had a legitimate Cy Young year, all across the board.

It's not that Clemens' record was overly puffed up (it was, but not by a huge amount), but RJ was better than his team by a huge, huge margin. RJ had a better year across the board all year.

Finally, a comment about Oswalt--in my opinion, the main reason anyone would vote for Oswalt is because he won 20 games. Otherwise, he ranks significantly below both Clemens and RJ on most statistical dimensions--his ERA is around 3.50, his WHIP is much higher, as is batting average against, etc. I think Oswalt is a good example of how writers cast Cy Young votes for victories, rather than other statistical indicators. But I do not think the same argument holds for Clemens, at all.


So, wait, Oswalt isn't as good a CY candidate because he got 20 wins, but didn't you list wins as one of your criterion?

The Astros had a 92-70 record for a .568 WP. Clemens had an 18-4 record for a .818 WP, a difference of 250.

The Diamondbacks had a 51-111 record for a .315 WP. RJ, with a 16-14 record, had a .533 WP, a difference of 314.

RJ was significantly better than the other pitchers on his team, and better than Clemens as well.
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Postby Lofunzo » Wed Nov 10, 2004 9:21 pm

LBJackal wrote:I don't think we're upset because RJ got snubbed. That's a given, it happens with all MLB awards, they never seem to go to the right players. I think it's mostly disbelief that people here actually believe Rocket deserved the CY after seeing the facts.


Gee.......I'm really glad that no one is upset. ;-7
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Postby LBJackal » Wed Nov 10, 2004 9:28 pm

Lofunzo wrote:
LBJackal wrote:I don't think we're upset because RJ got snubbed. That's a given, it happens with all MLB awards, they never seem to go to the right players. I think it's mostly disbelief that people here actually believe Rocket deserved the CY after seeing the facts.


Gee.......I'm really glad that no one is upset. ;-7


I'm not upset Clemens won.... I'm in disbelief people here believe he shoulda won it. That's what I said from the start.
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Postby Lofunzo » Wed Nov 10, 2004 9:34 pm

LBJackal wrote:
Lofunzo wrote:
LBJackal wrote:I don't think we're upset because RJ got snubbed. That's a given, it happens with all MLB awards, they never seem to go to the right players. I think it's mostly disbelief that people here actually believe Rocket deserved the CY after seeing the facts.


Gee.......I'm really glad that no one is upset. ;-7


I'm not upset Clemens won.... I'm in disbelief people here believe he shoulda won it. That's what I said from the start.


Well, by the posts in this thread, there are a lot of upset people. The only people that should be truly upset are the Johnson's, if he has a CY bonus in his contract.
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Postby LTMac » Thu Nov 11, 2004 2:23 am

The way I look at it, there are two different questions here--who should get the Cy Young Award and who was the best pitcher in the NL in 2004? Most people on this board seem to think that these are one and the same, and in many years they are in fact the same. I don't disagree that Randy Johnson was the best pitcher in the NL this year--I understand all the statistical manipulations that can be done to demonstrate this, normalized park-adjusted ERAs, the value of K's compared to other types of outs, etc. But I would still give the Cy Young Award to Clemens, because the Cy Young has always taken W/L records into account. Perhaps it shouldn't, but it does!

It's too bad that Johnson's won/loss record is 16-14, but it is. If wins and losses don't count (at least in part) in figuring out who should win the Cy Young Award, then why do we keep track of them at all? I don't put wins and losses at the top of my list of criteria (as I was trying to point out with Oswalt), but if all the other key stats are good (and Clemens' stats are all among the league leaders), then a great W/L record seals the deal. Apparently, even if Clemens had gone 22-0 this year, that would not have been enough to persuade the ardent Johnson fans on this board to give Clemens the Cy Young.

