If you watch morning sports talk shows, then you know shows like “First Take,” Undisputed” and “First Things First” typically don’t stray far from the NBA or the NFL.
And, well, it probably should stay that way.
Case in point: “First Things First” co-host Nick Wright, who sat in his chair Wednesday morning and said that Clayton Kershaw is better than Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens. Furthermore, Wright also believes that Kershaw is the best pitcher since Sandy Koufax.
Check this out:
OK, let’s get this clear: Kershaw absolutely is one of the best — if not the best — pitchers of his generation. And when all is said and done, he might go down as one of the best of all time.
But but the best since Koufax? Here are few pitchers we’d put above Kershaw on that list:
— Bob Gibson
— Randy Johnson
— Roger Clemens
— Pedro Martinez
— Greg Maddux
We also could be talked in to putting pitchers like John Smoltz, Justin Verlander and and Max Scherzer ahead of Kershaw –but whatever.
Now, Kershaw’s numbers do stack up well against Martinez’s. But Martinez does have a slight edge in most statistical categories, and was able to dominate hitters in the thick of the steroid era. That matters.
There’s also the eye test to consider, and it’s hard to argue against how Martinez, Johnson and Clemens looked at the height of the powers, especially in the playoffs.
Still, don’t let Kershaw’s dud Tuesday night in Game 1 of the World Series fool you: This is one of the best pitchers the game ever has seen, and one who is sure-fire first-ballot hall of famer.
But let’s cool it with hyperbole, Nicholas.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images