Written By Jason Voorhees
And so we have all become media whores. As day 120 of the Bryce Harper saga continues...endless speculation continues to rattle social media like a bat out of hell. On Thursday, former MLB general manager Jim Duquette went on the radio stating that the Phillies do not have the top offer on the table for Bryce Harper; and that their offer is between 270-300 million dollars.
This comes on the heels of a report from Steve Philips (another former gm and analyst) yesterday stating that the Phillies now feel their chances of landing Harper are "remote."
These days everyone has their own take on the Bryce Harper situation. The contract negotiation has now taken on the appearance of a soap opera. It's like reading a comic book and comparing a battle between super hero and villain. The only problem with this scenario is that at the end of the day only one side can win.
In this case...the "villain" is indeed super agent Scott Boras. On the other hand, the Phillies organization continues to play the arrogant narrative lead by Matt Klentak and his idea that the Phillies have had an "objectively excellent offseason." It appears that Klentak would rather play a high stakes poker game than win the player. This strategy may end up being the death of the Phillies chances of landing Bryce Harper.
Scott Boras is an evil genius. He is extremely good at his job. His job is very simple. Get the most dollars for his client at whatever cost and he knows just exactly how to push buttons to maximize each deal. In the case of Bryce Harper, Boras is trying to get him a record breaking contract which would shatter Giancarlo Stanton's 13 Year/325 million dollar deal.
Of course, Manny Machado signing for 10 years and $300 million last week and then the Nolan Arenado extension this week have only enhanced the leverage that Boras has in his arsenal. So knowing all that we know and knowing the facts, the bottom line to make a deal happen should be at 10 Years and 335 Million Dollars right? And a 3 year opt out right? This is a no brainer and should now be the starting point for any negotiation with Bryce Harper. Except that maybe it is not.
No one really knows where the Phillies stand on this issue and there is no way of knowing their exact offer. However; one thing is for sure, if they have only offered between 270-300 as this report says, then they never really were planning on spending "stupid money" like the owner previously said. BREAKING NEWS!!!!!!!.....THE PHILLIES JUST SIGNED BRYCE HARPER!!!!!! As I was writing this piece the news broke out all over twitter (first reported by Jon Heyman) and then WIP that the Phillies had signed Harper.
So here we are. Ultimately Boras did his job and did it well...judging by the massive record breaking deal that he was able to secure for his client. 13 Years/$330 Million/No Opt-Outs/Full No Trade Clause. Now that's a massive contract if I ever did see one...basically keeping Harper in a Phillies uniform for the remainder of his career. So in the end...the Phillies front office was patient and was able to land their superstar.
Philadelphia is now the place to be. Welcome to Philly Bryce. Thank you to Phillies ownership (Middleton and Klentak) for making this happen. And thank you to twitter for being the Bryce Harper mouthpiece through this seemingly endless saga.
For a fan that lived during the 2007-2013 run, this moment has instantly brought me back to that moment. This may be the biggest free agent signing in the history of Phillies sports. Harper is a game changer and now we can plug him into the middle of an already improved lineup. And now the Phillies can truly say that they have had an "Objectively Excellent Offseason."
Exciting times to be a Philly fan folks. We have a multitude of young stars...Carson Wentz, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Carter Hart, Aaron Nola, Rhys Hoskins...and now Bryce Harper. Savor the moment friends. Enjoy this opportunity.
So as the World Of Boras Turns, Remember that it was Boras that delivered Bryce Harper to the Phillies. And for that I give thanks. And now I can finally relax. I am taking a Twitter vacation for a few days. Welcome Home Bryce!
Written By Jason Voorhees
A few months back, Phillies principal owner John Middleton made a comment to a reporter that may forever live in infamy. He was discussing the Phillies plans for free agency in 2019 and how they would operate as a franchise. That reporter was Bob Nightengale. The comment?...That the Phillies may even be "a little stupid" with how much money they spend on free agents in this years class. Middleton jokingly added, "We just prefer not to be completely stupid."
At the time those comments seemed completely harmless. However, the media sure took them for a spin. And Scott Boras surely Is now taking them to the same "bank" that Nightengale prefers. Of course the news broke on Monday that Manny Machado will sign a 10 Year/$300 Million dollar contract with the San Diego Padres. Yes you heard that right folks...the Padres. This news came as a shock to most...including the Philadelphia Phillies who had been linked to Manny Machado the entire offseason.
At first glance this was an implausible punch to the gut in the Phillies attempt at "star gazing" just like when LeBron spurned the 76ers for the Lakers over the summer. This was a crack in the Phillies negotiating leverage process with the other remaining star free agent, Bryce Harper. However; the real kicker came back in November when Phillies owner John Middleton said the Phillies would spend "stupid money" in this years free agency. That was the real arrow in the heart of the lion.
Those comments may have actually guaranteed that the Phillies will now likely have to grossly overspend their original "valuation" of both of these players in salary. In fact, Machado getting 10 years and $300 million definitely was not what the Phillies had projected in their value that was placed on that player. Matt Klentak, speaking to reporters on Monday had this to say...in regards to the Machado deal. "If the reports are true, this contract will exceed our valuation. Sometimes you have to walk away."
Will the Phillies do the same with Bryce Harper? I would emphatically argue No. So too is the opinion of some Phillies local beat writers speaking to some sources on or close to the team. Matt Breen who writes for philly voice had the following to say..."The Phillies, according to as source, are confident they will sign Bryce Harper, as they have ramped up their negotiations with the outfielder after being motivated by loosing out on Machado." He further went on to state "The Phillies began the offseason with the expectation that they would sign either Harper or Machado...that expectation according to the source, has not changed."
