Don Sutton on Lee, Phillies rotation, some of all-time greats

Braves broadcaster and Hall of Famer pitcher Don Sutton knows a thing or two about great rotations. He pitched alongside Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale, and he broadcast games pitched by Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. Here’s what he had to say about what the signing of Cliff Lee does for the Phillies rotation:

“If they stay healthy, they could be one of the best in the history of the game,” Sutton said. “What I like is they are four guys who have small egos. They’re going to blend well together. If they stay well, we’re going to be talking about them years from now.”

Sutton said one of things he loves about baseball is being able to talk about history and comparing the great staffs and players from one year to the next.

With Lee joining Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels, it’s kicked up conversations about whether they will rank with the best rotations in history. Are they better than the Braves of the 1990s, like the staff of Maddux, Glavine, John Smoltz and Steve Avery of 1993, or the same first three plus Denny Neagle in 1997?

Some have suggested this Phillies rotation will have the best “stuff” since the Dodger rotation of 1966, when Sutton was a rookie playing alongside Koufax, Drysdale and Claude Osteen.

Interestingly enough, Sutton points to a staff he was on with the Houston Astros in 1981 and 1982 that he thinks is getting overlooked in this conversation.

“I’m not sure there was a better one I was a part of than the ‘81 and ‘82 Houston Astros,” Sutton said. “We had (Nolan) Ryan, (Joe) Niekro, (Bob) Knepper and myself and together we won 1,015 games.”

Ryan and Sutton each won 324 games, Joe Niekro (not to be confused with his brother Phil) won 221. Knepper won 150. By comparison, the Braves staff of 1993 won 969 career games, and the staff of 1997 compiled 997 career wins.

So, what about Koufax and Drysdale and the staff of 1966? “We were pretty good,” Sutton said. “But I think any time you run anybody out there with Koufax and Drysdale, all you need are backup singers – when you’ve got Elvis and Sinatra.”

- By Carroll Rogers, Braves blog

96 comments Add your comment

andruw

December 16th, 2010
12:17 pm

cy99maddux

December 16th, 2010
12:19 pm

your mom must be so proud, andruw!

bbkorbel

December 16th, 2010
12:19 pm

Sutton knows his baseball. And the small egos should go a long way for the Phils. But I’m still a life-long Braves fan!

Trey

December 16th, 2010
12:21 pm

Braves rotation was much better.

iFrech

December 16th, 2010
12:21 pm

“Braves broadcaster and Hall of Famer pitcher Don Sutton knows a thing or two about great rotations. He pitched alongside Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale, and he broadcast games pitched by Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine.” You’re missing Smoltz in that sentence.

Herschel Talker

December 16th, 2010
12:22 pm

DOB – any thoughts on any imminent moves the Braves may make to perhaps shore up the outfield or the bench?

Carroll Rogers

December 16th, 2010
12:22 pm

yes i am, iFrech, but I was just going for rhythm – Koufax and Drysdale, Maddux and Glavine. My apologies to you and Smoltz.

Frank from KS (now living in CO)

December 16th, 2010
12:23 pm

Umm…no mention of the Orioles staff in the 70’s that had 4 20-game winners. I think they could also be consider one of the best rotations too.

1eyedJack

December 16th, 2010
12:29 pm

Those Braves staffs could have had a lot more wins if they had been allowed to pitch after the 7th inning.

andruw

December 16th, 2010
12:32 pm

the only way i see to beat these kinds of pitchers is to get on, steal bases, and put serious pressure on the defense. too bad we dont have guys who can do that for us. (posednick is a realistic option)

Voice of Reason

December 16th, 2010
12:35 pm

Sutton’s opinion does hold a lot of weight in a conversation about great staffs. Time will tell us how this new group works out as we can compare how they do with championships and playoffs. One staff not being mentioned much is the early 50’s staff of Early Wynn, Bob Lemon, Bob Feller, and Mike Garcia. Not many championships because of the Yankees’ run during that time, but those pitchers were formidable. Feller, who is just now in the news because of his death, was aging as the other three were in their prime, but as a group lead Cleveland to 111 victories in 1954 (it took that kind of season to beat the Yankees of the 50’s) and they pitched a lot of complete games among the four of them. I was just a child in those days, but my father, a former minor leaguer and WWII veteran, often spoke of them, and idolized Feller as he was a WWII veteran himself, and probably lost his best years to wartime. Looking forward to the head-to-head match-ups with the Braves younger staff – much can be learned pitching against such good competition.

andruw

December 16th, 2010
12:36 pm

heres to hoping lee forgets how to play well like mclouth did last year

Carroll Rogers

December 16th, 2010
12:41 pm

Thanks for that insight Voice of Reason. That’s neat.

