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ndgt10
08-17-2009, 11:56 PM
Just gave up a 3 run walkoff bomb to the Padres.

jabrch
08-17-2009, 11:57 PM
Seems like tonight is no different than all other nights. Gregg still sucks.

Soxman219
08-18-2009, 12:00 AM
He had 2 outs too.

Big D
08-18-2009, 12:01 AM
At least one reliever had a worse game than Linebrink tonight.

JermaineDye05
08-18-2009, 12:03 AM
Look at Kevin Gregg. He just blew another save. With a man on and 2 outs in the 9th, he gave up a double to Chase Headley that was bobbled by Fox in left and scored David Eckstein. Gregg then intentionally walked Kevin Kouzmanoff. He then gave up a walk off HR to Kyle Blanks.

Gregg is now 4-5 with 6 blown saves and has given up 12 HR's

:o:

It's innings like that that make me happy we have the luxury of having Bobby in our pen.

JermaineDye05
08-18-2009, 12:03 AM
What's the Score?

I just started a thread :D:

Boondock Saint
08-18-2009, 12:06 AM
Kevin Gregg is awful. How he still has a job as a closer is beyond me. He was bad last year.

hawkjt
08-18-2009, 12:07 AM
He dominated the Sox when he faced them...but has really struggled lately.
I did not think it was possible but the Cubs may find a way to not make the playoffs even with that huge payroll and crappy division.
Cubs may not have considered that the Cards would go out and get more players.

slavko
08-18-2009, 12:07 AM
Another heartbreaker, Cards rolling. This can't be another year of disaster, can it?

The Immigrant
08-18-2009, 12:25 AM
I tuned the radio to WGN as I was getting ready for bed. It was the bottom of the ninth. Listening to Santo shouting with joy as Gregg retired Gonzales on one pitch, only to cry in anguish two minutes later as Headley tied the game, was top-notch entertainment. His clown act never gets old.

I didn't listen to the rest of the game, but it would not surprise me if Ol' Ronnie needed a couple of days away from the mic after this one.

Nellie_Fox
08-18-2009, 12:38 AM
Another heartbreaker, Cards rolling. This can't be another year of disaster, can it?One can only hope.

JB98
08-18-2009, 12:46 AM
The Cardinals now have a six-game lead on that Cubbie team. If the Cards can stay hot for another week or 10 days, they might be able to put the division away.

TDog
08-18-2009, 12:54 AM
I have never believed Lou Piniella is a very good manager. To hold firmly to the idea that Kevin Gregg has to close games is a bizarre course of behavior.

The problem is the closer mentality, and it isn't just Piniella who insists on adhering to it. If you don't have Goose Gossage or Dennis Eckersley or a few others, you are better off with a bullpen where the pitcher who closes is the one who is most prepared for the matchups facing him. On the White Sox, I would have no problem with Thornton closing instead of Jenks if the matchups favored Thornton.

In fact, Chuck Tanner did have Goose Gossage with both the White Sox and the Pirates, and he sometimes brought in Terry Forster to close games.

Nellie_Fox
08-18-2009, 01:00 AM
In fact, Chuck Tanner did have Goose Gossage with both the White Sox and the Pirates, and he sometimes brought in Terry Forster to close games.The role of the "closer" was entirely different in those days. They'd come in any time from the 7th inning on, usually with men on base, and finish out the game.

MarkZ35
08-18-2009, 01:05 AM
Gregg is pathetic. He is just AWFUL. Like someone said before I can't believe he is still the closer but who else is there? You can't make Marmol the closer because you never know if he is going to strike out the side or hit 2 batters and walk 4 more. I'm not going to lie I enjoy watching the Cubs blow games. It isn't because I'm a Cubs hater but I have a lot of jag bag Cub fan friends that enjoy when the Sox blow games so it evens out.

