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Thread: Why do we have closers again?

  1. #26
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    Let's blame Jeter. The SOB is at fault for so much already....
    "Herman Franks to Sal Yvars to Bobby Thomson. Ralph Branca to Bobby Thomson to Helen Rita... cue Russ Hodges."

  2. #27
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    The simple hard cold fact of the matter is that we have Closers today because the starting pitchers are babied and unable to pitch many innings. These days a Starter goes 6 innings or so. Then we get the set-up men, lefty or righty or both, with the Closer coming in to 'close' it out.

    The Starters are throwing so many pitches, nibbling around the plate, that thie pitch count is fairly high. Once they get around 100 pitches it's time to call for the bullpen.

    I, too, saw a stat that indicates that teams were holding onto leads from the 8th inning on 40 or 50 years ago at the same rate they are today. Biggest difference is that the starters just don't go as far anymore.

    I would like to see the Closer pitch at least 2 innings myself. I view Saves as a somewhat secondary, kind of 'invented' stat. Of course, being a Yankee fan, nothing can say 'That's it' than seeing Mariano Rivera enter the game.

    Yankees Fan Since 1957

  3. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Cold Nose View Post
    Yep, the players deserve all the scorn.

    Tad buit harsh to call them bums, don't you think? And fatties? They may not have had your illustrious career and Adonis-like form, but they've done a heck of a job at what they've been paid to do.

    We can't all be Mr. Wonderful, Mr. Wonderful.
    At no point did I say anything about my own ability, Cold Nose. I couldn't pitch my way out of a paper bag, but that doesn't mean I can't evaluate the game. I don't assume that you are saying that you could do better if you are to say something about a player being overrated or anything else of that sort. What I am saying is that at a major league level, where the pitchers in the game are supposed to be the greatest in the world, it shouldn't impress peopl that much if a pitcher can throw one scoreless inning on a regularl basis. I believe that most good starting pitchers could be lights out closers. Mariano Rivera would be little more than a mediocre starter, but John Smoltz, when he moved to the bullpen, was absolutley dominant, because he didn't have to pace himself as much. Starters are more durable, and therefore, more dependable, and therefore, more skilled than relievers. That's why I have far less respect for closers, and don't think that anyone who is purely a closer deserves consideration for the Hall of Fame.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by apbaball View Post
    Starters used to go much further of course, but I read in a book (which I cannot recall the title now) that the pitch count for a pitcher today is much higher for the same number of innings. Pitchers challenged hitters more in previous decades and as a result they threw far less pitches. Current pitchers must nibble more and as a result each batter sees more pitches. There were many suggestions for this...more players are HR threats as almost everyone now is capable of hitting 20 HRs partly and partly due to size as well as the sandbox new stadiums. Players are taught to work the count more. The stirike zone has shrunk somewhat as well.

    I don't mind closers as much as the reliever comes in for one batter scenario repeated several times over the course on the same inning. The latter is the one I wish they could put limits on.
    Christy Matthewson in PITCHING IN A PINCH mentions preparing himself for "100 pitches".

    Nowadays that would be called pitching to contact.

    The "closer' role is now taken by a man who would have been called a "fireman" from say 1960 to about 1977.

    The big difference in the 21st. Century is that almost everyone takes out the starter according to pitch counts rather than by the score.

    Increased use of middle relievers is one of the driving engines of high save totals and specialized closers.

    Yes, apbaball I agree that the current stadiums have a role as well.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadball-era-rules View Post
    At no point did I say anything about my own ability, Cold Nose. I couldn't pitch my way out of a paper bag, but that doesn't mean I can't evaluate the game. I don't assume that you are saying that you could do better if you are to say something about a player being overrated or anything else of that sort. What I am saying is that at a major league level, where the pitchers in the game are supposed to be the greatest in the world, it shouldn't impress peopl that much if a pitcher can throw one scoreless inning on a regularl basis. I believe that most good starting pitchers could be lights out closers. Mariano Rivera would be little more than a mediocre starter, but John Smoltz, when he moved to the bullpen, was absolutley dominant, because he didn't have to pace himself as much. Starters are more durable, and therefore, more dependable, and therefore, more skilled than relievers. That's why I have far less respect for closers, and don't think that anyone who is purely a closer deserves consideration for the Hall of Fame.
    I was even more disappointed in your "DH" fatties comment. Jim Thome is not fat. Also, David Ortiz is one HELL of a good hitter. These men are tremendous at what they do... your point about closers was just as demeaning but fairly true - most good relievers are failed starters.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar View Post
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  6. #31
    Sorry, nerfan. I apologize for the DH = fatties statement. What I meant was "DH" often means "a player who would not be able to cut the mustard in the majors if they had to play the field." Without the DH, Thome would have had to retire by now, and Ortiz on defense would definitely legitimize the nickname "Big Sloppy." I don't give much credit to anything a player does when not playing both defense and offense. It's baseball, not football, for cryin' out loud.