Carroll Rogers

December 16th, 2010
12:43 pm

good point 1eyedJack….and really if you look up wins those years in 81 and 82, they didn’t pile them up. but the ERAs in 81 are impressive.

This wasn’t meant to be a comprehensive story about the best staffs, or Orioles of 70s would have been in there. Just passing along Don’s insights.

Mark (another one)

December 16th, 2010
12:54 pm

I was a kid watching those Dodgers and I caught a lot of their games on the radio under the covers after bed time. It is amazing looking back on how many games were 2-1 or 1-0 tight games. The point is that while the ultimate goal is to win, Pitchers don’t often produce the runs required to win.

Don Sutton played on a few teams that were offensively challenged, more so than the Braves in the 90’s. So did Ryan, who spent a lot of time with the Angels. Sutton was on two outstanding staffs, the Dodgers and Astros. As a childhood fan of both Sutton and Ryan, 81 was a difficult year because I rooted for them and against their team.

ERAs and wins help paint the picture but their is no univerally accepted measure for a pitching staff. My vote (opinion) was the ‘66 Dodgers. I just wish Tommy John surgery had been around for Koufax. He was dominant, and it was a shame to see his career cut short.

ramblingman

December 16th, 2010
12:55 pm

Not complaining on the story, only commenting on the O’s staff thread.

That staff was just ridiculous. Palmer, Cuellar, Dobson and McNally were flat out dominant. Add in Brooks Robinson, Paul Blair, Dave Johnson, Belanger, Frank Robinson, Buford and of course Earl Weaver, and you had a great team. They were my favorite AL team growing up.

That brought back some good memories.

Bill Elgin

December 16th, 2010
1:12 pm

One thing I think is being overlooked by the Phillie hype is payroll. Their payroll is either third highest or pushing it. Think of the insurance costs on that rotation. If one goes down, or any of their thin regulars crashes, the Phillies will have a rough time with their backups. The money will not be there for replacements. Healthy, it will take heads up play to top them.

danlee

December 16th, 2010
1:20 pm

I’m glad Cliff Lee went to the Phillies, now the Braves will look even better when they win the division next year

eric the elder

December 16th, 2010
1:21 pm

Voice of Reason, excellent post. I met Bob Feller a couple of times because he stored a lot of his baseball memorabilia in a massive barn on the campus of the independent school of which I was the head.

I happened to be in the barn one day when Feller showed up. We sat on a bale of hay and talked baseball for a long time. As a fanatic Indians fan all through my youth, I count this as a great memory.

That said, Feller was not a particularly pleasant guy. He was pushy, arrogant, highly opinionated, extremely conservative. My take was that he regarded himself as the greatest pitcher who ever lived. Maybe he was.

I had the highest respect for his career and for his military service. I wouldn’t have wanted to be seated next to him at a dinner party, though.

By the way, a few years later the barn burned to the ground.

Steve

December 16th, 2010
1:26 pm

The Lee signing just gave me more reasons to hate the Phillies. He look they will be the team that is supposed to win and we can be the team flying under the radar!

Dan in West Georgia

December 16th, 2010
1:29 pm

The New York Mets of the early 70s had some good rotations, too. The best might have been 1973’s four-man rotation of Tom Seaver (2.08 ERA) with Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack, and the mostly-forgotten George Stone. Those three all had above-average years, with ERAs between 2.8 and 3.2, and Matlack recording 200+ strikeouts. Probably doesn’t measure up to the Dodgers/Orioles/Braves/etc., but they were team growing up. I also remember the Oakland A’s with Vida Blue and Catfish Hunter being very good, but someone else can check the details.

Trickster

December 16th, 2010
1:33 pm

Phillies is easily the best and here’s why : Hamels was the ace of the phillies before the other three arrived. Oswalt was the ace on the Astros,Halladay the ace of the Bluejays,and Lee the ace of the Rangers. That’s four aces. These others only had 3 aces and truthfully really only 2 in the Dodgers & Astros cases.

GT Alum

December 16th, 2010
1:40 pm

The career wins perspective is an interesting one. It more measures having a group of all-time greats on one staff rather than how good that pitching staff was that year, though. For example, the 1993 staff comes up a little shorter on the career wins because Avery really only had 3 years where he was at the top of his game. His 96 career wins don’t reflect how fantastically good he was in ‘93. And the Phillies’ staff that has prompted this discussion figures to fall well short of the career wins of any of those staffs. They currently have only 481, and Hamels is the only one of those guys under 30. Of the other 3, Halladay has the best shot at 300 wins, and he’d even have to average nearly 19 wins a season over the next 7 years, assuming he pitches until he’s 40.

zenman

December 16th, 2010
1:41 pm

Great pitching staff, very good team, but the city and most of the fans still blow.