JB98
08-18-2009, 01:11 AM
Gregg is pathetic. He is just AWFUL. Like someone said before I can't believe he is still the closer but who else is there? You can't make Marmol the closer because you never know if he is going to strike out the side or hit 2 batters and walk 4 more. I'm not going to lie I enjoy watching the Cubs blow games. It isn't because I'm a Cubs hater but I have a lot of jag bag Cub fan friends that enjoy when the Sox blow games so it evens out.

I do kind of enjoy pointing out that the Sox are closer to first place now than the Cubs. In addition, the Sox have 61 wins. That Cubbie team has but 60.

MarkZ35
08-18-2009, 01:12 AM
I do kind of enjoy pointing out that the Sox are closer to first place now than the Cubs. In addition, the Sox have 61 wins. That Cubbie team has but 60.
I like "that Cubbie team". Very nice. I may have to use that.

PeteWard
08-18-2009, 01:14 AM
One can only hope.

They won't even make the playoffs unless St Lou unravels--which is a possibility.

JB98
08-18-2009, 01:16 AM
I like "that Cubbie team". Very nice. I may have to use that.

I think it is just ridiculous that these people use a cutesy-pie diminuitive when referring to their team. I try to use it derisively whenever possible.

RadioheadRocks
08-18-2009, 01:19 AM
I like "that Cubbie team". Very nice. I may have to use that.

I think it is just ridiculous that these people use a cutesy-pie diminuitive when referring to their team. I try to use it derisively whenever possible.


Anyone referring to that team lovingly as the "Cubbies" deserves to be whacked over the head with a Louisville Slugger.

PeteWard
08-18-2009, 01:27 AM
Edit-double post

TDog
08-18-2009, 01:27 AM
The role of the "closer" was entirely different in those days. They'd come in any time from the 7th inning on, usually with men on base, and finish out the game.

I'm aware of that. Terry Forster came into a few games in the sixth and closed them out. (They didn't even pinch hit for him in those pre-DH days. I think his career batting average with the Sox was something like .526.) It was Goose Gossage who changed things, when he migrated to the Yankees. My point is that not every closer is Goose Gossage. Oakland took a starter whose no-hitter and best days were long behind him and turned him into a Hall of Fame closer. With some people it works. Now all teams do it regardless of whether they have the pitchers who can pull it off.

Treating Kevin Gregg like Goose Gossage or Dennis Eckersley won't help you win games. A lot of teams would have win more today if they weren't dedicated to the current closer concept.

Nellie_Fox
08-18-2009, 01:57 AM
A lot of teams would have win more today if they weren't dedicated to the current closer concept.You're correct. Baseball has always been a "me too" situation when it comes to management. If one manager tries something that works, everybody else jumps on board regardless of whether they have the personnel for it. They are afraid not to, because they can hide behind orthodoxy, but can't hide if they are unsuccessful doing something different.

Mohoney
08-18-2009, 03:07 AM
I have never believed Lou Piniella is a very good manager.

He does seem to get an awful lot of credit for a 19 year-old achievement.

I love how the media keeps spewing out this garbage that Piniella was brought in to be "the closer" on a title when the only things he has "closed" these past two decades are postseason series victories for Joe Torre.

DrCrawdad
08-18-2009, 05:02 AM
Back in the spring there were several posters on WSI who were quite the believers in Kevin Gregg and the Cubbies in general.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/13/18603048_6a73aaa269.jpg?v=0
Where are the Gregg defenders now?

WhiteSox1989
08-18-2009, 07:01 AM
One of my co-workers came up to me yesterday morning and just said "Mark Ellis".

I am very tempted to go up to him and say "Kevin Gregg", and walk away...

WhiteSox1989
08-18-2009, 07:01 AM
Oh, and facebook status' last night were a laugh.

The Immigrant
08-18-2009, 07:53 AM
One of my co-workers came up to me yesterday morning and just said "Mark Ellis".