Breen is a very respected writer in this town and I am sure that he has legit sources. But it was further analysis that truly has me buying in. Breen on the Phillies next move..."Scott Boras, Harper's agent, is set on getting his client a bigger deal than the one Machado got. The Phillies are well aware, and they will be much more reluctant this time to walk away, knowing what the public perception will be if they end the offseason without either free agent." I think this emphatically tells the tale...that John Middleton's comments truly have painted the team into a corner where there really is only one outcome...sign Bryce Harper or else!!! Or as some have said as well...Harper or Bust.
Do I feel that the Phillies offseason will have been a failure if they don't get Harper? Absolutely not. However; I also don't agree with Matt Klentak's absurd comments that the Phillies have had an "objectively awesome offseason" either.
The fact of the matter is that unless the Phillies land Harper...their offseason will have been disappointing and everything goes back to the original comments made by Middleton. Those comments not only set the Phillies up for failure...but also drastically altered their negotiating prowess with the star free agents. And when it comes to going to bat with Super Agent Scott Boras, you better be ready to hit a home run. Unfortunately, the Phillies are now in a position of bidding against themselves. And that's exactly where Scott Boras wants them.
In the end, I do believe that all of the national reporters are correct and that the Phillies are indeed the favorites to win this war and get the player they undoubtedly covet. I am just saying that those harmless comments a few months back could have been extremely detrimental to the organizations success at landing this big fish. And I am sure that Middleton regrets the poor choice of words today...that's just my opinion.
The true question that we must ponder now is just how "stupid" this team will be in regards to the contract offer? A contract offer that may define the future of this franchise for years to come. Notwithstanding the free agent classes of the next few years...this is an important crossroads for the Philadelphia Phillies and they need to tread lightly when making a final decision on Harper. They have to nail this.
Let's face it folks, the bottom of the barrel right now is looking like 10 Years/$326 Million which would break Giancarlo Stanton's record for the highest contract in Major League Baseball history.
And if the reports are true...and the Phillies are truly bidding against themselves...what is the absolute walk away point now. Because you can bet your hard earned dollars that Boras is going to drag this out as far as possible to squeeze every last penny for his client. And you can rest assured that the Phillies are now feeling immense pressure to strike a deal done now.
My hunch is that a deal is close but what will the final number look like...only time will tell. One thing is for sure, this has been the most excruciating baseball offseason ever. It has been frustrating for fans and teams and players alike. Hopefully they can resolve the disconnect between team and player In the upcoming years. Until then, we must continue to hope that this Harper dilemma gets resolved any day soon.
The bottom line..."Team Stupid Money" will now be forced to be more stupid than they originally thought and this will be a tone setting outcome for years to come. Lets hope for all of our sakes that Middleton backs up his words with what will be the greatest signing in franchise history. It definitely will be the most lucrative so Bryce yourselves folks...this thing is coming to a head quickly and it will all be over soon...we can only hope.
Written By Jason Voorhees
In the past I have done posts on top positional rankings of all time in the NFL. Undertaking the task of compiling a top all-time positional ranking is daunting. It requires in depth research and analysis as well as having a key eye for the unknown.
Many times these lists are controversial due to the wide range and differences of opinion. However; that is what makes these lists unique. Top Lists are always based on a number of key variables most notably statistical analysis and postseason success. However, there are also other measurables and intangibles that must be factored in when generating the flow of the list.
For these reasons, it is very possible for one player to have lesser statistics but fall higher on the list. This can be argued by proving world class dominance during short periods of time. Parameters must be set to limit the amount of sway due to the changing variables. For purposes of this list, current and past players are eligible for the list and it may include relief pitchers or starting pitchers.
Before we get to the top 20 list, we will provide a list of players that did not make the cut but do require honorable mention. The following is a list of players that were on the bubble but ultimately did not crack the list.
Juan Marichal (1960-1975)
Career Stats: 243Wins/142Losses/2.89ERA/1.10WHIP/2,303K's/63.0WAR/244CG/52Shutouts
Marichal was a six-time 20-game winner and ten-time All-Star. He was known for his signature high leg kick and dart board accuracy. He was relentless when it came to throwing inside and pushing batters off the plate. He played most of his 16 year career with the San Francisco Giants and was one of the original stars to import from the Dominican Republic. Juan twice lead the league in complete games and shutouts.
Jim Palmer (1965-1984)
Career Stats: 268Wins/152Losses/2.86ERA/1.18WHIP/2,212K's/68.9WAR/211CG/53Shutouts
Jim Palmer was the greatest pitcher in Baltimore Orioles history. During his nineteen year hall of fame career, he was a three- time Cy Young Award winner and six-time All-Star. Jim was an eight-time 20 game winner and lead his team to six world series appearances. In 17 Postseason appearances, Jim won 3 world series championships while going 8-3 and posting a 2.61ERA, 1.21WHIP, and 90 strikeouts in 124.1 innings pitched. Not too shabby and definitely worthy of the top 20!
Bob Feller (1936-1956)
Career Stats: 266Wins/162Losses/3.25ERA/1.32WHIP/2,581K's/63.9WAR/279CG/44Shutouts
Bob may have cracked the top fifteen-ten if not for missing four years during his prime where he served in the military during World War II. Even with his four missing seasons, he still compiled one of the greatest resumes in baseball history. He was a six-time 20-game winner that threw three no hitters, had 12 one hitters and one triple crown. During his 18 year career, he lead the league in wins six times and lead the league in strikeouts seven times. He would have smashed the 300 win barrier if not for his missing time in the service.