Woody10bw

December 16th, 2010
1:43 pm

in regards to counting all time wins….lets not forget Smoltz’s save total!!!

bruce

December 16th, 2010
1:47 pm

Carroll, Great blog, thank you.
Love that closing line…. backup singers… Don Sutton is one of the few that can say that and have credibility, humility and humor all in one turn of a phrase. That could be the line of the year in describing rotations. He may have said it before when describing his role, but still… priceless.

DTC

December 16th, 2010
1:47 pm

The measure of the stick in this case will be decided in the near history. If this Phillies staff wins 2 World Series, they are a better staff. From 1994 (actually 1995, due to the 1994 players strike) to 2003 the Braves were in the World Series 3 times and won one time, NLCS 3 additional times and lost and the Division playoffs 3 times and lost. 9 Years of making the playoff, but only 1 World Series. The measure of the stick is the World Series winner.
With all of this said, I do believe if we pick up SOMEBODY that can actually hit the ball, we can hold our own, most of the time. Will we be in the playoffs? Probably. World Series? Not without additional hitting. Good bullpen. Good starting pitching. Hitting? Subpar. Subpar hitting at the end of the year, means you go home and watch the playoffs and the World Series.
Personally, I think Wren has something else up his sleeve. Pitcher? Hitter? Both? We will see.

Braves did it first

December 16th, 2010
1:56 pm

To compare with past Braves pitching staffs, these four would have to do a couple of things: 1. Stay together for more than one year. Lots of teams could build an awesome foursome for a year if they are willing to throw around the money. But to keep a core three guys for as long as the Braves did, now that’s impressive. 2. They need to actually pitch an inning as a unit! Right now, this is only an awesome foursome “on paper.” Stay healthy and pitch well for at least a season, then we’ll talk.

Blue boy

December 16th, 2010
2:05 pm

Voice of reason great post.
Ramblingman, Even I will agree with your comments @ 12:55 Thats better.
Love Sutton, one of the Best.

Spider29

December 16th, 2010
2:09 pm

You beat me to it, Braves did it First! I whole-heartedly agree. I don’t think it insults the Phillies staff of 2011 to say that. The Phillies do have a great group of starters assembled and I think they will all have good season (if healthy). But if we are comparing the Braves staff(s) of the 1990’s to this one of Philadelphia’s in 2011, let’s see how the comparisons stand up after 3-5 years. Of course by then the Braves may have another group of “young guns” that will start the debate all over again!

ryan c

December 16th, 2010
2:36 pm

Uggla and Braves nearing extension: 5/60-61 million.

Blue boy

December 16th, 2010
2:37 pm

great news ryan c…where did you get info?

SEAN B

December 16th, 2010
2:39 pm

@ Braves did it first—- I totally agree.. Produce that many Division Flags and then we will talk!

Joey M

December 16th, 2010
2:39 pm

The Braves rotation from 1998 was hands down the best of this generation. Everyone is so ready to crown the Phillies rotation before they throw a single pitch. Oswalt is older. So is Doc. Lee is an absolute stud. Hammels is up and down. Hammels is not better than Avery was. I would take Maddux over Halladay, Glavine vs Lee seems tough, but Glavine won 20 games several times. He also won the 6th game in the 1995 WS 1-0. Smoltz vs Oswalt is a joke. Smoltz had he not had arm trouble would have won over 350 games.

SEAN B

December 16th, 2010
2:39 pm

And by the way…. I didnt see the phils in the world series last year!

Rev Bill

December 16th, 2010
2:42 pm

Voice of Reason, thanks for bringing back memories. I was an 11 year old Indians fan in 1954 and listened to all the games I could. The pitchers usually finished, but when they couldn’t, they had Don Mossi and Ray Narleski, a left armed, right armed, pair of relief pitchers. I often wonder if Venters and Kimbel might form a similar combination.

Papadawg

December 16th, 2010
2:44 pm

I’ll give them the best rotation maybe today but for all time, NO WAY they beat the Braves or the Dodger rotation of yesteryear

ryan c

December 16th, 2010
2:50 pm

Bravesfganinmetsland

December 16th, 2010
2:56 pm

Anyone else think this whole conversation could be mute by July when the Phillies realize they still need a big bat and trade Oswalt who is a free agent at the end of the year?

kool$kat

December 16th, 2010
3:04 pm

DTC – you need a new measuring stick. World Series titles are won by great teams with good timing. A dominant pitching staff is but one ingredient. Takes a great team, top to bottom, to get in the playoffs, and good timing (being hot in October/November) to win it all.

