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View Full Version : KOCH or Foulke?


TheBigHurt
03-28-2003, 08:40 PM
RECENTLY on Mike and the Mad Dogg which is a NYC sports radio, they were as usual criticizing people and some scout was talking about what a steal the KOCH-Foulke trade was for the SOX. AND then Mike and the Mad Dogg said how stupid this scout was and that just because he throws harder doesn't mean he is a better pitcher then Foulke, and that KOCH is inconsistent...

I was wondering who you think is better KOCH or Foulke

WinningUgly!
03-28-2003, 08:59 PM
Originally posted by TheBigHurt


I was wondering who you think is better KOCH or Foulke

Foulke is a better pitcher. Koch is a better closer.

TheBigHurt
03-28-2003, 09:56 PM
Originally posted by WinningUgly!
Foulke is a better pitcher. Koch is a better closer.

I knew, i was asking for that :) :gulp:

hempsox
03-28-2003, 10:22 PM
I hereby call this meeting of closers with on again off again stuff to order...our President, Mitch Williams presiding. Any new members?

:keith

Hi, my name is Keith and I can't get my change-up over the plate and when I throw my weak fastball over the plate my neck starts hurting. I just need a little love.

:embree :JB :ginter :jaime :butter :porzio :ritchie

(All together) "Hi Keith!!!"

RedPinStripes
03-28-2003, 10:27 PM
Originally posted by hempsox
I hereby call this meeting of closers with on again off again stuff to order...our President, Mitch Williams presiding. Any new members?

:keith

Hi, my name is Keith and I can't get my change-up over the plate and when I throw my weak fastball over the plate my neck starts hurting. I just need a little love.

:embree :JB :ginter :jaime :butter :porzio :ritchie

(All together) "Hi Keith!!!"

*****! :gulp:

TheBigHurt
03-28-2003, 10:52 PM
Originally posted by hempsox
I hereby call this meeting of closers with on again off again stuff to order...our President, Mitch Williams presiding. Any new members?

:keith

Hi, my name is Keith and I can't get my change-up over the plate and when I throw my weak fastball over the plate my neck starts hurting. I just need a little love.

:embree :JB :ginter :jaime :butter :porzio :ritchie

(All together) "Hi Keith!!!"

LOL THATS SOME SOLID STUFF TO SAY THE LEAST!!!!!!! :) :gulp:

jeremyb1
03-29-2003, 01:55 AM
foulke has saved 89% of his games since he first became closer in '00 and compiled a 2.74 era over that same period. in his career koch has saved 86% of his games and features a 3.48 era. its a pretty close call. i voted for foulke. i wouldn't completely blast someone who argues foulke isn't better but i strongly disagree with anyone that argues koch is the better closer. if foulke saves a greater percentage of his games and allows fewer runs...

lighttowerpower1
03-29-2003, 09:35 AM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
foulke has saved 89% of his games since he first became closer in '00 and compiled a 2.74 era over that same period. in his career koch has saved 86% of his games and features a 3.48 era. its a pretty close call. i voted for foulke. i wouldn't completely blast someone who argues foulke isn't better but i strongly disagree with anyone that argues koch is the better closer. if foulke saves a greater percentage of his games and allows fewer runs...

Foulke became the closer midway through 2000, did quite well. He closed all of 2001 and again was quite impressive. In 2002, he began the season as a closer but had some problems. My personal feeling (i know that opinions are not allowed in jeremyb1's world, but I am going to share it anyways) is that the league finally noticed Foulke as being a good closer but they also figured out that he only has two good pitches. Foulke finally redeemed himself when he was inserted into a less crucial role. Now I won't be surprised if Foulke goes on to have a good career as a closer or set-up man (i personally think that foulke would be a great middle reliever). His era's have been impressive the past few seasons.

Lets look at Koch on the other hand. He has pitched nearly 4 full seasons as a closer, getting 31, 33, 36, and 44 saves. He had an era of 4.80 in 2001, and I admit that I don't know the story behind that, but the other 3 seasons, he had solid era's. He is built like and pitches like a prototypical closer. Foulke could very well have a great season in Oakland, possibly better than Koch. I just feel a little bit more comfortable having Koch on this team.