To show that I'm sympathetic to the argument for RJ, I thought Nolan Ryan should have won the Cy Young award in 1987, when he went 8-16, but led the league in ERA (2.76) and K's (270). But that's because there were no other starters that year who both finished among the leaders in ERA and K's AND had a great W/L record. What actually ended up happening that year was the award went to a reliever (Bedrosian), which I thought was rather gutless.

This year, there IS a starting pitcher who posted great stats across all key pitching categories, AND who has a great W/L record. Those are the things that factor into who gets the Cy Young. And again, for me, it's not the same question as who was the best pitcher in the league.
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Postby LBJackal » Thu Nov 11, 2004 2:38 am

LTMac wrote:The way I look at it, there are two different questions here--who should get the Cy Young Award and who was the best pitcher in the NL in 2004? Most people on this board seem to think that these are one and the same, and in many years they are in fact the same. I don't disagree that Randy Johnson was the best pitcher in the NL this year--I understand all the statistical manipulations that can be done to demonstrate this, normalized park-adjusted ERAs, the value of K's compared to other types of outs, etc. But I would still give the Cy Young Award to Clemens, because the Cy Young has always taken W/L records into account. Perhaps it shouldn't, but it does!

It's too bad that Johnson's won/loss record is 16-14, but it is. If wins and losses don't count (at least in part) in figuring out who should win the Cy Young Award, then why do we keep track of them at all? I don't put wins and losses at the top of my list of criteria (as I was trying to point out with Oswalt), but if all the other key stats are good (and Clemens' stats are all among the league leaders), then a great W/L record seals the deal. Apparently, even if Clemens had gone 22-0 this year, that would not have been enough to persuade the ardent Johnson fans on this board to give Clemens the Cy Young.

To show that I'm sympathetic to the argument for RJ, I thought Nolan Ryan should have won the Cy Young award in 1987, when he went 8-16, but led the league in ERA (2.76) and K's (270). But that's because there were no other starters that year who both finished among the leaders in ERA and K's AND had a great W/L record. What actually ended up happening that year was the award went to a reliever (Bedrosian), which I thought was rather gutless.

This year, there IS a starting pitcher who posted great stats across all key pitching categories, AND who has a great W/L record. Those are the things that factor into who gets the Cy Young. And again, for me, it's not the same question as who was the best pitcher in the league.


OK so you're pretty much saying that you think, based on the criteria most voters use, Rocket should have won. I think everybody here thinks that too. But based on the criteria that SHOULD be used, it should be the best pitcher, regardless of their record.

As for why they keep track of W-L records, it's the same reason they keep track of all stats: for roto geeks to use in their fantasy leagues :-D

And yeah I was reading a couple days aso about Nolan Ryan having such a great season but going 8-16. How they could rationalize giving the Cy Young to a guy with a higher ERA and 122 less IP is beyond me. Oh well. Par for the course for the voters I guess :-D
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Postby Baseballer02 » Thu Nov 11, 2004 2:43 am

LBJackal wrote:OK so you're pretty much saying that you think, based on the criteria most voters use, Rocket should have won. I think everybody here thinks that too. But based on the criteria that SHOULD be used, it should be the best pitcher, regardless of their record.


I think that whatever the criteria may be that the voters decide to use, that is what SHOULD be used. They're the ones voting, so that's the prviledge they get. Just because you have a different opinion doesn't make them wrong.
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Postby LBJackal » Thu Nov 11, 2004 2:54 am

Baseballer02 wrote:
LBJackal wrote:OK so you're pretty much saying that you think, based on the criteria most voters use, Rocket should have won. I think everybody here thinks that too. But based on the criteria that SHOULD be used, it should be the best pitcher, regardless of their record.


I think that whatever the criteria may be that the voters decide to use, that is what SHOULD be used. They're the ones voting, so that's the prviledge they get. Just because you have a different opinion doesn't make them wrong.


You say that as if you believe those people know what they're talking about and know some mysterious criteria that we can't comprehend.

The award is for best pitcher. What a team's offense has to do with that, I just don't see. I don't think them being given the right to vote means we should accept what they say as correct.
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