Originally Posted by mahagga73
Eckersley clearly had a better career in my opinion, hands down, so we disagree on that. Eck was an all time great closer and a very good starter. Smoltz was a really good closer and a very good starter. Eck was great at one and Smoltz was great at neither. Like I said before when I saw Eck close I always thought this guy has to be one of the best ever and the numbers bear it out. Never once did I ever think that about Smoltz. Eck is clearly above him in my opinion, he had longer peak years of excellence. Curious as to why you think Smoltz is above Eck, I mean I would like to hear the reasoning, maybe there was something I missed. 194-126, 3.46 career ERA, 7-2 postseason play, all in the steroid era . David Cone's numbers are also comparable to Smoltz, though you will never hear him being trumpeted for the Hall. I know I sound like a hater but the reality is if you let Smoltz in there are dozens of pitchers , very comparable, who could also lay a legitimate claim . And Billy Pierce is one of them, along with Brown, John, on and on and on.
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.