Shoeless Joe
03-29-2003, 10:14 AM
It's very simple both these guys are the same except Koch can blow a 100 mph fastball past any slugger and Foulke can fool any slugger with 74 mph change-up... sometimes. Foulke is by far the worst closer in baseball when the game is tied and Koch isn't Mr. Reliable either. So it's going to come down to which team is better. IMO I'd rather see some serious heat coming from a closer than a change-up that gets hit by Jason Giambi for a grand slam all the time.

voodoochile
03-29-2003, 12:11 PM
Many closers have short spectacular careers as primary closers (Thigpen) and some then go on to pitch setup for a long time (Mesa). The problem is mental. It burns these guys out. There are only a few guys who are really built mentally to be a closer for their whole career. Koch is one of them. Foulke, IMO, is not. I like Foulke. I think he is an excellent pitcher, but I don't think he has the mindset to have a great career at closer. Koch does.

voodoochile
03-29-2003, 12:12 PM
Originally posted by hempsox
I hereby call this meeting of closers with on again off again stuff to order...our President, Mitch Williams presiding. Any new members?

:keith

Hi, my name is Keith and I can't get my change-up over the plate and when I throw my weak fastball over the plate my neck starts hurting. I just need a little love.

:embree :JB :ginter :jaime :butter :porzio :ritchie

(All together) "Hi Keith!!!"

*****! If this were shorter, it would be POTW...

TheBigHurt
03-29-2003, 01:35 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
POTW...

YUP another question what the hell is that??????????

guessing its ___ ____ the way


BE GOOD

czalgosz
03-29-2003, 01:49 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
Many closers have short spectacular careers as primary closers (Thigpen) and some then go on to pitch setup for a long time (Mesa). The problem is mental. It burns these guys out. There are only a few guys who are really built mentally to be a closer for their whole career. Koch is one of them. Foulke, IMO, is not. I like Foulke. I think he is an excellent pitcher, but I don't think he has the mindset to have a great career at closer. Koch does.

IMHO, there's no such thing as a "closer's mentality". That's something Tony LaRussa made up in the late '80s to justify certain usage patterns, because he didn't have a better reason. There's good relievers, and bad relievers. There's never been any evidence to show that usage patterns significantly affect a reliever's performance.

That said, Foulke is a better pitcher. There's little doubt in my mind about that. But the respective contract situations of Foulke and Koch makes picking up Koch a good thing for the Sox. I'm not unhappy about the trade.

voodoochile
03-29-2003, 02:12 PM
Originally posted by czalgosz
IMHO, there's no such thing as a "closer's mentality". That's something Tony LaRussa made up in the late '80s to justify certain usage patterns, because he didn't have a better reason. There's good relievers, and bad relievers. There's never been any evidence to show that usage patterns significantly affect a reliever's performance.

That said, Foulke is a better pitcher. There's little doubt in my mind about that. But the respective contract situations of Foulke and Koch makes picking up Koch a good thing for the Sox. I'm not unhappy about the trade.

I think that once upon a time, you were correct - before the invention of "the closer". However, since the closer and hence "the closer mentality" have become accepted concepts, both teams - and the closers themselves - have to live up to those expectations. In fact, merely the fact that one is "the closer" adds weight in terms of expectations to the pitcher in question.

No one cares if Kelly Wunsch gives up a couple of runs in the 7th inning with the Sox up by 3 ("just get it to the closer and we'll be fine."). Hopefully Wunsch doesn't do that very often, but in the end all is well and good. Even if Kelly sometimes gives up the lead entirely, it's "part of the game - after all, he isn't our closer."

Don't discount the mental aspects of being the closer. Some guys can handle that pressure, some guys can't. In fact there are lots of guys who looked like HOF closers for a year or two, but are not in the same class as Eck, Smith, etc. The guys who can handle the pressure year in and year out are the ones we remember.

