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Saturday, August 3, 2013

All Time All Stars - Red Sox Pitchers

Imagine an All Time All Stars World Series of Boston vs. New York.  The Yankees would trot Ruth, Gehrig, and Mantle out there everyday.  That's some pretty scary stuff and most teams would probably acknowledge that they have little chance in competing with the greatest offensive force ever seen. Well, the Red Sox are one team that would not be intimidated.  Ted Williams didn't take crap from anybody and at first glance the pitching staff seems quite strong.  I can just picture Roger Clemens and Pedro giving the boys in pinstripes the middle finger as they strut to the mound. Those guys were tough sons of guns who didn't shy away in the heat of the moment. Let's take a look at who was on this team when SI published the game in 1973.
Is this the greatest pitcher of all time?

This was just an okay staff. Cy Young might be the greatest pitcher of all time while Smoky Joe Wood and Dutch Leonard had a few excellent seasons but it pretty much ends there.  Teams are going to have to do better if they want to hang with the Yankees.  Luckily, with Roger Clemens and Pedro coming on board it's about to get scary good in the rotation.

Original Locks: Cy Young, Smoky Joe Wood, Ellis Kinder, Dutch Leonard
Cy Young is a no brainer.  Joe Wood had a great run from 1911-1915 that make him a cinch as well. Leonard was Wood's teammate and may have been even better.  Kinder is the best reliever in team history in my opinion.  In 1949 he led the league in complete game shutouts and two years later led the league in saves while accumulating 5.1 WAR.  

New guys that are locks: Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Luis Tiant, Tim Wakefield,
With the retention of Cy Young, this rotation is now possibly the best in the game. Roger Clemens can also be included in the conversation as greatest pitcher ever and he has the hardware to prove it by putting 7 Cy Young Awards on his mantle.  Pedro Martinez's 1999 and 2000 seasons might be the greatest back to back years ever.  He averaged 20-5 with a 1.90 ERA in the steroid era.  His ERA+ for those two combined seasons is 265!  That's two hundred and sixty five percent better than the league average.  Luis Tiant won 20 games three times and led the league in ERA once.  And Tim Wakefield is the franchise leader in innings pitched and is third in wins.  Gotta have the knuckler in there.

If the Red Sox were to set a rotation I think it'd go Young, Clemens, Martinez, Tiant.  Wow.

Just like with the Yankees we've got eight locks out of ten spots. Below are who I believe are the best candidates for the final two spots.

Guys on the bubble:
  • Josh Beckett - The ace on the Sox second championship team, Beckett has had moments of brilliance cuopled with injuries. In 2007 he was fantastic and led the league in wins with 20.
  • Joe Dobson - Dobson pitched 1500+ innings in Beantown and won 106 games.  Both rank in the 10 ten in team history.
  • Derek Lowe - Lowe bounced from starting and relieving, finding success in each role. He finished third in Cy Young voting in 2002 and his ERA+ was 127 as a member of the Red Sox.
  • Carl Mays - Mays played for four different franchises and none of them really scream at me as the obvious choice.  He ranks highly in several categories including having the sixth best career ERA among Red Sox pitchers so I'll put him here. 
  • Mel Parnell - Won 20+ games twice including 25 in 1949.  Parnell only pitched ten years but managed to accumulate the 8th most WAR in team history.
  • Jonathan Papelbon - Love him or hate him the man was pretty dominant as a closer for the BoSox.  Made four all star teams and saved 322 games in Boston.
  • Bob Stanley - Stanley was a multi-inning reliever who pitched really well for nine straight seasons until 1986.  He ranks eighth in wins, second in saves, and first in games pitched in team history.
  • Babe Ruth - Ruth's not going to make this team because he's already a Yankee but he would be a candidate otherwise.  

Vote for the two pitchers you feel should make the team in the poll located on the upper right-hand side of the homepage.

Updated poll results: Jonathan Papelbon was the top vote getter with Mel Parnell second. These two will be added to Boston's staff.
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