Ferguson (Fergie) Jenkins (1965-1983)
Career Stats: 284Wins/226Losses/3.34ERA/1.14WHIP/3,192K's/84.4WAR/267CG/49Shutouts
The man they called "Fergie" did not have overpowering stuff. He was not flash and dash. However, what he did bring to the table was confidence. During his 19 year career, he was a seven-time 20-game winner as well as a three-time All-Star while winning the Cy Young award in 1971. Fergie spent the majority of his hall of fame career pitching for terrible teams in hitters parks which makes his accomplishments that much greater. The model of consistency.
Tom Glavine (1987-2008)
Career Stats: 305Wins/203Losses/3.54ERA/1.31WHIP/2,607K's/80.8WAR/56CG/25Shutouts
Along with Greg Maddux and John Smoltz, Glavine was part of one of the greatest pitching trios of baseball history for the Atlanta Braves. He was a two-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series MVP. During his 22 year career he was a ten-time All-Star and five-time 20-game winner including three years in a row (1991-1993). Tom Glavine was often overshadowed by Greg Maddux but his achievements were outstanding nonetheless.
Ok...so these were players that just missed the cut. I am sure that some people will disagree and that's the fun part of these lists when there will always be differences of opinion. There are also many other current pitchers that I could have included like Madison Bumgarner, Max Sherzer, C.C. Sabbathia, or Justin Verlander, but I don't believe any of those guys are quite there yet. Anyways...without further ado...lets get to the list of Top 20 Pitchers of All-Time in Jason Voorhees Perspective.
20. Mariano Rivera
In 2019, Mariano Rivera became the first major league baseball player ever to be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame unanimously. Many people were floored by this idea considering how many great players had entered the hall before him that were everyday players on the field; and yet no one was ever unanimous. Nonetheless, this accomplishment speaks volumes about the greatness of Rivera and what he did as the New York Yankees star closer for almost two decades.
And the same goes for putting Rivera on a top all-time list for pitchers. But not only is Mariano Rivera the greatest relief pitcher of all-time, but he also belongs right here with the top pitchers in MLB history. During his 19 year career as the Yankees closer, he was a 13-time All-Star, 5-time Rolaids Relief Man Award Winner, 3-time Delivery Man of the Year winner, 3-time MLB saves leader, 2003 ALCS MVP, and 1999 World Series MVP. He was a world class talent at the closer position and the author of one of the nastiest cutters the game has ever seen.
Not only did Rivera have Hall of Fame statistics...but he also had a penchant for helping his team win. In fact, he helped guide the New York Yankees to Five World Series titles, four of which came during their dynasty in the late 1990's. They won four titles in five years and Rivera had a lot do with those wins. His major league postseason statistics are legendary: 78 Appearances, 141 Innings Pitched, 8-1, 0.70ERA, 42 Saves, 1 Blown Save, 110K's, 21BB. That is some serious numbers folks.
Starter or no starter, what Mariano Rivera did in his career is nothing less than remarkable. He definitely belongs in the Top 20 and maybe someday he will be even higher on the list.
19. Whitey Ford
Another Yankee to crack the list...go figure. All joking aside Whitey was an astronomical part of the New York Yankees organization and greatest starting pitcher of all time. He was a six time world series champion and Cy Young Award winner in 1961. Ford lead the American League in wins three times and innings pitched twice.
Ford missed two seasons earlier in his career due to military service and would have had even better stats. His regular season stats are not as good as many others on the list but he did most of his damage during the postseason where it counts. He still holds multiple World Series Records, most importantly 10 Career Wins. He also threw 33 consecutive scoreless innings in the World Series.
Overall Postseason Numbers look like this...22 Games Started, 10-8, 2.71ERA, 146 Innings, 7 Complete Games, 3 Shutouts, 94 K's, 34 BB's. Whitey Ford is the definition of a Big Game Pitcher. His performance on the big stage is what places him at #19 on the list.
18. Eddie Plank
Who is Eddie Plank? When talking about all-time great pitchers that name definitely does not come to mind. However; what he accomplished on the diamond was utterly amazing. Plank started 529 games during his career and completed 410 which comes out to roughly 77 Percent! That's a ridiculous stat when In todays game the season leader for complete games may be six!
During his 17 year career he was an eight-time 20-game winner which included four years in a row (1902-1905). He was a 2x MVP and 2x World Champ. His other statistics are amazing in itself but the 410 complete games puts him far ahead of the nearest competition. Eddie is definitely a gamer and deserves to be on the list!
17. Grover Alexander
Grover Alexander was another complete game machine tossing 436 of those gems including 90 shutouts which is second all-time in MLB history. He began his career with the Philadelphia Phillies and had one of the greatest rookie seasons as a pitcher in baseball history. That year he lead the league with 28 wins and 7 shutouts. He only allowed 7 hits per nine innings, had 31 complete games and tossed 367 innings. Alexander also posted a 2.57ERA and struck out 227 batters while finishing third in the NL MVP race.
Otherwise known as "Cleveland", Grover was an extremely dependable starter that posted consistent top end stats during his entire career. He won the triple crown of pitching four times during his illustrious career. The Cy Young Award was not yet in existence during his time; but had it been around he would have qualified eight times and would have had a great shot at winning it all eight times. This was dominance at its peak.
For as good as Grover was, he only made the postseason three times but he did win a championship with the Saint Louis Cardinals in 1926. Cleveland lead the NL in wins six times (each with 27 wins or more, including three 30-win seasons). He also won five ERA titles and lead the league in strikeouts six times. In essence, he was the greatest pitcher of his time and definitely one of the all-time greats.