‘69 Mets had Seaver, Koosman, Gary Gentry and a rookie Nolan Ryan. Not too bad. Faced Orioles Palmer, McNally, Cuellar and Dobson in the series. Maybe thats the best two staffs in one Series? Somebody run the numbers, I can’t spend that much time goofing off at work…

bravesfansince66

December 16th, 2010
3:09 pm

Still got to play 162 games so let’s not hand the Phillies anything. A lot of good and bad things can happen in a season. So it remains to be seen how it will turn out but as for me and mine we say GO BRAVES.

Eastside jacket

December 16th, 2010
3:14 pm

I echo some of the other comments. I’m going to wait until they actually pitch in a game or two before I start comparing them to the greatest of all time.

Mike McDonald

December 16th, 2010
3:21 pm

Great article. Sutton is a real cool champ. Hope we see and hear more of him on the Braves’ broadcasts. He deserves to be heard from more often in this exciting new era of pitching.

dap01

December 16th, 2010
3:24 pm

Who care? Let’s talk about the Braves. We lost by 6 games last year due to no power and people being hurt such as Chipper, Prado and others. We have power, we have pitching depth. Go Braves.

Heisenberg

December 16th, 2010
3:44 pm

rambingman,

Birds of Baltimore were also my favorite team growing up. Second was Reds. Made for interesting WS. Johnny bench still has nightmares. You left out everyones favorite …. the Boogeyman.

And for those of you paying attention, the Dave Johnson ramblingman mentioned was the same who later became a trio of Braves to hit 40 or more homers in 1 season. Most folks can name the other 2. This same Johnson also had some success in 80s & 90’s as a manager.

Cecil34

December 16th, 2010
3:48 pm

I always like to hear what Don Sutton has to say – this man is one of the last links to baseball in it’s more pure form (not controlled by players – i.e. $$$).

The fact is, it really didn’t matter whether the Phils signed Lee or not, they are still the Braves’ main obstacle to winning the division, and even though I like our pitching, it could again be the batting and defense that falls short.

I still get a queezy feeling concerning this whole Chipper at third, Prado in left deal.

I mean, great if it works, but I’m not sold on Chipper holding up for any length of time at all. Prado is going to find himself standing at third far more than probably anyone is willing to admit at this point.

So if it plays out that way, we have chaos in left, essentially.

Anyway, I hope Wren has this issue addressed when they break camp in March, if not sooner.

If we do win the division, I’ll bet Uggla has put up humongous numbers next year.

Cecil34

December 16th, 2010
3:52 pm

Heisenberg –

Yup, Evans and Aaron, but what’s more, Baker hit 20 and Lum hit 16 – it was a heck of a hitting lineup with Garr at leadoff, too bad they didn’t get the pitching to match it until a year later.

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

December 16th, 2010
3:53 pm

Whaddabout Rick Mahler and Pete Falcone?

Mutts

December 16th, 2010
4:16 pm

All the Phillies have is speculation about a high priced (and talented) starting 4. Until this staff delivers results (and championships) they are no more than hype.

ramblingman

December 16th, 2010
4:19 pm

Heisenberg – How could I leave out the Boog?

I will give myself 40 lashes with a wet noodle for that one. I repeat – what a team.

Walker, Texas Ranger

December 16th, 2010
4:45 pm

Tale of the tape

Halladay v. Maddux Push. These guys are both hall of famers in their primes

Lee v. Glavine Advantage: Glavine, no contest. Lee was even sent to the minors in the past few years, this is no comparison

Hammells v. Smoltz Advantage: Smoltz, see Glavine, this is not even close HOF vs 1 1/2 year wonder.

Oswalt v. Avery or Neagle. Advantage: Avery Braves pitchers were hitting their prime, Oswalt past his prime and a .500 pitcher.

See, when you use science, the answer is clear.

Younger Than That Now

December 16th, 2010
8:59 pm

Walker, Texas Ranger… not to be contentious here (this is the best Braves blog, participant speaking, I’ve seen in a long time) but your opinion is as good as mine or anyone else’s. BUT… IMO Halladay has a long way to go before we put his name in the same sentence with Maddux. I agree it could happen and he is fairly dominant right now, but even with the No No’s and such you don’t see him running out there in many hour and fifty six minute complete games while making 85 pitches. He is good… give the devil his due… but a “push” with Maddux… hardly. But, good comparisons still.