There's a special place in hell for people like him.

hi im skot
08-18-2009, 08:03 AM
Another heartbreaker, Cards rolling. This can't be another year of disaster, can it?

http://cubssuckcafe.com/ItsGonnaHappen01.gif

Marqhead
08-18-2009, 08:09 AM
I love the smell of a Kevin Gregg BS in the morning.

doublem23
08-18-2009, 08:12 AM
Darn it, I knew I should have stayed up late to watch the Cubs game. :(:

mark2olson
08-18-2009, 08:39 AM
I love the smell of a Kevin Gregg BS in the morning.

The smell, you know that Gregg smell, the whole hill. Smelled like,
[sniffing, pondering]
defeat!

twsoxfan5
08-18-2009, 08:40 AM
I think it is just ridiculous that these people use a cutesy-pie diminuitive when referring to their team. I try to use it derisively whenever possible.

I can't agree with you more here. I always ask my Cub fan friends why they refer to their team as the Cubbies. To me it sounds so effeminent.

Jim Hendry really blew it this offseason. I always had respect for him as a GM up until this year. I mean it is not like Gregg is having a down year. He lead the league in blown saves last year and is well on his way to it this year. I mean MacDougal has less blown saves for The Nationals.

Jimmy Piersall
08-18-2009, 08:41 AM
I love the smell of a Kevin Gregg BS in the morning.

Smells like...victory.

Jimmy Piersall
08-18-2009, 08:44 AM
One of my co-workers came up to me yesterday morning and just said "Mark Ellis".

I am very tempted to go up to him and say "Kevin Gregg", and walk away...


Walk up to him and start scrunching your nose and sniffing the air.
Ask him if he smells the same thing you do.That would be cub stench.

Iwritecode
08-18-2009, 09:23 AM
Back in the spring there were several posters on WSI who were quite the believers in Kevin Gregg and the Cubbies in general.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/13/18603048_6a73aaa269.jpg?v=0
Where are the Gregg defenders now?

Really? I was just about to ask if anyone DIDN'T see this happening considering how bad he was last year.

thedudeabides
08-18-2009, 09:26 AM
I'm aware of that. Terry Forster came into a few games in the sixth and closed them out. (They didn't even pinch hit for him in those pre-DH days. I think his career batting average with the Sox was something like .526.) It was Goose Gossage who changed things, when he migrated to the Yankees. My point is that not every closer is Goose Gossage. Oakland took a starter whose no-hitter and best days were long behind him and turned him into a Hall of Fame closer. With some people it works. Now all teams do it regardless of whether they have the pitchers who can pull it off.

Treating Kevin Gregg like Goose Gossage or Dennis Eckersley won't help you win games. A lot of teams would have win more today if they weren't dedicated to the current closer concept.

You're correct. Baseball has always been a "me too" situation when it comes to management. If one manager tries something that works, everybody else jumps on board regardless of whether they have the personnel for it. They are afraid not to, because they can hide behind orthodoxy, but can't hide if they are unsuccessful doing something different.

TDog and Nellie,

Plenty of teams have tried the old 'closer by comittee'. Nobody has stuck with it for long, because nobody has had success with it, probably since Whitey Herzog in '85. And even then he made Todd Worrell the full time closer the next year.

Pineiella used 'The Nasty Boys', at times as a three headed monster, but Randy Myers closed most games, and their roles were pretty well defined. That's also viewed as one of the best bullpens of all time.

When Bill James joined the Red Sox in 2003, he convinced Epstein that the closer role was overrated, and even defined roles served no purpose. Your best reliever should pitch in the most important situation, say in the 7th inning in a tie game with two runners on. Well, they tried it and it blew up in their faces. The relievers hated it, as it screwed up their preperation, most importantly their mental approach to their job. Epstein has since said he will never go into another season without a designated closer.

Coaches and scouts are always big on roles, specifically the closer role, as they think that being a successful reliever is so mental. It's also a preference by the players. Sure, some of that has to do with getting saves, so you can earn the big dollars.