16. Clayton Kershaw
Through 11 seasons, Clayton Kershaw has won an MVP Award, three Cy Young Awards, four ERA titles, three strikeout crowns, a Gold Glove, and a Triple Crown. This is amazing for a pitcher that is still only 30 years old. Kershaw has been the best pitcher of the past decade and if he can stay healthy will finish much higher on this all-time list. Unfortunately, Kershaw has had some injuries the past few seasons or his stats would have been even greater.
Clayton's best season came in 2014 when he went 21-3 with a 1.77ERA and throwing 239 Strikeouts and only 31 walks. At this point in his career he has a tremendous 4.24 Strikeout to Walk ratio. He is definitely one of the greatest pitchers of his generation and that is why he cracks the list. He still has some work to do, but has been one of the most consistent starters the past ten years. He is the active career leader with a 2.39ERA as well as 1.00 WHIP, 6.62 hits per nine innings and 15 career shutouts. He is second all-time with an adjusted 159 career ERA+.
15. Gaylord Perry
Gaylord Perry is most famous for the illegal spitball that he created. However, he was more than just a prankster. He was a BEAST on the diamond. Perry was the first pitcher to win the Cy Young Award in both the American and National League. He was a five time all-star and two time Cy Young Award winner. Over his 22 year career, he accumulated one of the best WAR all-time for pitchers and is eighth all-time in strikeouts.
Unfortunately, Perry played on some very bad teams and only had one postseason appearance. He bounced around a lot during his career and played for nine teams. He did win his second Cy Young Award at the ripe old age of 39 with the San Diego Padres. That season he finished 21-6 while posting a 2.73ERA, 260.2Innings, 154K's and only 66 walks. Perry had five 20-win seasons during his career. His best season came in 1972 with the Indians when he went 24-16 with a miniscule 1.92ERA , 29 Complete Games, 5 Shutouts, 234K's and 82 Walks. Perry is a member of the Hall of Fame and lands at #15 on our list.
14. Warren Spahn
Warren Sphan made his major league debut at 21 years old in 1941, only appearing in 4 games. He then was drafted into the military and was out of baseball from 1942-1945. However; when he returned it did not take long for him to round into form. In 1947, he went 21-10 while posting a league leading 2.33ERA, 22 Complete Games, league leading 7 shutouts, in 289.2 innings of work. He struck out 123 batters and walked 84. This was his coming out party and Warren never looked back.
From 1947-1954, he finished in the top 5 for MVP voting in the National League. He won the Cy Young Award in 1957 and finished as the runner up in 1958, 1960 and 1961. Spahn was one of the top control pitchers in history and won the ERA title three times in his 21 year career. He was one of the most consistent pitchers of his day and produced as a front line starter in three decades. His 63 shutouts is sixth all-time and he has more wins than any pitcher of the live-ball era.
13. Lefty Grove
One of the most dominant left handers of all time, Lefty led the American League in strikeouts in each of his first seven seasons. He also won five ERA titles in those first eight seasons. After leaving Philly, he went on to win four more ERA crowns with the Boston Red Sox. So that's nine ERA titles in 17 years, over half his career. That is a sick statistic and shows how dominant Grove was. Of course they did not have the Cy Young Award during that time, but he probably would have won at least nine of those as well!
His best season came in 1931, when he went 31-4 while posting a 2.06ERA, 175K's, 62BB's, and 1.07WHIP, all enroute to an MVP Award. He won two pitching triple crowns during his career and lead the Athletics to three consecutive World Series appearances where they won two. In three postseason appearances, Lefty went 4-2 with a 1.75ERA, 51.1 Innings Pitched, 4 Complete Games, 36 Strikeouts and only six walks. Two World Championships and a World Series MVP Award. Grove was also a six time all star and MVP. The definition of dominance and the first greatest lefty.
12. Sandy Koufax
Sandy Koufax is the example of the player that makes the list while having lesser stats. Koufax only comes in with a 49.0WAR and did not even crack the 200 win barrier. However; when you look back at his career, its the intangibles and the levels of dominance that he showed that earns him the spot on the list. How much weight do we put on players when it comes to shorter careers? That's the question that has to be answered here. Koufax was a 7-time All-Star, 3-time World Series Champion, 3-time Cy Young Award winner, 5-time ERA Champ, 1963 NL MVP, and two time World Series MVP winner. That's a ton of hardware for a player that only played 12 seasons.
The awards only show a small sample size of Sandy's dominance on the mound. Koufax was unhittable literally as he tossed four career no hitters, second all-time to Nolan Ryan and also pitched a perfect game in 1965. Along with his MVP award, he also finished as the MVP runner up two other times. He is only one of four pitchers to retire with more strikeouts than innings pitched and posted a 9.27 Strikeout Rate per nine innings which ranks 11th all-time. If not for the career ending elbow injury that cut his career short at age 30, Koufax probably would have been the best all-time if you projected his numbers out through a full career.
Sandy Koufax was brilliant in the postseason as well. 4 World Series Appearances, 3 World Series Championships, 2 World Series MVP Trophies, 4-3 Record, 0.95ERA, 4 Complete Games, 2 Shutouts, 57 Innings Pitched, 61 K's, and only 11 Walks. Now that's dominant Folks. Big game pitcher for a big game squad. One of the slam dunks for the Top 20.
11. Bob Gibson
Bob Gibson was so dominant that major league baseball changed the rules. He was absolutely unhittable for a long period of time. Prior to 1969, MLB lowered the pitching mound after 1968's "Year of the Pitcher." During that year Gibson posted a 22-9 Record, 1.12ERA, 28 Complete Games, 13 Shutouts, 304.2 Innings, 268 K's and only 62 Walks with a miniscule 0.85WHIP. Those are some serious numbers and Major League Baseball lowered the mound the next season...Talk about making a difference.