Koch seems more likely to do that than Foulke is, IMO...

czalgosz
03-29-2003, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
I think that once upon a time, you were correct - before the invention of "the closer". However, since the closer and hence "the closer mentality" have become accepted concepts, both teams - and the closers themselves - have to live up to those expectations. In fact, merely the fact that one is "the closer" adds weight in terms of expectations to the pitcher in question.

Sorry, I just don't buy it. Foulke was just as good in 2000 and 2001, when he was in a lot of "save" situations, as he was in 2002, when he wasn't.

Tony LaRussa has succeeded in mystifying the 9th inning, even going so far as saying that it's "just different" than the other 8. I agree that you want to use your best relievers in high-leverage situations, when the game is tight, but that's as likely to happen in the 6th, 7th, or 8th innings as it is in the 9th. The way managers use their best relief pitchers today is just stupid.

In 1988, when Dennis Eckersley saved 45 games and changed the way everyone used relief pitchers, a lot of people were saying exactly what you said - that Eckersley was a 9th inning pitcher. What everyone overlooked was the outstanding production by Honeycutt, Nelson, Cadaret, and Plunk that season that allowed LaRussa to waste his best reliever by saving him until the 9th.

People didn't learn the real lesson of the 1988 A's (a deep bullpen is really valuable) - instead they thought that it was LaRussa's usage patterns for Eckersley that made the A's great.

WinningUgly!
03-29-2003, 08:27 PM
Originally posted by TheBigHurt
YUP another question what the hell is that??????????

guessing its ___ ____ the way


BE GOOD

POTW (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/rwas/index.php?category=13)

baggio202
03-30-2003, 03:06 AM
its close but i go with foulke..but im more pissed off about losing mark johnson in that trade...now we have to carry 3 catchers to keep from losing mr. versatility because we know sandy wont last the whole season...

had we not made this trade right now either marte or foulke could be the closer, we would have johnson and olivo as the catchers and aaron miles , who really earned a spot on this team, would BE on the team ,which would give us a2nd back up middle infielder to graffy and mr. versatility would be on his way to charlotte or to another major league team...

i think we would be a stronger team if that trade wasnt made..

voodoochile
03-30-2003, 11:43 AM
Originally posted by baggio202
its close but i go with foulke..but im more pissed off about losing mark johnson in that trade...now we have to carry 3 catchers to keep from losing mr. versatility because we know sandy wont last the whole season...

had we not made this trade right now either marte or foulke could be the closer, we would have johnson and olivo as the catchers and aaron miles , who really earned a spot on this team, would BE on the team ,which would give us a2nd back up middle infielder to graffy and mr. versatility would be on his way to charlotte or to another major league team...

i think we would be a stronger team if that trade wasnt made..

I wouldn't be too pleased with MJ and Olivo at the catcher slot. I am glad they signed SanDLomar because he adds veteran presence, a solid bat and the chance to give the team way more offensively out of the catcher slot than any one else they had - IF he can stay healthy. If they had kept MJ, the Sox would still be carrying 3 catchers, IMO, but one of them would be MJ instead of Paul. Since we are talking about the 3rd stringer, it hardly seems like a big deal.

Sox were always planning on bringing SanDLomar back, unless they found someone younger and cheaper to do the same thing. Personally, I like the idea of SanDLomar tutoring Olivo the way guys like Eldred and Boomer taught some of the young pitchers...

fuzzy_patters
03-30-2003, 12:03 PM
Foulke was a great closer when he was used frequently. When he would not be used for a week or two it seemed like he lost command of his change-up. I remember JM bringing him in during some blow-out situations from time to time so he could get it back. I don't think a power pitcher like Koch is as likely to lose it do to inactivity which makes him a better closer. Foulke would be better off pitching in a middle relief role where you don't care if the team is ahead or behind as long as the game is reasonably close. That way he doesn't face the long periods of inactivity.

hempsox
03-30-2003, 12:55 PM
Originally posted by fuzzy_patters
Foulke was a great closer when he was used frequently. When he would not be used for a week or two it seemed like he lost command of his change-up. I remember JM bringing him in during some blow-out situations from time to time so he could get it back. I don't think a power pitcher like Koch is as likely to lose it do to inactivity which makes him a better closer. Foulke would be better off pitching in a middle relief role where you don't care if the team is ahead or behind as long as the game is reasonably close. That way he doesn't face the long periods of inactivity.