All I’ll say in comments to Carroll’s blog… btw, great job as always Carroll… is that it’s a long, long season and we’re still two months away from chunkers and backstops reporting to camp. I love to hear Don Sutton call a game and when you get him in a situation like this he’s hard to beat. Very insightful to both the history of pitchers and to consistently doing the job on the mound, day in and day out. I’ve heard many of the naysayers here complain about his work, but I for one love to hear him really get into good conversations and commentary about this game that I love.

I think the Braves again have the potential to have a starting rotation that a lot of us will talk about in the same terms that we do these great staffs of the past. Health is the biggest issue with any staff… the Braves and also the multi-million dollar pitchers the Phillies have gone out and hired. I like the fact that most of ours are home grown and raised from draft to now as Braves… I’ll take my chances with our guys at their present ages any day. GO BRAVES!!

Biff Pocoroba

December 16th, 2010
10:04 pm

Lets not over look the Preston Hannah and Craig Skok combination for the Braves.

EvansAtlanta

December 16th, 2010
10:04 pm

If Steve Avery had been granted adequate run support during his career, and an additional few years, and if Glavine had somehow mastered the first inning, the Braves rotation might have been equal to or better than the Dodger’s rotation of the 1960s. Nevertheless, it was a great honor to watch three to four excellent pitchers during summer evenings and during numerous memorable Octobers.

Matt the Brave

December 16th, 2010
10:16 pm

If Sutton says that Koufax and Drysdale are Elvis and Sinatra, does that make him Dean Martin? Hey, not a bad gig if he is…:D

ASA

December 16th, 2010
10:26 pm

much as we love bobby cox his way of managing might have cost 1 or 2 world campionships

Flippster

December 16th, 2010
11:50 pm

First you should know, I’m a Phillies fan. I’m excited about Cliff Lee coming back and the rotation that give us. On paper it looks amazing. But you don’t play games on paper. So much can happen during the 162 game season. I don’t think everyone in Philly is planning a parade come November. Certainly the rotation makes it difficult to lose many 3-4 game series, but come the play-offs, anything can happen. Don’t forget about those mid-year and end-of-year acquisitions. The Giants are World Series champs with players other teams didn’t want, e.g. Pat Burrell, Cody Ross. While folks point out that the Phillies lost Werth, who knows what players will be available come July? One thing that Ruben Amaro, Jr said during the Lee press conference was the fact that the Philadelphia fans, packing the stadium every night, provides the front office with the ability to make the kind of moves they’ve done the past year. Watching the roundups on MLB, one can’t help but notice the half empty (or half full) stadiums of teams – even those in a pennant race. (Okay, I am talking about the Bravo fans, the Rays fans, the Rockies fans, the Padres fans, ChiSox fans). As much as I love the Phillies, I think it would be in the best interest of baseball if other clubs, like the Pirates or Nationals could make a run once in a while. One last point that can’t be dismissed. Those great rotations – Bravos, Indians in ‘54, O’s…didn’t win a lot of WS. So don’t go ordaining the Phillies World Champs yet. Lot of baseball to be played. Sixty days until pitchers and catchers report.

reckingball

December 17th, 2010
1:19 am

I think that the Braves will win the division in 2011, anyway.

ISH

December 17th, 2010
3:16 am

I think one thing you have to remember about the Phil’s current rotation is that aside from Hamels, they were all superstars before they got to Philly and they were “bought”… and put together only because of the the Phil’s deep pockets… Hell yes I’m a hater, happen to be a Braves fan and this kind of crap makes me sick to my stomach… not nostalgic or dreamy eyed like it seems to make Don and 99% of the talking heads out there… That’s ok though, I hated the Phil’s before they got Lee and I’ll hate them long after he’s gone…

bill

December 17th, 2010
7:59 am

sutton is bias toward his teammates. Look at Drysdale’s record and you will see that in the era he pitched in he is lacking the stats and record of a hall of famer. He played with excellent teams and has the same stats as journeyman Milt Pappas. He lost as many games as he won. I would suggest that it would be hard to justify puttng him or tony perez in the hall as they relied on their teammates to be stars. Drysdale is in the Hall because he was a media guy after he retired. Best rotation in the 70″s Vida Blue, BlueMoon Odom, Catfish Hunter and Ken Holtzman. Remember 3 straight series wins . dominated the big red machine.

Voice of Reason

December 17th, 2010
8:20 am

Now @bill has put some real reason into the discussion. That staff, and team, the A’s put on the field in the 70’s was as dominant as any save the 40’s and 50’s Yankees. Their wins over the Big Red Machine demonstrated that dominance. This was before the free agent market was in full stride so many on that team were draft picks and A’s farm hands. Of course, Charlie Finley did like to open the wallet to make sure that he kept an advantage over his opponents. I often thought Ted Turner, with less success, and George Steinbrenner, with more success, were influenced greatly by Charlie’s A’s teams of the 70’s.
Carroll – this is a great blog and is just waht is needed 2 months before pitchers and catchers in Florida and Arizona!