Gibson was the MVP winner in 1967 and went on to win two Cy Young awards along with a triple crown. He was also a nine-time All-Star. But his true stardom came in the postseason. Bob flexed his muscles even more in October. He had 3 World Series Appearances...Won 2 World Series and 2 World Series MVP Awards. During those World Series he was 7-2, 1.89ERA, 8 Complete Games, 2 Shutouts, 81 Innings Pitched, 92 Strikeouts, 17 Walks, 0.89WHIP, and 10.2 Strikeouts/per nine innings. That is legendary and makes Bob Gibson one of the greatest postseason pitchers as well.
10. Steve Carlton
In 1972 the Philadelphia Phillies won 59 games. Steve Carlton won 27 of those games as the Phillies ace. Steve Carlton, otherwise known as "Lefty", dazzled hitters for much of his 22 year career. He began his career in Saint Louis where he was a three time All-Star, but was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1972 after a 20-win season for the Cardinals. He went on to become the first pitcher ever to win four Cy Young Awards. Lefty shined after the trade and was known for his unhittable slider.
That first season for Carlton with the Phillies was magical. He posted a 12.0WAR which was the second highest single season WAR only bested later by Dwight Gooden's 12.2 in 1985. He went 27-10, while posting a 1.97ERA, 310 Strikeouts, 346 Innings pitched and 40 Complete Games. That season earned him the Cy Young award which he would go on to win three more. The 1972 season was the beginning of Carlton's stardom and he never looked back. 10 All Star Games, 4 Cy Young Awards, 1 World Series Championship later he was basking in the greatness of the Hall of Fame. Lefty was an unhittable force that dominated MLB for a long period of time and cemented himself as an all-time great.
9. Tom Seaver
Not only is Tom Seaver one of the greatest pitchers of all-time, he may be the New York Mets greatest player of all-time! In 1967, Seaver's rookie season, he won NL rookie of the year and he even garnered some MVP votes. Two years later he guided the "Miracle Mets" to their first World Championship in 1969, en-route to his first of three Cy Young Awards. He also finished second in MVP voting. Seaver was downright dominant for the Mets his during his entire decade with the club. From 1967-1973, Seaver posted an ERA under 3.00 and in 1971 he had microscopic 1.76 ERA while winning 20 games.
He was traded to the Reds in 1977, and although he did not have the same success, he did manage to finish top three in the Cy Young voting three more times. Tom Seaver was one of the most consistent starters in the history of the game. He was the definition of a quality start. Every time he took the mound the team knew that they would be kept in the ball game. Seaver is seventh all time on the WAR list among pitchers. He was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1992 with a 98.84 Percent vote which stood as a record until 2016. Seaver is also seventh all-time in strikeouts. Mr. Met is an all-time great and comes in at #9 on the list.
8. Nolan Ryan
Nolan Ryan may not have been the most dominating pitcher in baseball history but he definitely was the most intimidating. In fact, he is the all-time leader in strikeouts and its not even close (Randy Johnson-2nd 839 Less). Ryan was blessed with an above average fastball that proved to be unhittable more than its share of time. When Nolan let his fastball fly, more often than no batters would swing and miss. He holds the MLB record of No Hitters with seven. And as mentioned, he is the all-time strikeout king with a whopping 5,714 K's. Ryan is the perfect example of a player that finishes higher on a list despite lack of statistical greatness in other areas and missing hardware.
Ryan never won a Cy Young award and only had eight all star appearances in 27 seasons of work. However, he did his damage when the chips were down. His 9.54 Strikeouts per nine innings ranks seventh all time. Moreover, he posted 6 300-Strikeout campaigns including a career high of 383 in 1973. He was also a shutout machine where he posted 61 in his career (tied for 7th all-time) with Tom Seaver. Ryan won 11 strikeout crowns and 2 ERA titles in his 27 seasons as well. Unfortunately, Ryan only won one world championship with the Mets as he played for some really bad teams the rest of his career. Nonetheless, Ryan makes the list due to his fierceness and competitive prowess.
7. Greg Maddux
What Greg Maddux accomplished during the steroids era was epic. Pitching in the same era as flamethrowers Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens, Maddux managed to rely on pinpoint accuracy and control. He was an 8-time All-Star award winner to go along with 4 Cy Young Awards. He was the model of consistency in a league that was dominated by inconsistency. He won 15 games or more seventeen straight seasons which is still an all-time record. He also won those four Cy Young Awards in four consecutive seasons which had also never been done.
Maddux began his career with the Cubs and quickly established himself as an upper echelon ace in the league. 1988 was his coming out party when he went 18-8 while posting a 3.18 ERA. He bested those numbers the next season going 19-12 and posting a 2.95 ERA. His best season came with the Braves in 1995 when he went 19-2 with a miniscule ERA of 1.63, while throwing 10 complete games and 3 shutouts.
All in all, Maddux won four ERA titles, while leading the NL in ERA five times. He ranks eighth all-time in wins with 355 which is more than any other pitcher that pitched after 1965. Maddux was the complete package. He wasn't overpowering but knew how to get the job done and the results speak for themselves. He lead the Braves to 10 straight division championships and a World Series title in 1995. Maddux is the epitome of consistency and one could argue that he is the greatest of all-time...he was that good.
