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Who was better? Randy Johnson or Greg Maddux?

Jul 1, 2013, 1:32 PM EDT

Image (1) maddux1.jpg for post 4264

David Laurila of FanGraphs had a great conversation starter last week when he asked some players and coaches who they thought was “better” — Babe Ruth or Barry Bonds. He didn’t define “better.” He made his interviewees figure that out and then talk about it a bit. It was cool because it had other players assess baseball performance, which is something we don’t see too often.

David does it again this week, asking who was better: Randy Johnson or Greg Maddux?

Maddux is my favorite player of all time so I’m disqualifying myself due to clear, unshakeable bias. But what say y’all?

  1. jayscarpa - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    Johnson had 7 post season wins, 5 of them against the Yankees.

    I’ll take Maddux

  2. rickdobrydney - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    “Favorite player of all time ????” —– Kidding, right ??? Well, I guess brainy, nerd types stick together —-

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      You find it surprising that one of the best Pitchers in the History of the game is someone’s favorite player? Really? Noooo. Can’t be. Serious? Or are you just being a Penishead?

  3. Ducky Medwick - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    Maddux is my all time favorite as well, but I also think RJ was “better.” Not sure how to feel just now.

  4. earpaniac - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Maddux was the best pitcher I ever saw. And I must be older than most, because I hear “Pudge” and I immediately think of #72, or #27, depending on your allegiance. The other one is a copycat! Lol

  5. whitdog23 - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    FanGraphs is awesome!!! just dumped HardBall Talk and will get my baseball news there now…PLUS clever ideas for debate!!

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:05 PM

      Great! Take care Whit!

  6. cardinalcrazy - Jul 1, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    If heads, then Maddux, if tails then Johnson. Flip coin … and it lands on tails. After an exhausted scientific study, Johnson narrowly beats out Maddux.

  7. nbjays - Jul 1, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    Johnson was a tall, intimidating power pitcher who used nasty, filthy stuff to get guys out. Maddux was a finesse pitcher who used his brain to get guys out.

    Mad Dog beats the Unit easily, although if either of them is not a first-ballot, unanimous HoF inductee, then the entire BBWAA needs to be lined up and shot and replaced with people who are semi-intelligent.

  8. modellforprez - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:31 PM


  9. largebill - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    This is not a great match up for comparison. Randy might be better compared to Nolan Ryan. Both had control issues early on that became less of an issue as they matured as pitchers. Obviously both Ryan and Johnson were the premier power pitchers of their eras. While Maddux racked up a lot of K’s he wasn’t nearly in the same category as Johnson as a power pitcher. Bottom line, I’d be damn glad to have either anchoring my team’s rotation.

  10. olk777 - Jul 2, 2013 at 10:35 AM


    I would rather have him pitch game seven of the World Series.

    That’s how I judge these things.

  11. stlouis1baseball - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    Randy Johnson was a great pitcher. One of the best. No question.
    That in mind…this isn’t even a hard decision for me. Greg Maddux…hands down.

    My reasononing? With Johnson…you are getting one of two pitches.
    With Maddux…you are getting one of about twelve variations of pitches.
    If I am hitting against Johnson I look fastball…fastball…slider (and it’s filthy)…fastball…
    slider (and it’s filthy)….fastball…then when I am not sure…I look fastball.

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