Cuck the Fubs
08-18-2009, 09:40 AM
Feel free to distribute attached image as needed....coach on the left has the classic "cubbie" look :D:

Dibbs
08-18-2009, 10:20 AM
Really? I was just about to ask if anyone DIDN'T see this happening considering how bad he was last year.

Many people were going out of their way claiming how great the Cubs team is, and how much better they are than the White Sox.

soxinem1
08-18-2009, 10:26 AM
TDog and Nellie,

Plenty of teams have tried the old 'closer by comittee'. Nobody has stuck with it for long, because nobody has had success with it, probably since Whitey Herzog in '85. And even then he made Todd Worrell the full time closer the next year.

Pineiella used 'The Nasty Boys', at times as a three headed monster, but Randy Myers closed most games, and their roles were pretty well defined. That's also viewed as one of the best bullpens of all time.

When Bill James joined the Red Sox in 2003, he convinced Epstein that the closer role was overrated, and even defined roles served no purpose. Your best reliever should pitch in the most important situation, say in the 7th inning in a tie game with two runners on. Well, they tried it and it blew up in their faces. The relievers hated it, as it screwed up their preperation, most importantly their mental approach to their job. Epstein has since said he will never go into another season without a designated closer.

Coaches and scouts are always big on roles, specifically the closer role, as they think that being a successful reliever is so mental. It's also a preference by the players. Sure, some of that has to do with getting saves, so you can earn the big dollars.

Whitey used his bullpen similar to how Ozzie used his in 2005.

The White Sox had three closers that year. Ozzie just played the hot hand. Herzog used Lahti and Dayley most of the year in 1985, then fell in love with Worrell once they brought him up.

But especially in this day and age, closers by committee as a plan are doomed to failure.

spawn
08-18-2009, 10:27 AM
Many people were going out of their way claiming how great the Cubs team is, and how much better they are than the White Sox.
On paper, they were a better team than the Sox when the season started, and anyone thinking they weren't had their Cubbie blinders on. Unless you've forgotten, many people, here and elsewhere, didn't think the White Sox were going to be a .500 team this season.

doublem23
08-18-2009, 11:02 AM
Feel free to distribute attached image as needed....coach on the left has the classic "cubbie" look :D:

Looks an awful lot like a Normal Rockwell painting.

http://editorials.americandaughter.info/wp-images/dugout.jpg

SOXPHILE
08-18-2009, 11:27 AM
It is funny, and I am happy about it, but I really can't say a whole hell of a lot, as the Sox sorta had a little incident last night too, with Linebrink blowing a 3 run lead. Fortunately, they were able to pull it out with a run of their own in the bottom of the 8th, and Jenks nailed it down. But, if they had lost that game, hoooooo boy....

CubKilla
08-18-2009, 11:30 AM
They won't even make the playoffs unless St Lou unravels--which is a possibility.

I doubt it. While St. Louis might lose 2-3 in a row and, obviously, the Cubs would have to win 2-3 in a row when St. L loses to gain any ground back quickly, I don't think St. L would go for a long stretch winless with Carpenter and Wainwright at the top of their rotation.

Carpenter is a legit Cy Young candidate this season and he missed a month early on with an injury from batting.

ChiSoxGirl
08-18-2009, 04:29 PM
The Cardinals now have a six-game lead on that Cubbie team. If the Cards can stay hot for another week or 10 days, they might be able to put the division away.

I love it! I'm totally pulling for the Cardinals for more reasons than just the fact that they're playing a part in the free fall of "that Cubbie team."

Feel free to distribute attached image as needed....coach on the left has the classic "cubbie" look :D:

:roflamo:

slavko
08-18-2009, 05:32 PM
Looks an awful lot like a Normal Rockwell painting.

http://editorials.americandaughter.info/wp-images/dugout.jpg

Stan Hack, Charlie Grimm...that was a pennant winner.

Tragg
08-18-2009, 06:02 PM
I recall the trade for Gregg being largely lampooned on here at the time of the trade.