6. Roger Clemens
Otherwise known as "The Rocket", Roger Clemens burst on to the scene with the Boston Red Sox at age 21 and became their ace very quickly. Unfortunately, Clemens will always be looked at in a different light due to his ties to steroid use. Although the accusations were never officially proven, Clemens continues to be denied the Hall of Fame. The bottom line is that Clemens was an absolute BEAST despite the steroid claims and his numbers were off the charts, putting him at the top of the all-time greats. Clemens is the all-time leader in WAR coming in just south of 140 which is insane.
Clemens is a 7-time Cy Young Award winner, MVP winner, and 2-time triple crown winner. Not to mention a six-time 20-game winner, including a his 24-4 season in 1986. That season he posted a 2.48 ERA in 254 innings, 238 Strikeouts and only 67 walks, while winning the Cy Young and MVP awards. Not including his seven Cy Young Awards, he also finished second for another Cy Young Award in 1990 when he posted a 21-6 record with a 1.93 ERA.
His postseason numbers were also off the charts. He finished with a 12-8 record, 3.75 ERA, 199 Innings Pitched, 173 Strikeouts, 70 Walks, 1 Complete Game and 1 Shutout and of course a world series championship with the New York Yankees. He was also an 11-time All-Star. Clemens is third all-time in strikeouts only behind Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson. He is ninth all-time in wins. And as mentioned...7 Cy Young Awards is tops all-time and shows the dominance that "The Rocket" displayed over three decades. Despite being forever linked to the black cloud of steroids...Roger Clemens remains one of the all-time greatest pitchers of all-time.
5. Christy Mathewson
Christy Mathewson was absolutely dominant pitching at the beginning of the century. He won at least 20 games thirteen times out of his seventeen year career. He won at least 30-games 4-times including a career high of 37 in 1908. In 1908, Mathewson went 31-9, posting a 1.28 ERA with 206 Strikeouts and only 64 walks. It was his third consecutive strikeout title and the ERA was one of the lowest all-time. He actually bested it in 1909 with a microscopic 1.14 ERA. Insane numbers folks.
He lead the Giants to a championship in 1905 at 24 years old. His postseason numbers were also ridiculous when it comes to runs allowed. He was 5-5, with a 0.97 ERA, 10 Complete Games, 4 Shutouts, 101.2 Innings Pitched, 48 Strikeouts and only 10 Walks. Mathewson was a gamer that consistently lead the league in all pitching categories. If the Cy Young Award was in existence he projected to win ten of those which definitely would have made him the best ever.
4. Pedro Martinez
Pedro Martinez does not have the numbers that some of the others on the list have. However, Pedro may have been the most dominant pitcher during a seven year period ever. From 1997-2003, he enjoyed a peak that only a few others have matched. In 1997, he threw 13 complete games while posting a 1.90 ERA and lead the league In strikeouts with 305. He won the Cy Young Award that season, his first of three. Then in 1999 and 2000, he was the unanimous Cy Young winner in the American League for the Boston Red Sox.
On top of his hardware that he did win, he also finished top 3 in 1998, 2002 and 2003. In 2001, he finished with 163 Strikeouts in only 116.2 Innings despite a torn rotator cuff injury. During the seven year peak, he averaged 11.26 Strikeouts per nine innings and almost 6 strikeouts per walk while posting a minute 2.20 ERA. Pedro was unhittable at times and stymied hitters despite his extremely small frame. He was an 8-time All-Star and just missed an MVP award in 1999.
Pedro was just as dominant in the postseason. In 1999, he had a 17 inning scoreless innings streak. He also went at least six innings in thirteen of his sixteen postseason starts. He finally won a World Series in 2004 with the Boston Red Sox. In game 3, he went seven scoreless innings with 6 Strikeouts and 2 walks. Pedro only played 18 seasons and retired after the 2009 season. Martinez slowed down at the end of his career but that dominant seven year period earns him #4 on the list.
3. Cy Young
What would the top list of all-time pitchers look like without the pitcher that the games best yearly award is named after. Cy Young has the stats. He is Baseballs all-time leader in wins (511), Losses (315), Innings Pitched (7,356), Starts (815) and Complete Games (749). And these all-time numbers trump the next best to him by a landslide folks. Cy Young won at least 20 games fifteen times and 30 games five times. He also won two starts during the first modern day World Series against Pittsburgh going 2-1 while posting a 1.85 ERA in 34 innings pitched. He struck out 17 and only walked 4 during that series.
Cy Young set the bar and standard for every guy that appears on this list. He was consistent for a very long period of time. His best season was in 1892 where he was 36-12 while posting a 1.93 ERA, 168 Strikeouts, 48 Complete Games and 9 Shutouts. He also won the triple crown of pitching. Cy Young was a dominant force on the mound and has the lifetime numbers to prove it. Not much more that we can say about the guy as evidenced by the best pitching award that bears his name.
2. Randy Johnson
Known as "The Big Unit," Randy Johnson was an imposing and intimidating figure on the mound that struck fear in opposing batters minds. At 6'10" and 225 Pounds, he looked like a Giant playing in a midgets game. Johnson was a 5-time Cy Young Award winner and nine-time strikeout champ. He finished his career second all-time to Nolan Ryan in strikeouts. He had an unhittable fastball that routinely hit 100mph on the gun that would break like a Slider. That fastball also lead to a 10.6 Strikeouts per nine innings mark which is best all-time in history.
Johnson began his career with the Expos and was traded to the Seattle Mariners after his first season. He won his first Cy Young award with the Mariners in 1995 at age 31. He went 18-2 with a 2.48 ERA and 294 Strikeouts. He went on to win four more Cy Young Awards including 2002 at age 38. Johnson also was a ten-time All-Star over a career that spanned three decades.
