Let’s make this simple. I’ll give you three names. You tell me who was the best pitcher:
If you did not pick Roger Clemens you either never watched a game of baseball in your life, or you’re numb as a hake. Pretty simple.
Don’t get you’re undies in a bunch yet. All I asked was for you to select the best pitcher. That was the easy one. Now, the slightly tougher question:
Which pitcher most deserves to be in the Hall of Fame?
I will allow minor and brief debate on this one. Mike Mussina won almost 300 games and Roy Halladay was a workhorse who had a 16 year ERA of 3.38 and a couple of Cy Youngs.
But Roger Clemens remains the correct answer. I know you're thinking I'm biased because the Sports Chowdah is brining him to Bangor March 16. Maybe so.
There's no questioning Rocket’s Hall of Fame credentials. He won seven Cy Youngs, an MVP and two World Series rings. He's ninth in career wins at 354, third in strikeouts, and trails only Cy Young and Walter Johnson in WAR for pitchers.
Keeping in mind he was never suspended for PED use or found guilty of anything related to steroid use. Yup, there is smoke and probably fire when it comes to his use. But, legally speaking, he’s not guilty.
Those who believe he did juice think it most likely started after he left Boston. The case is always made by Barry Bonds supporters that he was HOF worthy before he allegedly did steroids. I say the same for Clemens.
And by this argument alone he is a better HOF candidate than Roy Halladay.
Through 1996 with the Sox, Clemens was 192-111 with a 3.06 ERA 1.16 WHIP with 2,590 strikeouts. He won three Cy Youngs, an MVP, led the league in ERA four times, WHIP twice, strikeouts three times, shutouts five times. Halladay won 203 games, had an ERA higher and only two Cy Youngs his entire career.
We all love Pedro Martinez right? Consider this: Pedro had 219 wins, and an ERA of 2.93. Awesome! But he tacked on 13 of those wins in three final miserable seasons in the NL. His career stats compare with Roger's time only in Boston.
It looks like Halladay and Mussina will make it this year. Maybe even Curt Schilling who was a clutch post season performer for sure.
Clemens is right on the border. With 140 of the 412 ballots revealed he was listed on 74.8%. A player needs to be on 75%.
He should be on way more. But obviously the old stodgy baseball writers, who probably still use pencils and notepads to cover games, either haven’t ever seen a baseball game. Or more likely are all just numb as a hake.