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The Closer Debate

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The Closer Debate

Postby Syfo-Dyas » Thu Mar 20, 2008 2:57 am

The Closers Thread was not the place for this debate so I just opened a topic for it.
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Re: The Closer Debate

Postby Syfo-Dyas » Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:03 am

Syfo-Dyas wrote:
BronXBombers51 wrote:
ImTheScientist wrote:Now why the hell would you not use Marmol as the closer w/ his ST performance and Woods injury history.


Because Piniella doesn't want his best reliever locked into a closer role, when closing usually isn't the most demanding role in the bullpen. He wants the flexibility to use Marmol when the Cubs need outs the most.


Yes. That is the best way to use the bullpen.
I think Ive said this about 10 times in this thread.
People should listen, and not ask the same question 100 times.
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Re: The Closer Debate

Postby Syfo-Dyas » Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:06 am

BronXBombers51 wrote:
Bloody Sox wrote:
Syfo-Dyas wrote:Yes. That is the best way to use the bullpen.
I think Ive said this about 10 times in this thread.

Right... which is why Papelbon, K-Rod, Mariano, Nathan, and Putz should definitely not be closing. :-?


In reality, they probably shouldn't. The 9th inning isn't always the toughest inning for the bullpen. As a manager, I'd much rather bring Mariano or Papelbon into a 4-4 game in the 7th with runners on 1st and 2nd and nobody out rather than trust the job to a lesser pitcher like Farnsworth or Timlin.

Having a "closer" pretty much guarantees that the pitcher will only be used at the conclusion of a game. You rarely ever see a closer come into a game in the 7th inning. Occasionally you'll see a 2-inning save in a big game, but generally, closers pitch the 9th and that's it. It really doesn't make sense that you'd prevent yourself from using your best reliever in the most dire situation of the game, simply because he's the "closer" and must only pitch to end the game.
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Re: The Closer Debate

Postby Syfo-Dyas » Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:10 am

one ton wrote:
Bloody Sox wrote:I think a lot of this is true in theory, but in practice it doesn't seem to work out that way. Closers clearly like to have defined roles at the end of the game and tend to suck in non-save chances, while a lot of guys who can't handle that closer role thrive in the setup role - even when the stakes are high. While there might be more dire points in the game where it is won or lost, closing requires guys to go out there and pitch without a safety net. Obviously, certain save opps are much easier than others, but you're still the one nailing down the game while those important points in the 7th and 8th innings simply aren't do-or-die. Granted, there's no reason why any pitcher should pitch better or worse given the situation, but they clearly do.


Agreed. Having lived through the closer by committee experiment, there is no way I'd rather have Papelbon coming in at various crucial moments, be it 6th, 7th, etc. There definitely seems to be something about the 9th inning that guys can either deal with or not, regardless of ability.

I think this is one of those theories that makes a lot of sense on paper, but then when you factor in that actual people have to perform the roles, it gets a bit more complicated.
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Re: The Closer Debate

Postby Syfo-Dyas » Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:22 am

Bloody Sox wrote:Right... which is why Papelbon, K-Rod, Mariano, Nathan, and Putz should definitely not be closing. :-?


I say most of them shouldnt close, If there are good options, like Wood, Okajima, Shields on the team. Than these guys should be comin in as early as 7th, if theres an alarming sign of losing the game, and pitch in the 8th if the middle of the line-up comes up.
I think we'll see Chamberlain doin' it this year, which I see as a similar situation as with the Cubs.

BTW I would use Papelbon as a starter.
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Re: The Closer Debate

Postby Snakes Gould » Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:28 am

did you really just make a thread and post in it 5 straight times X-I %-6 :-b
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Re: The Closer Debate

Postby Syfo-Dyas » Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:45 am

Snakes Gould wrote:did you really just make a thread and post in it 5 straight times X-I %-6 :-b

I copied those posts from the Closers Thread, where didnt belong.
Im not the Webhamster to be able to move things.
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Re: The Closer Debate

Postby rainman23 » Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:14 pm

The way closers are used today is really a fairly modern innovation. When I was becoming a fan in the late 60's, every team did not have that designated guy who finished games. I have to laugh nowadays when I see a fantasy manager railing because some team has elected to take the "closer by committee" route. Like there is something obvious and natural about having one guy do this job all the time. If you're got a lights-out guy, clearly superior to every other arm in the bullpen, then sure, you want him on the mound during the most crucial innings. And frequently that inning will be the last one. But if no guy clearly dominates in your bullpen, there's nothing natural at all about putting that artificial "closer" label on one guy. It may still make sense to do it, to the extent guys may grow comfortable in the role. But it ain't a no-brainer.

And I agree. If you've got that lights-out guy, it doesn't necessarily always make sense to reserve him for save situations. That's another fairly recent innovation. You clearly don't want to bring him in too early, when there's still plenty of innings for lesser talents to blow the game. (I'm assuming this beast has only so many innings in his arm, and you're cherry-picking the best times to use him.) But to NEVER bring the guy in before the 9th? NEVER bring him in with anybody on base? These are fairly recent developments. And not necessarily for the best, IMO.

I was amused by Goose Gossage thumping his chest about his manly multiple inning saves this winter. I'm sure they happened, but I also think Gossage was a key player in the development of the modern closer. The Yankees had a reliever in the 70's named Sparky Lyle who seemed fearless. They'd bring him in when they needed to, and he'd shut the door. Then, after Lyle won a Cy Young award, the team decided they needed an upgrade. They brought in Gossage, and within a few years we saw a totally different way to use the bullpen. Ron Davis worked the 7th and 8th, and Goose came in for the 9th. Every time. It worked well, and was an early example of a team that found a way to shorten the game when they had a lead. But THAT'S what I associate Gossage with -- the one inning, no guys on base save. Later came Sutter, Eckersly -- and the game that we now take for granted.
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Re: The Closer Debate

Postby Ender » Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:29 pm

Your Closer should be your 2nd best RP and your #1 should be used in the highest leverage situations.
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Re: The Closer Debate

Postby Ender » Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:29 pm

Ender wrote:Your Closer should be your 2nd best RP and your #1 should be used in the highest leverage situations.


I agree
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