TDog
08-18-2009, 06:26 PM
...

But especially in this day and age, closers by committee as a plan are doomed to failure.

Most designated closers are doomed to failure.

It depends on the talent you have on your team. I don't follow the Cubs, but from reading this thread, it would appear there is no one talented enough to serve effectively and consistently in the designated closer role. On the White Sox you have several pitchers who could close games, and it isn't necessary to close with Jenks if he is overworked or if the matchups are working against him.

Most teams that have gone the closer-by-committee route have done so because they don't have anyone who could effectively and consistently serve as a closer. Such teams would be doomed to failure either no matter what they did.

It is true that the teams that have had the most success are the teams that have great closers. But just designating a pitcher to be a closer won't make him a great closer. Many closers burn out in a hurry.

There would be nothing wrong with the Sox closing with Thornton to spell Jenks. Thornton has closed when Jenks has been unavailable this year. But if you're a team who doesn't have anyone who can close out games, designating one pitcher to be your closer isn't going to make him a better pitcher. The reason you have a lot of bad closers in baseball today is that every team seems to believe they need one.

chisoxfanatic
08-18-2009, 06:35 PM
The Cardinals now have a six-game lead on that Cubbie team. If the Cards can stay hot for another week or 10 days, they might be able to put the division away.
And the Cubs only have three more games left with the Cardinals (in St. Louis), so the Cubs have no control of their destiny! They also trail several teams in the Wild Card race, currently four games back.
Feel free to distribute attached image as needed....coach on the left has the classic "cubbie" look :D:
Now, we all know how saddened you are whenever looking at that photo. :wink:

Here's a question I've been wondering: Would you rather the Cubs win the World Series or Chicago get a 5-foot blizzard overnight? :tongue:

Cuck the Fubs
08-18-2009, 06:47 PM
Now, we all know how saddened you are whenever looking at that photo. :wink:

Here's a question I've been wondering: Would you rather the Cubs win the World Series or Chicago get a 5-foot blizzard overnight? :tongue:

I'll take the 5 foot overnight blizzard....it's one night/day of misery....if by some chance the idiots on the North side EVER win the World Series, it will impossible to deal with for the rest of my life :angry:

thomas35forever
08-18-2009, 06:57 PM
Oh, and facebook status' last night were a laugh.
Absolutely. It's become obvious Cubs Nation is fed up with Gregg.

Brian26
08-18-2009, 08:08 PM
I listened to the 8th inning before falling asleep last night when Marmol sliced through the Padres and figured the Cubs had it wrapped up. What a pleasant surprise to read this when I woke up today.

WhiteSox1989
08-18-2009, 08:53 PM
Marmol is going to be the closer.

Big D
08-18-2009, 09:46 PM
Marmol is going to be the closer.

Yeah, at least now the Cubs will blow 9th inning leads by walking people instead of giving up homers.

Johnny Mostil
08-18-2009, 11:27 PM
Most designated closers are doomed to failure.

It depends on the talent you have on your team. I don't follow the Cubs, but from reading this thread, it would appear there is no one talented enough to serve effectively and consistently in the designated closer role. On the White Sox you have several pitchers who could close games, and it isn't necessary to close with Jenks if he is overworked or if the matchups are working against him.

Most teams that have gone the closer-by-committee route have done so because they don't have anyone who could effectively and consistently serve as a closer. Such teams would be doomed to failure either no matter what they did.

It is true that the teams that have had the most success are the teams that have great closers. But just designating a pitcher to be a closer won't make him a great closer. Many closers burn out in a hurry.

There would be nothing wrong with the Sox closing with Thornton to spell Jenks. Thornton has closed when Jenks has been unavailable this year. But if you're a team who doesn't have anyone who can close out games, designating one pitcher to be your closer isn't going to make him a better pitcher. The reason you have a lot of bad closers in baseball today is that every team seems to believe they need one.

