Baseball - Your Top-5 Starting Rotation w/ One Closer and Three Honorable Mentions
After some discussion w/ a few board members, we've come to the decision that we will not restrict this list to being era-specific, though you can def use that in your calculus for why you include a certain pitcher. Current pitchers cannot be included because their career is still in progress. I also advise striking steroid pitchers (Clemens for example) from the list, but if you think he still belongs, that's cool. We can also provide brief explanations as to why we chose who we did to spark some debate. This was INCREDIBLY difficult to compile w/ plenty of room for debate. You also get three honorable mentions and one closer.
WARNING: W-hitey is a no-no word here....
Please no political content here. Thanks.
My list is in no particular order:
- Greg Maddux - The ultimate pitcher's pitcher and to keep his ERA where he did during the steroid era was nothing short of a baseball miracle. Also winning over 300 games in that era makes him a shoe-in to my mind.
- Walter Johnson - I don't think I have to qualify this decision.
- Sandy Koufax - This was debatable in my mind, but I firmly believe that he would have even better numbers than he did if it weren't for his arthritis. I also need a LH at this point.
- Cy Young - This seems obvious but it wasn't as easy of a choice as you might think. 511 Wins, 20 game winner 15 times, 30 game winner 5 times. But like W Johnson, it was a different time in baseball. You have to pose those hypothetical questions in your mind about eras, but I can't exclude him or Johnson based on when they played.
- W.hitey Ford - 33 straight scoreless innings in the WS.
CLOSER: Mariano Rivera
- Bob Gibson - There are times when I think he belongs on the list above. He was scary as hell and just as clutch. He also had the greatest single season performance of any pitcher in history, '68 and still holds the WS single game strikeout (17) record to this day.
- Nolan Ryan - Pure power and more no-no's than anyone, but never won the Cy. I expect to get catch some heat (pun intended) for not putting him in my list above.
- Phil Niekro - Bias admitted, but his uniqueness and durability makes me include him. I still think he had the best knuckleball ever and another example of a pitcher's pitcher.
Okay - I know I've left off some vital names (Mathewson, Seaver, et al) but this is for fun and debate. Hope everyone enjoys...spring is right around the corner guys. CHOP CHOP.