Originally Posted by chicagowhitesox1
John smoltz in 21 seasons compiled a 62.8 career war, Dennis Eckersley in 24 seasons compiled a 58.6 career war. Now i'll admit thats pretty even but what closes the deal for me is Smoltz was a much better starting pitcher and Smoltz could have had a career as a closer equal to Eckersley but he decided to be a starter again something Eckersley would never have been able to do. Eckersley gets alot of accolades for coverting from starter to reliever and being succesful as a reliever but he was actually somewhat overrated as a closer. He had some outsatnding years with Oakland. I would give him 3 great years as a closer and the rest were pretty average and borderline below average. He gets alot of credit for racking up a bunch of saves which is one of the most overrated stats in baseball.
Smoltz had a career era+ of 125 while Eckersley was 111. Thats not even close and that should tell you right there Smoltz was better. I will give Eckersley credit for having the most dominating season ever for a closer (1990) but one or two seasons aren't enough in my opinion to be considered better than Smoltz.
but "could have" don't count.