Mitchell

December 17th, 2010
9:45 am

Again, as much as I hate the Giants, what more do they have to do to be considered the automatic best rotation in baseball in 2010?

Even with the Phillies signing Cliff Lee, the Giants are still better until further notice.

And believe me when I tell you that I hate the Giants. I’m just trying to give credit where credit is due.

Lee

December 17th, 2010
9:51 am

The 1954 Cleveland Indians 5 starters won a combined 97 of the 111 wins that year. They had 3 Hall of Famers (Feller, Wynn, Lemon) among the starters and 1 (Hal Newhouser) out of the bullpen.

Lee

December 17th, 2010
9:53 am

Correction–93 not 97.

Don in TN

December 17th, 2010
10:07 am

But the Indians were swept in the WS by the Giants. the ‘71 Orioles lost the WS, and we know what happened with the great Braves rotations of the ’90s, only 1 WS win. I think this just goes to prove that Bobby Cox was right when he said once you get to the playoffs it’s a crapshoot. anything can happen.
Did anyone watch the showing on MLB of the 1960 WS game 7 the other night? someone said that Mickey Mantle cried after losing the series because he thougt the Yankees were a better team than the Giants.

DCBrave

December 17th, 2010
11:08 am

Sutton keeps using phrases like “if they stay healthy” or “if they stay well,” which I think are really the key words. With their ages and the number of complete games (in the case of Halladay), it’s gonna awfully hard for them to stay healthy for long. For the Braves on the other hand, they are either young or just coming back from surgeries, and given the recent history of those coming back from Tommy John, we’re more confident that the Braves rotation is gonna be healthier and for a longer time.

Sportsradio PD

December 17th, 2010
11:16 am

Don Sutton-class act and a great broadcaster. Got to meet him this past summer in a meeting w/FWren, & J Shurholtz. I was treated like I was a part of the group. BTW, I asked FWren that day why we didn’t go after Podsednick and was told (by FW), “he doesnt really fit”. Frank, GET PODSEDNICK, he’s affordable and would be a perfect fit for what we need.
Thanks Don Sutton for all you bring to the Braves.

timthebrave

December 17th, 2010
11:26 am

Hammels is not consistent enough to be considered a great pitcher or ace…He is more like Avery. Oswalt is a good pitcher and a solid #2. Lee and Halladay are definitely number 1 type starters but the only one that will even sniff the hall of fame is Halladay as long as he stays healthy. The Braves had 3 hall of famers pitching in their prime for many consecutive years. The Phillies have a great staff but not the greatest of all time staff. can’t compare with teams before 1980 but I can’t remember a more dominant top 3 than the Braves.

Carl

December 17th, 2010
11:34 am

“Hammels is not consistent enough to be considered a great pitcher or ace.”

Hamels has posted an ERA under 3.39 in 3 of the last 4 seasons. He anchored the Phillies rotation as the #1…how is that not an ace? Did Avery ever anchor a staff in the postseason? Did Avery finisg out the NLCS and the World Series?

Go Phillies

December 17th, 2010
11:51 am

@reckingball (actually, it should be spelled “wrecking ball”, genius) you are delusional. That’s a pretty arrogant statement. Your team has talent, but that talent does not stack up to the PROVEN talent on the Phillies. You are either trying to stir the s**t pot or your knowledge of baseball is extremely limited. Based on your spelling of the word “wrecking”, I would bet on the latter rather than the former. Dan Uggla is a great hitter, but a defensive liability. Our loss of Werth, even though he hit for average, will not hurt that badly as he was HORRIBLE with RISP, and in the clutch he was a strike out machine. Both teams had injuries last year, with our entire core playing together maybe 20 games and we STILL won 97 games, more than any other team. Add Lee and stay healthy and this team could win 110 games this year. Please enlighten us as to how you came to the conclusion “that the Braves will win the division in 2011, anyway”. I would love to understand how you came to that obviously well thought out conclusion. I’m being facetious, of course.

Go Phillies

December 17th, 2010
11:52 am

@ ISH: The only pitcher that was “bought” was Lee this year. Halladay came via trade, Oswalt via trade, and Lee via trade the first time we picked him up. Please get your facts straight, “hater”.