  7. #32
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    Has anyone asked the question about pitch counts? Have they increased over the years? Pitching too much tends to wear out a pitchers arm.
    The Evil Empire shall strike back again!
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  8. #33
    I don't think that pitch counts existed until fairly recent history. I'm prepared to be corrected, but I'm pretty confident that the number of pitches thrown was not closely mointored until the last 25 years or so. In my readings, I didn't hear much talk about it from players or media until at least into the 80s.

  9. #34
    On pitch counts, I seem to recall Ryan up over 150 several times, but I do not recall close monitoring of same at the time. It would be interesting to note the pitch counts of big-time K pitchers like Koufax, Feller, McDowell, Carlton, Seaver, some of the older guys, in making this assertion. On an overall basis, though, I think Smoltz and Eckersley are two fine examples of how much only-closers are not necessarily needed: they were fading (not so much in Smoltz's case, but still) starters who dominated as closers. In the same vein, Rivera or Sutter or any number of one-pitch guys would not last overlong as starters. Incredible closer stats seem somewhat cherry-picked to me; a stud reliever in the Hall is someone like Gossage or Fingers, who went out there for a few. So yeah, I think most middling starters would make fine closers, and almost all good starters would be awesome closers, not having to hold anything back. Only-closers are way over-rated.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Gallanter View Post

    The "closer' role is now taken by a man who would have been called a "fireman" from say 1960 to about 1977.

    .
    I don't agree with this. I remember the firemen. They would come in virtually any inning with the game on the line and possibly finish the game. Todays's closer often come in with no runners on base and pitch for only inning. The firemen were impressive, closers are are not very impressive.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdTarbusz View Post
    I don't agree with this. I remember the firemen. They would come in virtually any inning with the game on the line and possibly finish the game. Todays's closer often come in with no runners on base and pitch for only inning. The firemen were impressive, closers are are not very impressive.
    My comment is not an appraisal of the firmen's talent but of their role.

    Tug McGraw was used in the fireman role, often in tie games.

    If McGraw were young today he would be a closer.

    What I am saying is that roles have changed.

    It is very debateable whether it is a tangibile improvement.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadball-era-rules View Post
    I don't think that pitch counts existed until fairly recent history. I'm prepared to be corrected, but I'm pretty confident that the number of pitches thrown was not closely mointored until the last 25 years or so. In my readings, I didn't hear much talk about it from players or media until at least into the 80s.
    I was born in 1958 and grew up in Long Island.

    Ralph Kiner of WOR 9 often mentioned "he's thrown a lot of pitches" and would occasionally mention that say; Gay Gentry, "has thrown 100 pitches already."

    Did anyone here have a radio and/or TV guy who would mention things like that?

  13. #38
    There are 2 different questions that have to be answered seperately:

    1. are closers as valuable as starters and deserve HOF induction?-I believe usually not. the only reliever that has enough value to compete with starters for the HOF is mariano. He has 52.9 WAR which is more than quite a few starters in the hall. he deserves it by any means. other relievers including hoffman usually have around 30 WAR or less. they don't deserve induction if you just go by players value and ignore things like "pressure situations" (which is very debatable anyway)

    2.Is a good bullpen and esp. closer necessary to compete in todays game?-I say yes. there is a reason why teams like the yankees spend big amounts on relievers. they are not dumb. Todays lineups are so strong 1-8 that every pitch must be full intensity. back in the old days only 1-5 usually where good hitters and the pitcher then could relax and cruise to the bottom of the lineup. facing those guys 4 times a game meaned that you had at least 12 easy ABs. so 100 pitches then where a very different thing from 100 pitches now. with todays deep lineups and the small strike zone every pitch needs to be maximum intensity. does anyone seriously believe today's pitchers are less durable then old timers?
    we regularly see that the teams with the best bullpens win. many solid teams failed because of their lack of bullpen. the giants bullpen was lights out last year and one of the deciding factors.

    So I say. closers have less value then starters and usually don't deserve HOF induction, but they are absolutely needed to suceed in today's game.
    I think walks are overrated unless you can run. If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps, but the guy who walks and cant run, most of the time hes clogging up the bases for somebody who can run. Dusty Baker.

  14. #39
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    Mariano's WAR is so high because BRef uses leverage index as part of their WAR calculations.

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    Complete Games

    Good morning...I am putting together a list of the greatest complete games in baseball history..It doesn't have to be just winning complete games, perfect gms, no hitters, etc...I would like to know someones memories of complet gms in their lifetime such as great losing complete gms, clutch complete gms, memorable finishes, etc..examples would be Harvey Haddix 1959 almost xtra inning no hitter that ends in a loss, Mickey Lolich 1968 Gm. 7 win over Gibson, Koufax 1965 Gm. 7 win on two days rest..etc..I hope you get the idea and would appreciate feedback..ty..would especially like to hear about complet gm losses that are memorable to someone..

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