See this is what I'm talking about.
If Koch loses command of his fastball then the other team walks a guy up to first base. When Foulke losses his command then the ball is promptly deposited over the outfield wall. So the question here is which is worse??? For my $$$ gimme a Koch.

jeremyb1
03-30-2003, 01:25 PM
Originally posted by lighttowerpower1
Foulke became the closer midway through 2000, did quite well. He closed all of 2001 and again was quite impressive. In 2002, he began the season as a closer but had some problems. My personal feeling (i know that opinions are not allowed in jeremyb1's world, but I am going to share it anyways) is that the league finally noticed Foulke as being a good closer but they also figured out that he only has two good pitches. Foulke finally redeemed himself when he was inserted into a less crucial role. Now I won't be surprised if Foulke goes on to have a good career as a closer or set-up man (i personally think that foulke would be a great middle reliever). His era's have been impressive the past few seasons.

Lets look at Koch on the other hand. He has pitched nearly 4 full seasons as a closer, getting 31, 33, 36, and 44 saves. He had an era of 4.80 in 2001, and I admit that I don't know the story behind that, but the other 3 seasons, he had solid era's. He is built like and pitches like a prototypical closer. Foulke could very well have a great season in Oakland, possibly better than Koch. I just feel a little bit more comfortable having Koch on this team.

first of all, i fail to understand why you're making personal attacks against me. this is your 16th post and i have no idea who you are.

as for some of the knocks on foulke and the "closer mentality" in this thread, i think its important to realize that with the exception of the first half of last season, foulke has never been anything but outstanding in the closer's role. in my opinion, any critisizm as foulke as a closer must be related to last season or it doesn't hold much weight.

if you ask me, looking at foulke's performance in the first half of last season the issue wasn't that he was struggling as a closer and lost the mental aspect of that task, its simply that he was struggling as a pitcher. he claimed he had dead arm at one point, he was lacking velocity, and he was struggling somewhat with the mechanics on his changeup. that's not related to the "closer mentality" in my opinion, if such a thing exists. foulke wasn't just struggling in the closer role, he was sturggling in every role. that's why he had an era over 5 at the break.

obviously if you have a guy who is an inconsistent pitcher you may not want him as your closer but i don't know that foulke will experience those difficulties again. it'll be interesting to find out.

TheBigHurt
03-30-2003, 09:36 PM
Originally posted by WinningUgly!
POTW (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/rwas/index.php?category=13)

ohh ok

maurice
03-31-2003, 10:09 AM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
foulke has saved 89% of his games since he first became closer in '00 and compiled a 2.74 era over that same period. in his career koch has saved 86% of his games and features a 3.48 era. its a pretty close call. i voted for foulke. i wouldn't completely blast someone who argues foulke isn't better but i strongly disagree with anyone that argues koch is the better closer. if foulke saves a greater percentage of his games and allows fewer runs...

I agree with Jeremy. Koch may perform better than Foulke from here on out (and I certainly hope he does), but Foulke has outperformed him in the past, according to any relevant measure. Also, based on past performance, Koch is more likely to post a 4.00+ ERA than Foulke, who has a more consistent track record.

Procol Harum
03-31-2003, 10:17 AM
I'll tell ya which one is better and who got the better of this trade sometime in mid-August.

jeremyb1
04-03-2003, 04:31 PM
just thought i'd bump this thread.

Hullett_Fan
04-03-2003, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
just thought i'd bump this thread.

Thanks! I forgot to vote when this thread started...so I just did now. Bet you can guess who I cast it for after watching Koch's pathetic first outing as a Sox :D:

TheBigHurt
04-03-2003, 05:48 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
just thought i'd bump this thread.
MAY i ask why the hell did you do that to us??????