Go Phillies

December 17th, 2010
11:59 am

@ Carl: Some of these fans just love to tear apart the proven talent in pitching that the Phillies have assembled. Of course, when you mention anything about their rotation of Maddux, Glavin, Avery, and Smoltz, they expect everyone to genuflect, even though that great rotation only won ONE WS. The Phillies are on their way to their 5th division title in a row and could match the Braves 9 before it’s all over. Don’t expect the haters in the Brave’s fan base to admit anything good about the Phillies. They are so filled with hatred that it clouds their judgment.

Roger De Bris

December 17th, 2010
1:38 pm

I wouldn’t have wanted to be seated next to him at a dinner party, though. ETE

———–

From that description of Feller, Ted Williams and Bob Feller seated at a dinner party would have made an entertaining arrangement.

ATLcracker

December 17th, 2010
1:54 pm

People who weren’t watching the braves in the early 90’s don’t realize what a stud Steve Avery was. Pull up wikipedia and read the paragraph labeled 1991. He had less than 3 years before he got hurt and was never the same.

kool$kat

December 17th, 2010
3:55 pm

Don in TN – Yankees lost to Pirates in ‘60, not Giants. Bill Mazerowski hit game-winning HR that brought tears to Mick’s eyes.

Kudos to bill – that Oakland rotation was killer in the 70s.

kool$kat

December 17th, 2010
4:03 pm

http://joeposnanski.si.com/2010/12/14/great-four-man-rotations-wbill-james/?xid=si_topstories

the above link is to an awesome article about the best rotations alltime. it rehashes some of the arguments above, but adds a lot more insight and factoids.

Nick P.

December 17th, 2010
7:41 pm

talk is cheap, on paper many teams in all sports were supposed to be it, on paper, Yankees are supposed to win it every year, on paper, it was supposed to be Yankees against the Phillies, remember? In reality, baseball has the longest season with the most games, injuries are devastating, and 3 of this four are in their or near mid-thirties, which means if dominant, it would only be for atwo to three years, from the time Maddux joined the Braves in 1993 season, he lasted with glavine and Smoltz for eleven years, winning their division, getting to the playoffs and having a shot at the ring, time will tell, short time to because pretty soon Halladay & Oswalt will become history and that will leave Hamel and Lee, BTW, i am not too sold on Lee yet, he did not do it with indians, and during the world series he was not very good at all, so lets sy I am a bit of a skeptic and doubt they will be anywhere near the Braves trio of 1990s and 2000s!

Tommy Boggs

December 17th, 2010
7:54 pm

TO:Go Phillies

You thought you had your ticket punched to the WS last year but we saw what happened. You have an old team with a bunch of over payed players (Yankees of the NL).
We have a better 2nd baseman.
I will admit your 1st baseman has the biggest nose!
See you in April!!

[...] games pitched by Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. Here’s what he had to say about what … bat sleeve – Bing News Share and [...]

stew

December 18th, 2010
10:28 am

Big difference between Braves and Phils rotation is that we didn’t pay over 20 million a year for 2 of the pitchers. We developed our pitchers (except Maddux), we didn’t buy them. Even Oswalt was a salary dump.. Also, it can be argued that Hallyday, Lee, and Oswalt are on the downside of their careers. Each one of them would be lucky to have 4 years left. Between them (all four) they’re lucky to total 600-650 wins. Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz totaled around 850 wins. It’s like if asked “who’s the greatest lefty of all time?”,most people would say Koufax. However, Spahn won 363 games and Koufax won 165. Objectively, Koufax won less games than Bob Buhl. How many of you ever heard of Bob Buhl?

stew

December 18th, 2010
10:50 am

Go Phillies
Listen SCUMBAG. Phils have a payroll that’s double the Braves payroll and basically they’re down to 4 position players J-Roll/Howard/Utley/Shane and J-Roll and Utley are injury prone. Braves have McCann/Freddie/J-Hey/Prado/Chipper/Uggla. OK, I agree Chip is dubious. But, right now Phils have one outfielder. Braves have the better position players. Plus, Braves have Teheran, Delgado, and Vizcaino waiting in the wings. BRAVES HAVE THE BETTTER FUTURE SCUMBAG AND THE BETTER TEAM RIGHT NOW. NOW GET OFF OUR SITE.

braves70

December 18th, 2010
4:39 pm

I always remember Don Sutton joking about the 1966 Dodgers staff. He said Maury Wills led off with a bunt hit, stole second, advanced to 3rd on a ground out by Jim Gilliam, and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Lou Johnson. Someone would then tell the starters “Okay boys. There’s your run. Now all you have to do is shut them out.”

I wish the Braves would return to the use of speed and base running like that. Waiting for the 3 run homer is way too overrated.

BB fan

December 18th, 2010
4:46 pm

who cares what this by-gone blow-hard has to say…’back when i played…’

the real Old Gold

December 18th, 2010
6:36 pm

There’s no comparison to the mid 90’s Braves.

