Blog Entry

Vote for the 3 Greatest RELIEF Pitchers Ever

Posted on: May 31, 2009 8:16 pm
 
     Welcome to my blog everyone and thanks to everyone who has been participating in my search to put together the greatest baseball team of all time.  This week we will be completing our pitching staff by picking our 3 late inning relief pitchers. 

     Before we get to the list of candidates and their career statistics, its time to announce who you voted in as the 7 greatest starting pitchers.  Well, actually you voted in the top 6 as there was a 3 way tie for 7th, so I went to the liberty that I afford myself since I don't vote, to break the tie.  Here are the magnificent 7 with their vote totals listed.  The top 5 will be the starting rotation and the 6th and 7th place guys will be the middle/long relief guys.  

1.  Walter Johnson - 23 votes  (Good pick folks, I'll happily take him as my ace)
2.  Cy Young - 21 votes (once again, I like him there)
3.  Sandy Koufax - 15 votes (3rd best ever?  Probably not, but a lefty should go middle of rotation)
4.  Christy Mathewson - 15 votes (Probably is 3rd best ever)
5.  Bob Gibson - 14 votes (best option of 14 vote getting starters)
6.  Nolan Ryan - 14 votes (Perhaps my favorite pitcher of the bunch but not one of my top 7)
7.  Greg Maddux - 9 votes (I picked Maddux over Spahn and Seaver who also received 9 votes.  Comparing the stats was an interesting comparison and none of the 3 were overwhelming favorites over the other 2.  I went with Maddux because he just didn't walk people)

      I probably wouldn't have had Koufax, Gibson and Ryan on my list of top 7.  In fact there are 8 pitchers that weren't in the top 7 in the voting that I'd take over those 3.  I'd have taken lefties Lefty Grove, Rube Waddell or Randy Johnson over Koufax and righties Ed Walsh, Addie Joss, Mordecai Brown, Roger Clemens or Pedro Martinez over both Gibby and the Express.   One more comment before we move on to relief pitchers.  I looked over all the stats from Satchell Paige from both his Negro League days and his major leagues.  There just wasn't a way to compile a stat for him like the majors.  He was way up in age when he finally had his chance to play in the majors and despite his advanced age, he still pitched impressively.  Had he been afforded the opportunity to play in the major leagues like all the others on the list had, there's an outstanding chance that he'd be a member of the magnificent 7. 

    OK, now to the matter at hand.   I have compiled a list of statistics for who I feel are the 28 greatest relief pitchers of all time.   This actually took a bit more research than all the other positions so far, because there are only 5 relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame.   I usually start my list with hall of famers, then look over recent players who played at or near hall of fame levels.   Unlike all other positions, relievers became much more relevent in the 1970s and their role has increased as the decades have passed.   I only ask my voters to please take in account that the role of the closer has been much different in the past 10-12 years than it did from the 70s to the mid 90s.   Up until the 90s, many closers were brought into tie games or close games as early as the 7th inning.   Thus, they didn't put up the huge save numbers and got more decisions.   People in my age bracket realize this, I just wanted to inform the younger voters.   OK, I've chattered long enough, here is my list.  I'm sorry if I left off one of your favorites, but this is my team and if your guy isn't on this list, it means I don't want him on my all-time team.  Yell

PITCHER                      GAMES     INNINGS     WINS     LOSSES     SAVES     ERA     STRIKEOUTS    WALKS     WHIP     ERA+

Mariano Rivera              871         1044.0       68         50            492        2.29     960                245         1.021    199
Dennis Eckersley            1071       3285.2       197       171          390        3.50     2401              738          1.161    116
Rollie Fingers                944         1701.1       114       118           341        2.90     1299              492         1.156     119
Goose Gossage             1002       1809.1       124       107           310        3.01     1502              732         1.232     126
Rob Nenn                      643         715.0         45         42            314        2.98     793                260         1.213     138
Troy Percival                  703         708.2         35         43            358        3.17     781                306         1.108     146
Bruce Sutter                   661         1042.1       68         71            300        2.83     861                309         1.140     136
Billy Wagner                  765          818.0        39         37            385        2.40     1066               270         1.009    180
Lee Smith                      1022       1289.1       71         92            478        3.03      1251              486         1.256     131
Trevor Hoffman              944         1002.0       56         66            566        2.74      1066              274         1.040     147
John Franco                   1119        1245.2       90         87            424        2.89      975                495         1.333     137
Dan Quisenberry            674          1043.1       56         46           244        2.76      379                163         1.175     146
Hoyt Wilhelm                 1070        2254.1       143       122          227        2.52      1610              778          1.126    146
Roy Face                       848          1375.0       104       95            193        3.48      877                362         1.243     109
Sparky Lyle                   899          1390.1        99        76            238        2.88      873                481         1.275     127
Kent Tekulve                 1050        1436.1        94        90            184        2.85      779                491         1.250     132
Jeff Reardon                 880          1132.1        73         77            367        3.16      877               358         1.199     121
Tom Henke                   642          789.2          41        42            311        2.67      861               255          1.092     136
Lindy McDaniel              987          2139.1        141      119           172         3.45      1361             623          1.272     109
John Wetteland             618          765.0          48        45            330         2.93      804               252         1.135     148
Jeff Montgomery           700           868.2         46        52            304         3.27      733               296         1.244     134
Rod Beck                      704           768.0         38        45            286         3.30      644               191         1.164     123
Doug Jones                  846           1128.1        69        79            303         3.30      909               247         1.243     129
Roberto Hernandez       1010         1071.1        67        71            326         3.45      945               462         1.367     131
Mike Marshall                723          1386.2        97        112          188          3.14     880                514         1.294     118
Armando Benitez           762          779            40         47            289         3.13     946                403         1.217     139
Rick Aguilera                 732          1291.1        86         81            318         3.57     1030              351         1.227     117
Randy Myers                 728           884.2         44         63            347         3.19     884                396         1.304     122

I know, once again I've created some tough decisions for all of you.  Consider it one of the few things I'm good at.  Laughing   Have fun everyone!
Category: MLB
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