You've raised some very interesting points in this thread. One thing I was wondering about was how turnover among closers compared to that among starters. Maybe I'll look that up sometime soon (though I'd like to comment on it in a thread on something besides the Cubs!).

WhiteSox5187
08-18-2009, 11:39 PM
Marmol is going to be the closer.

:o: Marmol is AWFUL and even last year when he looked unhittable in the setup role he was awful in the closer's role. I just don't think he has the mental make up to be a closer. Their best reliever of late has been Angel Guzman, of course as I type that he just walked the leadoff hitter and gave up an inside the park homerun...and nearly another one with a drive deep to CF.

WhiteSox5187
08-18-2009, 11:41 PM
Whitey used his bullpen similar to how Ozzie used his in 2005.

The White Sox had three closers that year. Ozzie just played the hot hand. Herzog used Lahti and Dayley most of the year in 1985, then fell in love with Worrell once they brought him up.

But especially in this day and age, closers by committee as a plan are doomed to failure.

Not really, Hermanson was used because Shingo just flat out sucked and the only reason Bobby was called up was because Hermanson threw out his back

Nellie_Fox
08-18-2009, 11:53 PM
I wasn't talking about "closer by committee." I'm talking about the idea that there has to be one guy who always comes in for the ninth if it's a save situation.

If the guy who pitches the 8th is mowing people down, why can't he come back out for the 9th? Because that's not orthodoxy. You must bring in the "closer," because if you don't, and you get beat, you'll hear about it. If you do, you can say "well, I got my closer in there, and got beat with my best. What can I do."

I've always been a believer that the more often you go to the pen, the more likely you are to find the guy who doesn't have it that day. If a guy is sailing along, leave him in.

UChicagoHP
08-19-2009, 07:46 AM
I wasn't talking about "closer by committee." I'm talking about the idea that there has to be one guy who always comes in for the ninth if it's a save situation.

If the guy who pitches the 8th is mowing people down, why can't he come back out for the 9th? Because that's not orthodoxy. You must bring in the "closer," because if you don't, and you get beat, you'll hear about it. If you do, you can say "well, I got my closer in there, and got beat with my best. What can I do."

I've always been a believer that the more often you go to the pen, the more likely you are to find the guy who doesn't have it that day. If a guy is sailing along, leave him in.

Agreed

WizardsofOzzie
08-19-2009, 07:58 AM
I have never believed Lou Piniella is a very good manager. To hold firmly to the idea that Kevin Gregg has to close games is a bizarre course of behavior.

The problem is the closer mentality, and it isn't just Piniella who insists on adhering to it. If you don't have Goose Gossage or Dennis Eckersley or a few others, you are better off with a bullpen where the pitcher who closes is the one who is most prepared for the matchups facing him. On the White Sox, I would have no problem with Thornton closing instead of Jenks if the matchups favored Thornton.

In fact, Chuck Tanner did have Goose Gossage with both the White Sox and the Pirates, and he sometimes brought in Terry Forster to close games.
Not to mention how long he left Soriano in the leadoff spot

soxinem1
08-20-2009, 11:15 PM
Most designated closers are doomed to failure.

It depends on the talent you have on your team. I don't follow the Cubs, but from reading this thread, it would appear there is no one talented enough to serve effectively and consistently in the designated closer role. On the White Sox you have several pitchers who could close games, and it isn't necessary to close with Jenks if he is overworked or if the matchups are working against him.

Most teams that have gone the closer-by-committee route have done so because they don't have anyone who could effectively and consistently serve as a closer. Such teams would be doomed to failure either no matter what they did.

It is true that the teams that have had the most success are the teams that have great closers. But just designating a pitcher to be a closer won't make him a great closer. Many closers burn out in a hurry.

There would be nothing wrong with the Sox closing with Thornton to spell Jenks. Thornton has closed when Jenks has been unavailable this year. But if you're a team who doesn't have anyone who can close out games, designating one pitcher to be your closer isn't going to make him a better pitcher. The reason you have a lot of bad closers in baseball today is that every team seems to believe they need one.

