cards05 wrote:Doug Melvin was just on the radio here in St. Louis and he said that they took notice of what LaRussa was doing last year because basically, when Tony LaRussa does something like that, he's usually got a good reason. They then brought in their numbers department to see if there was any merit to it. After running the numbers, they estimated that with Kendall batting ninth, they'd score 30 more runs this year. It's good to see more progressive thinking in baseball these days. Kudos to the Brewers. As I've said before, I'm guessing a team will abandon the whole "closer" role within a couple of years.
Well, lots of teams have tried to abandon the whole closer role thing. They called it "closer by committee", and generally those were a spectacular failure. Though, the teams that usually take this approach just have a bunch of crappy relievers and don't know what to do with them anyway.
I'm not really against having a closer spot, I just wish managers would be a little more flexible than "Only bring the closer in for the 9th." Very often, a team's 3-4-5 hitters come up in the 8th, and yet the team throws out its 2nd or 3rd best reliever. Silliness I say.
...Boston papers now and then suffer a sharp flurry of arithmetic on this score; indeed, for Williams to have distributed all his hits so they did nobody else any good would constitute a feat of placement unparalleled in the annals of selfishness. -Updike