September 2, 2010

Pos On Closers

Joe Posnanski asks: "How Much Do Closers Mean?" What he means is: "How valuable is a good closer?"

Some snips:
The thing about the two viewpoints is that there doesn't seem to be much middle ground. From what I can gather, each side thinks the other is nutso. ...

That's how it usually works with stats. Stats that dispute your point are worthless. Stats that prove your point are genius. I fall for it too. ...

We like to think of statistics as measurements of the game and not influences of the game, but I would suggest that Jerome Holtzman, inventor of the save, is one of the most influential people in recent baseball history. ...

WAR suggests that [Eckersley] was more valuable as a starter in 1986 — when he was bad enough that the Cubs gave up on him as a starter — than he was in 1991, when he was named to the All-Star Game as a closer. ...
I was disappointed by Joe's post on whether Rivera or Jeter has been more valuable to the Yankees (the comments offered more insight, I think), but he more than redeemed himself with "Getting Started on Josh Hamilton" and "The Pain of Pitching".

Re the latter, when someone mentions how Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens threw a ton of innings and never got hurt, no one ever counters with guys like Jim Pittsley and Jay Franklin. The reason is self-evident, I suppose.

6 comments:

redsock said...

Your reading assignments for the day!

You don't need a "closer", but you do need good relief pitchers.

FenFan said...

Rob Dibble no longer working for Nats

What comes around, goes around...

Dr. Jeff said...

Does anyone have a graph of the # of games behind the division leader vs. time or game#? The "keeping pace with the Yankees/Rays" comment and another post about how RS lose when yankees lose and vice versa got me thinking about it.

Benjamin said...

From comments in the latter Posnanski article:

You have no idea how awful it is to be punished by Rob Dibble. It’s like MLB said, “Fine, we’ll give you a team. But first, they’ll be terrible for a few years. Then we’ll give you the worst new stadium in baseball. And if you get used to both of those things, we’ll stick you with Rob Dibble. You’re the one who said you wanted a team. Here it is: Vinny Castilla will play third, Frank Robinson will manage every game as though there is no possibility it will enter extra innings, and Jim Bowden will fall in love with Christian Guzman. Once you’ve recovered from all of those things, we’ll make you listen to Rob Dibble on tv.”

I'd bet dollars to dibbles that that guy's happy Dibble's gone.

Benjamin said...

Dr. Jeff: here's one of games over/under .500.

Dr. Jeff said...

Thanks Benjamin, very informative to see how around games 81-90 things went downhill fast and they never recovered.