Case in point, how about CLE making Fausto Carmona their closer after his recall in 2007?

He blew every save!

Eddo144
08-20-2009, 11:24 PM
If the guy who pitches the 8th is mowing people down, why can't he come back out for the 9th? Because that's not orthodoxy. You must bring in the "closer," because if you don't, and you get beat, you'll hear about it. If you do, you can say "well, I got my closer in there, and got beat with my best. What can I do."
I believe you can thank Tony La Russa for this.

And I agree with everything you say, Nellie. I'll also add that there's no reason to use your best reliever only in the ninth inning; if the game is tied with runners on in the seventh or eighth, why go to a lesser reliever? It's likely that that situation will be more important than anything that arises later.

Eddo144
08-20-2009, 11:27 PM
It is true that the teams that have had the most success are the teams that have great closers. But just designating a pitcher to be a closer won't make him a great closer. Many closers burn out in a hurry.
TDog, I agree with just about everything you said, except maybe not this point. Are you saying that the teams that have had the most bullpen success have are the ones with great closers, or that in general, teams with the most success are the ones with great closers?

I think there's a bit of a cause-and-effect issue. Take last year's Angels. Rodriguez is definitely a good closer, but last year he was not "great". He was perceived as great because he was on a very good team that allowed him to pitch a lot of innings with a lead. Joakim Soria, on the terrible Royals, was definitely better than Rodriguez last year, and was one of the top three closers in the entire league (Rivera and Lidge being the other two).

TDog
08-21-2009, 12:46 AM
TDog, I agree with just about everything you said, except maybe not this point. Are you saying that the teams that have had the most bullpen success have are the ones with great closers, or that in general, teams with the most success are the ones with great closers?

I think there's a bit of a cause-and-effect issue. Take last year's Angels. Rodriguez is definitely a good closer, but last year he was not "great". He was perceived as great because he was on a very good team that allowed him to pitch a lot of innings with a lead. Joakim Soria, on the terrible Royals, was definitely better than Rodriguez last year, and was one of the top three closers in the entire league (Rivera and Lidge being the other two).

Teams with great closers often have had enough success that other teams have emulated the roles those bullpens had even when they didn't have the talent to fill those roles on an everyday basis.

Lidge's roller coaster career shows how closers can lose their effectiveness. Lidge lost two games in the 2005 World Series after his blown save in the NLCS that extended the Astros and certainly didn't hurt the chances of the White Sox. Last year he was automatic and got his ring. This year he has been a mess. But when teams had deeper pitching staffs, managers used to go with the hot hand. You wouldn't stick with a pitcher simply because he was your closer if he was blowing games, but that's what managers today tend to do.

In the 1959 World Series, Larry Sherry had two relief wins and two saves against the White Sox, although they didn't officially record saves in those days and only retroactively gave him credit with the statistic. During the regular season, he only would have had three saves. He even started nine games. (Sandy Koufax would have had two saves for games he finished between starts.) The pitcher with the most games finished and the most saves, as the rule would later be interpreted was Clem Labine, who would have had nine saves. During the best-of-three playoff with Milwaukee, Sherry won the first game in relief, pitching 7.2 scoreless innings. Walt Alston saw no reason to bring in Labine to pitch the ninth with a one-run lead their biggest game of the year up to that point. Unfortunately for the White Sox, going to Sherry worked.

The current bullpen configuration is patterned after teams with great closers. It worked for Brad Lidge in that role last year, but not so much this year. It worked for a time with Octavio Dotel in that role in Houston, but really nowhere since.

Before teams started looking at Eckersley and Gossage and saying "let's do that" (even though they didn't have Eckersley and Gossage in their bullpens), managers had to decide what pitcher would be most effective to close out a game. Now they just have a closer who comes in whether he is the best man for the job or not.