Mutts

December 18th, 2010
8:38 pm

Phillies “big 4″ look good on paper; until they do something great, they are just overpriced hype.

Mutts

December 18th, 2010
8:39 pm

Phillies were everyone’s pick to win it all last year – how’d that work out?

Mutts

December 18th, 2010
8:42 pm

Philly trolls were all big talk going into the playoffs in 2010. Then, like the trolls they are, they disappeared when their overhyped Phillies folded to The Giants. Now the trolls are beginning to resurface for the 2011 season.

Lost Cause

December 18th, 2010
11:43 pm

Hey, this years Braves rotation is better. We have five pitchers, they only have four. Just wait until Medlen returns, we have six.

Macon Dog in the Middle East

December 20th, 2010
6:12 am

I’m living outside the good ole USA, and I consider “the world” to begin in the Atlanta vicinity. It surely is great to have Don Sutton back in the Braves’ booth. I really enjoy his insight, and I remember the give and take with which he and Skip Caray kept us in stitches. I’d like to commend him, as well, for the comments that he made to Jane Leavy, the fine Washington Post sports writer, while she was researching her terrific biography of Sandy Koufax, “A Lefty’s Legacy.” In that fine book, Leavy recalls the first time the Dodgers came to newly-opened Atlanta Stadium. Koufax was that series’ opening-game pitcher for the Dodgers, and the lines for tickets were miles long. I remember, because, like everyone else, I wanted to see Koufax pitch. In my opinion, he is simply the greatest pitcher in Baseball history. I had to settle for tickets to the second game, when Drysdale, true to form, was also overpowering. I also remember that game for a point of Baseball trivia: Maury Wills hit a home run, pulling out a weapon that neither he nor his teammates used often. As for great rotations, don’t forget that of the 1969 “Miracle Mets”: Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Gary Gentry (who later came to the Braves), and Nolan Ryan; with relief from Tug McGraw and Ron Taylor. As long-suffering Braves fans will remember, in the inaugural National League Championship Series, the Mets won their first pennant by sweeping the Braves in three games. Koufax is the best lefthander I have seen. Seaver, Spahn and Maddux are the best right-handers. (Of course, Sutton must also be mentioned with the all-time greats.)

Macon Dog in the Middle East

December 20th, 2010
6:17 am

CORRECTION: Sorry about putting Spahn in the group of righthanders! I meant to say that, in my opinion, he is the only other LEFTY (among those I have seen) who can be mentioned with Koufax. Spahn was much more durable, lasting twenty-some odd seasons of countless complete-game wins.

Macon Dog in the Middle East

December 20th, 2010
6:33 am

I’ve now had a chance to look over the other fans’ entries, and I’m glad to see several have also remembered the ‘69 Mets’ rotation. I’m sorry I didn’t remember right away the terrific Oakland A’s rotation anchored by Macon’s own dynamic duo of Vida Blue and Blue Moon Odom (together with Catfish Hunter and Ken Holtzman).
Go Braves!

Mutts

December 20th, 2010
2:52 pm

Macon Dog in the Middle East: I’m sure you also remember that when we were swept by the Mets in the 1969 NL Championship Series, the great Hank Aaron homered in each of the (3) games.

Edge

December 20th, 2010
10:02 pm

I would like to take a moment to point out the Hall of Fame talent on the Dodgers staff of the 1960s and the Braves staff of the 1990s. Each had multiple shoe ins for the hall of fame, one had a pitcher that with just 10 years of service was so dominating that he was good enough.

At this point, can you really say any of these pitchers are shoe ins for the hall on the Phillies rotation. As good as they actually are, they are older. I mean I’m not sure on the wins side of thing but the Braves had 2 300 game winners and a 200 game winning pitcher with 150+ saves.

Roy Halladay is the best shot at getting to 300 wins for the Phillies rotation and he would have to nearly average out 18 wins per season for the next 7 years(til he is 40) to get there. Of all the great rotations this rotation doesn’t hold a candle to the Dodgers or Braves rotations.

Mutts

December 20th, 2010
10:25 pm

Edge: I agree with everything you said. Halladay is the best pitcher in baseball, but he will need about 5-7 additional great seasons in order to be considered for the Hall of Fame. Oswalt has been very good, but is not HOF. Lee will not make the Hall, but with the contract he just signed, he can visit Cooperstown any time he likes.

Sonny

December 24th, 2010
1:08 pm

Roy Halladay is going to make the HOF no doubt in my mind, Oswalt is on pace to be a borderline candidate. Lee will not make it because he started his greatness too late.

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October 5th, 2013
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