The best work on his resume came during his career with the Arizona Diamondbacks where he won a World Series Championship in 2001. He was also the World Series MVP as the Diamondbacks upset baseball's goliath New York Yankees. Playing the role of David, Johnson went 3-0 while posting a microscopic 1.04 ERA in 17.1 innings of work. He struck out 17 and only walked 3 while also throwing a complete game shutout. His overall postseason work was marred by a few seasons where he had ERA's that were ballooned by a few bad starts. With that being said, that 2001 postseason run was one of the greatest for a starting pitcher that MLB has ever saw.
1. Walter Johnson
Another player...another Johnson on the list. Walter Johnson was known as "The Big Train." One of the few stars on this list that spent an entire career with one team...a very rare feat. During that career he won 417 games which is second to Cy Young. He is also fifth all-time with 531 complete games and the all-time leader in shutouts with 110. In 1914 he won an astounding 51 games and averaged over 26 wins over a nine year stretch from 1910-1919. He lead the league in wins, complete games and shutouts six times and was a 12-time strikeout champ.
Walter Johnson did not have much postseason experience as he played on some very bad teams. However, he was able to enjoy some postseason success at the end of his career. His final numbers in October included a 3-3 record, 2.52 ERA, 5 Complete Games, 1 Shutout over 50 innings pitched. He struck out 35 while walking 15. His team finally won the World Series in 1924. Speaking of hardware...Johnson was a 2x MVP. Had the Cy Young Award been in existence he would have won at least thirteen which would have been tops ever. He finished his career third all-time in WAR at 165.2.
He finished 14 seasons in the Top Ten in Wins and ERA. That's an amazing accomplishment in its own right. Then to top that off he enjoyed 18 seasons in the Top Ten in strikeouts and strikeouts per nine innings. Those dominant numbers over a consistent long period of time are what puts "The Big Train" at #1 on our list. He was simply incredible and rounds out the top all-time list of pitchers.
Written By Jason Voorhees
A major trade in any sport can tell a thousand stories.
On Thursday afternoon, the Philadelphia Phillies acquired all star catcher JT Realmuto in exchange for top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez, starting catcher Jorge Alfaro, minor league lefthander Will Stewart and international slot money.
For me, this trade screams the name of BRYCE HARPER. Sure, acquiring JT Realmuto by itself is huge news as the Phillies get arguably the best catcher in baseball. Also, the team did not gut the entire farm system to do so. However; do not loose sight of the fact that Harper and Realmuto are close friends.
In fact, Bryce had been hounding Washington Nationals brass all season last year to trade for the all-star catcher. Joe Fisaro, a Florida Marlins team reporter was on WIP radio on Wednesday evening (during the Joe Gigilio Show) and made the following statement..."Bryce Harper loves J.T. Realmuto...If the Phillies get Realmuto, it could enhance their chance at getting Harper."
Will getting J.T. Realmuto guarantee that Bryce Harper comes to Philly? No one knows for sure. But what we do know is that the Phillies are not messing around and that they feel that they can contend NOW. Trading for Realmuto sends a message to the rest of the league that they are serious about winning and that they are continually trying to improve as an organization.
Let us review the trade. What are the Phillies getting in J.T. Realmuto? According to Phillies GM Matt Klentak, the team is getting the best catcher in major league baseball.
Last season, the all-star catcher had a career season batting .277AVG/74RBI/74RUNS/21HR/.340OBP/.484SLG/.825OPS.
Yes the average was a little down folks but this is a catcher we are talking about. His .825OPS is an elite number and compares with the big boys. And most importantly, these numbers were put up in a stadium that is traditionally one of the hardest parks to hit in. Moreover, he did this in one of the worst offensive lineups in baseball with the Marlins.
Home/Road Splits-Career Home/Road Splits: Home-.244AVG/.292OBP/.384SLG/.279BABIP. Road-.310AVG/.358OBP/.494SLG/.356BABIP.
Realmuto is an offensive star and an even better road warrior but do not loose sight of his defense. He is also one of the best catchers in baseball, that calls an excellent game behind the plate to go along with an above average arm. He is also a leader in the clubhouse on and off the field. Make no bones about it, J.T. is a significant upgrade over the catcher that the Phillies gave up in Jorge Alfaro.
The players going the other way in the deal are in fact Jorge Alfaro (C), Sixto Sanchez (RHP), and Will Stewart (LHP).
Jorge Alfaro was the Phillies starting catcher. He was once considered one of their top 100 prospects. Last season, Alfaro put up mediocre offensive numbers at best in 2018-.262AVG/37RBI/35RUNS/10HR/.324OBP/.407SLG/.731OPS.
Alfaro shined behind the plate as far as throwing out runners but was dead last in defensive WAR. He lead the league in passed balls and was not good at blocking the plate.
The key linchpin in the deal was Sixto Sanchez. Sanchez was the Phillies top prospect but he has been injury prone the last few seasons. He has the nickname of Pedro Martinez 2.0. His ceiling is extremely high, but the Phillies were willing to part with the unknown in exchange for a player of Realmuto's caliber. Will Stewart is not as well known as Sanchez but has been compared to a young Chris Sale in some circles.
The trade seems to be good for both teams but it grades out as a slam dunk for the Phillies as they are significantly better with the addition of Realmuto. Yes, its a pretty steep price to pay by giving up the teams top prospect. However; in the scheme of things this is the prelude to something bigger.
This sends a message to Bryce Harper that the Phillies are for real and are doing everything in their power to improve the roster. Sure, the money was always going to be the number one factor. However; now the Phillies have added one of Harper's close friends to the roster and you can rest assure that they will use this as a bargaining chip. I am sure that Realmuto will be on the phone telling Bryce to DO THE DEAL. In fact, Harper may have even told the Phillies to go get J.T.
