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Arbitrary Relieving

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  • Arbitrary Relieving

    I've mentioned this elsewhere in the past several years, but as long as I'm thinking about it while in the Mets forum, I'll mention it again here.

    I'm so tired of the way 21st Century pitching is managed. For 100 years, the pitcher stayed in the game until he was ostentatiously tired and needed to be relieved. For the past ten or twenty years (beginning with Tony LaRussa), pitch counts have dictated when a pitcher comes out, come hell or high water. A relieved pitcher now has virtually nothing to do with how well he's pitching!

    For just one of many instances, Dickey was throwing a shutout Friday night. He went through 7 innings and was arbitrarily pinch-hit for because he'd thrown 101 pitches. The guy was throwing a nine-hit seven-K shutout! ...and he's a knuckleballer!!

    When I was a kid, I vividly recall games when a pitcher was having trouble in the fifth or sixth, a reliever (like Tug McGraw, e.g.) came in to finish the remaining three or four innings. Or when a pitcher was on his game, a complete effort was not unheard of. I miss the complete game, as I'm sure we all do. That formula worked for a century.

    Now, I don't mind if statisticians wish to keep track of how many pitches a pitcher throws from game to game and throughout his career, but I am just so sick to death of this arbitrary relieving of a pitcher who's still entirely on his game, just to take a chance on a reliever who may or may not have his stuff that particular day. It happened today with Pelfrey, who was quite settled in by the time of his 100th pitch.

    Am I think only one who's fed up with this no-longer-new "tradition"?

    P.S. And if this tradition is to continue, what keeps the NL from adopting the DH? Without much of a pinch-hitting strategy remaining -- not to mention the every-day Interleague Play that begins next season -- why doesn't the Senior League finally catch up with the rest of the baseball world? This isn't meant to bitch at me about hating the DH. Just think about what I've written and think about it.
    Put it in the books.

  • #2
    Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated recently had a good column on this "groupthink":

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201...nts/index.html

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    • #3
      Excellent article, VIB. It explains a lot, stopping just short of calling it collusion.

      And to think, it all began with Tony LaRussa and Dennis Eckersley. Who'd've thought it would become the hard-and-fast standard in the first decade of the new century? For a while, I thought Ranger Ryan was successfully bucking the trend, but there are 29 other teams that continue to keep it going, almost like a "gentlemen's agreement." Where's Branch Rickey when you need him?
      Put it in the books.

      Comment


      • #4
        A big part of the problem is
        the blame game and the fear factor

        to this date the yankees are still blaming the mets for overusing pedro feliciano
        Wiki=
        Feliciano signed a two-year contract worth $8 million with the New York Yankees.
        He has since been placed on the Disabled List because of soreness in his left shoulder.
        On April 25, orthopedist James Andrews recommended a six-week strengthening program for the pitcher.
        Pedro was shut down for the 2011 season.
        The Yankees front office said the reason behind Feliciano's injury was that the Mets overused him.
        The reason for Feliciano's trip to the disabled list was due to rotator cuff surgery.
        Because of it, he is expected to not make one pitch over his entire contract.

        and let not forget the $40M the yankees gave to american idle carl pavano

        the fear of losing money brings the blame game

        reminds me of a classic (LOL) group back in the 1980's
        sigpic

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        • #5
          It's because teams are focused on padding a worthless statistic for a worthless position: The save and the closer, respectively.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by VIBaseball View Post
            Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated recently had a good column on this "groupthink":

            http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201...nts/index.html
            Pretty ironic Verducci of all people would have the gall to call people out on this. Yeah I know the guys cited were over 25 but still when they name a rule pertaining to limiting pitchers innings after you you give up all rights to snicker.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Cowtipper View Post
              It's because teams are focused on padding a worthless statistic for a worthless position: The save and the closer, respectively.
              This is probably the most succinct, accurately put statement I've read on the topic to date. To think that's the bottom line makes it seem even more ridiculous and unnecessary.

              Originally posted by PVNICK View Post
              Pretty ironic Verducci of all people would have the gall to call people out on this. Yeah I know the guys cited were over 25 but still when they name a rule pertaining to limiting pitchers innings after you you give up all rights to snicker.
              Good point.
              Put it in the books.

              Comment


              • #8
                One word, three syllables:

                La-Russ-a

                The master of padding relievers' stats - and it sadly caught on.
                Cleon Jones catches a deep fly ball in F. Scott Fitzgerald's Valley of the Ashes, and a second-grader smiles in front of the black and white television.

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