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What team has replaced their closer(s) for 17 years in a row and achieved success in that role anywhere near to what the Yankees have done with Mo? It may be easy to replace a closer once or twice, but keeping it up for 17 years is another story altogether, and meanwhile what happens in the years that you don't?
. Easy Regular Tough SV ATT SV ATT SV ATT Closers 436 460 .948 241 312 .772 61 112 .545Other 128 166 .771 204 393 .519 69 264 .261Closer% .735 .542 .298
. Easy Regular Tough Closers .520 .353 .127
Hey, I know that meal I sprung for the other night was pretty damn sporty, but you don't have to pay me back with that sort of compliment.
by that point my concentration was actually more on that magical little thing in your hand
Not every year, of course not.
But how do you know in advance when those replacement closers are going to blow up in your face?
Should the Braves get rid of Kimbrel because he's going to cost them money they could find another use for?
I often wish they had a Rivera clone.
Kimbrel will score big in arbitration (if the Braves don't extend him) but assume he pitches a few more years at about the same level - letting him walk in the hope you'd get lucky in reprograming his money would be silly.
But the extra 10 million dollars the NYY's overpaid annually for a closer could have purchased additional wins in some other areas. He's a great closer. We agree. The point is whether or not the $'s spent on the guy were wisely spent, or foolish overkill.
All I'm saying is that when a team with the Yankees' resources has a closer like Rivera already in the fold, it's not worth the risk to try to get an extra $10M or so by letting him go
Rivera's salary has average $9 million, which to me leaves plenty of discretion over a 19 year period to sign a Proven Closer for a few years, and/or go with young arms at a depressed salary for a few years, etc.
How many "proven closers" are there at this point?
This all leads me to thinking. The approach would never be accepted because of the wins and saves stats, but how about if Rivera or any closer was used as an opener instead? Some of these save situations have such little leverage that the same performance in the first inning of a game would be more valuable. So let Rivera pitch the top of the first, he shuts the other team's best hitters down for one time through the order.
Because basically, for a one-inning closer, 2.0 WAR is sufficiently close to a "perfect" season, and anything beyond it is just cosmetic improvement -- the equivalent of winning a game 6-2 instead of 6-3.
Rivera's dominance was a strong foreteller of continuing success - he was so good that even a modest fallback wouldn't matter. But anyone who, in retrospect, would have preferred having the 44-for-49 dominator over the 49-for-49 head case IN THAT SEASON would be certifiable, of course. They have one specific task at hand - trying to successfully convert each save opp (used to be more tie-game issues, too, but I don't see that as being cited as an equalizer here). Assuming no tie game issues, a system that has the 49-for-49 closer as less valuable than the 44-for-49 closer that season is a system with a problem.
And once they've gotten you into the 4th inning, then what? Frozen baseballs and Kryptonite bats?
Aren't there presumably examples of it going the other way? Would Gagne (0 blown saves) versus Tim Worrell (7 blown saves) in 2003 be one?
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