No one knows how this is going to play out exactly. But a message has been sent TODAY. A message to the league. A message to other free agents. A message to Bryce. A message has been sent that the Phillies have arrived and that they are not finished making moves. Now go spend that "STUPID MONEY" that you promised guys. A city is anxiously waiting for the next domino to fall.
PLEASE LET IT BE HARPER...
Written By Jason Voorhees
Super Bowl 53 had the same familiar ending.
Yes...The New England Patriots won their unprecedented sixth Super Bowl Championship joining the Pittsburgh Steelers as the only NFL franchises to accomplish that feat. With their sixth title in toe...Tom Brady and Bill Bellichik both cemented their status as "THE GOAT" within their respective positions. Bellichik goes down as the greatest coach in football history while Brady becomes the unquestioned best quarterback of all time.
Lost in the shuffle of these amazing team and personal feats was how bad that the game actually was.
The New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in what was the lowest scoring game in super bowl history. Not only was the game low scoring, but it also lacked big play ability. There was only ONE red zone appearance by either team with the Patriots scoring the lone touchdown on a Sony Michel rushing touchdown.
Coming into the game, the matchup pitted the leagues #2 and #4 scoring offenses. The game featured the Rams high flying offensive attack with marquee running back Todd Gurley and the coaching genius Sean McVay. On the other sideline was the two headed goat known as the Evil Empire. This game was supposed to be a track meet of offensive firepower that has seldom been seen on the field together. Instead...the game was a major letdown.
Everything about the game was bad including the halftime show. The game was not only bad live...but it also failed in the ratings department as there were a lot less people watching on television as well. This game was actually dominated by defense and one could say that the Patriots defense rose to the occasion to bale out their leader in this one.
Tom Brady did not perform like the "GOAT" in this one...instead looking more than pedestrian in this contest. Brady finished the game 21/35 for 265 Yards/0TD's/1INT/1Sack. Brady was under duress most of the game and misfired on many of his passes. He lacked the big play ability that he usually displays and was uncharacteristically inaccurate on many throws.
Meanwhile, the Rams did not enter the red zone once and a young Jared Goff looked like a player that was scared of the big stage. Goff finished 19/38 for 229 Yards/0TD's/1INT/4Sacks. Sean McVay played scared as well and he was extremely conservative with his play calling. When your best player (Todd Gurley) is limited to 11 touches...you are probably going to loose the game. Coming into the game, McVay had mentioned that the key was to get its star running back going and that Gurley would be a major part of the game plan.
Todd Gurley was a non factor folks. He had 10 rushes for 35 yards and 1 catch (-1yards). The Patriots seemed to know every play that was coming. Every time the Rams started to gain momentum on a drive...the Patriots had an answer. Although this game was bad on so many levels, you have to respect the way that both defenses played on the field. The Rams are known for their strong defense and Wade Phillips had a masterful game plan. However, as good as Wade Philips was...Bill Bellichik and Brian Flores defense was that much better.
There is one amazing realization that I gained after watching this game. This realization is the depth of Bill Bellichiks' greatness as a defensive mind. In 2001, the Patriots began their great run with a 20-17 victory over the "Greatest Show on Turf" Rams. That high flying Rams team was the number one team in total offense and scored 503 points during the regular season. Bellichiks team only gave up 17 points to this team, an amazing accomplishment in its own right.
Then last night, Bellichik bested that accomplishment by only allowing one field goal to a Rams team that was #2 in scoring (527Points) in the regular season. This was an absolute dominating performance by the Patriots defense. Bill Bellichik may not be the only person calling the defensive plays but he is the one person that designs the game plan. He is a defensive mastermind and if anyone is going to be referred to as a genius moving forward...it has to be Bellichik.
Love him or hate him he is no doubt "THE GOAT."
There is no argument that can refute this opinion. Not only has he won six championships as the coach of the New England Patriots...he also won two more super bowls as a defensive coordinator for the New York Giants. That's 8 Super Bowl Wins. No other coach comes close...not even CLOSE. Although Bellichik and Brady will be forever joined at the hip of this dynasty...Bellichik's success trumps Brady when you look as his success as an assistant coach. And you also have to recognize the importance he had in turning around the Cleveland Browns...a franchise that was at its absolute worst when he came on board.
Bellichik is an absolute beast in his field. What the Patriots have accomplished in the salary cap era under his leadership is unrivaled in sports. The New England Patriots dynasty may never be topped. Can you imagine if Brady plays four more seasons like he has alluded to. 18 Seasons/9Super Bowl Appearances/6 Super Bowl Championships later...I guess anything is possible for this dynamic duo.
Facts are facts. As bad as Super Bowl LIII was...it definitely was a defining moment in what could be the most debated topic of NFL history. Are Bill Bellichik and Tom Brady "THE GOATS?" I think everyone knows the answer to this question and this was just another example of this.
This championship solidified the argument and made it that much more credible. Whether you are a hater, or you are in the "cheater camp", or even those troll happy paratroopers...you have to respect these guys now. You cannot argue the facts.
Call Brady a system quarterback...check. Call Bellichik a cheater...check. Say the New England Patriots play in the easiest division in NFL football the AFC East...check. Whatever doubts you may have about the dynasty...you have to admit that there is greatness and beyond with both of these guys. Ladies and gentlemen...we have experienced "THE GOAT" of our lifetime.
About Jason Voorhees
Jason resides in Norristown, PA and writes about all things sports and heavy metal music.