PDA

View Full Version : My little rant about the use of closers in today's baseball


Heffalump
09-13-2006, 02:56 PM
-start rant-

What's up with the reliance on closers? You get a starter out there (take Dan Haren of the A's during todays game as an example) and the guy pitches eight shutout innings (101 pitches) and only gives up three hits, but you automatically pull him to start the ninth to bring in Huston Street (this is just an example -Street did effectively close the game for the A's).

I just don't get it. It's like today's managers blindly go to the closer/setup guy all the time despite knowing that the starter is "on" today. Why not let the starter finish the game, or at least start the later innings to see where he can go if his pitch count is not elevated?

Are starters really that fragile today vs. past eras? (And its not like I am some old fart reminiscing about Cy Young - I am only 30)

IMO, the "closer" is generally overrated.

-end rant-

Chicken Dinner
09-13-2006, 03:05 PM
-start rant-

What's up with the reliance on closers? You get a starter out there (take Dan Haren of the A's during todays game as an example) and the guy pitches eight shutout innings (101 pitches) and only gives up three hits, but you automatically pull him to start the ninth to bring in Huston Street (this is just an example -Street did effectively close the game for the A's).

I just don't get it. It's like today's managers blindly go to the closer/setup guy all the time despite knowing that the starter is "on" today. Why not let the starter finish the game, or at least start the later innings to see where he can go if his pitch count is not elevated?

Are starters really that fragile today vs. past eras? (And its not like I am some old fart reminiscing about Cy Young - I am only 30)

IMO, the "closer" is generally overrated.

-end rant-

It's all about stats man. Pitch counts, saves, holds, ERA, wins, loses, etc.

Nellie_Fox
09-13-2006, 03:10 PM
It's the safest approach for the managers. They go "by the book" because they will take less heat for it. "Hey, I put in my closer, and he didn't do what he's paid to do." Few managers are willing to risk deviating from what all the other managers do. People were firing on Ozzie for letting his starters pitch too many innings last year and pitch too many complete games.

PaulDrake
09-13-2006, 05:54 PM
-start rant-

What's up with the reliance on closers? You get a starter out there (take Dan Haren of the A's during todays game as an example) and the guy pitches eight shutout innings (101 pitches) and only gives up three hits, but you automatically pull him to start the ninth to bring in Huston Street (this is just an example -Street did effectively close the game for the A's).

I just don't get it. It's like today's managers blindly go to the closer/setup guy all the time despite knowing that the starter is "on" today. Why not let the starter finish the game, or at least start the later innings to see where he can go if his pitch count is not elevated?

Are starters really that fragile today vs. past eras? (And its not like I am some old fart reminiscing about Cy Young - I am only 30)

IMO, the "closer" is generally overrated.

-end rant- I've been ranting about the same thing for years. It's like banging your head against the wall. "Thinking outside the box" is a useless cliche. In business, in baseball, and life in general, everyone is afraid to do it.

Paulwny
09-13-2006, 05:59 PM
It's the safest approach for the managers. They go "by the book" because they will take less heat for it. "Hey, I put in my closer, and he didn't do what he's paid to do." Few managers are willing to risk deviating from what all the other managers do. People were firing on Ozzie for letting his starters pitch too many innings last year and pitch too many complete games.


Also, the manager keeps his closer a happy camper, the greater the number of saves the greater the recognition the greater the pay check.

TDog
09-13-2006, 07:12 PM
-start rant-

What's up with the reliance on closers? You get a starter out there (take Dan Haren of the A's during todays game as an example) and the guy pitches eight shutout innings (101 pitches) and only gives up three hits, but you automatically pull him to start the ninth to bring in Huston Street (this is just an example -Street did effectively close the game for the A's).

I just don't get it. It's like today's managers blindly go to the closer/setup guy all the time despite knowing that the starter is "on" today. Why not let the starter finish the game, or at least start the later innings to see where he can go if his pitch count is not elevated?

Are starters really that fragile today vs. past eras? (And its not like I am some old fart reminiscing about Cy Young - I am only 30)

IMO, the "closer" is generally overrated.

-end rant-

You're absolutely right, but it doesn't only extend to taking out starting pitchers. Often relievers who should stay in the game come out for the closer, and the closer may have been the best pitcher to bring in in the 7th, but can't because he wouldn't get the save.

The save rule has done baseball a great disservice because it defines when a manager will put in his designated closer. Monday night Nathan came in a tough jam in the 8th to get out of the inning. He shouldn't have come out and pitched in the ninth because the Twins had by that time secured the win, but he had to get the last three outs to earn his save. More often teams don't bring in their best reliever to get out of situations that determine games because they want to wait for the 9th with a lead of three runs or less. Sometimes that save opportunity doesn't come because when you needed your best reliever, you put someone else in.

PKalltheway
09-13-2006, 07:23 PM
-start rant-

What's up with the reliance on closers? You get a starter out there (take Dan Haren of the A's during todays game as an example) and the guy pitches eight shutout innings (101 pitches) and only gives up three hits, but you automatically pull him to start the ninth to bring in Huston Street (this is just an example -Street did effectively close the game for the A's).

I just don't get it. It's like today's managers blindly go to the closer/setup guy all the time despite knowing that the starter is "on" today. Why not let the starter finish the game, or at least start the later innings to see where he can go if his pitch count is not elevated?

Are starters really that fragile today vs. past eras? (And its not like I am some old fart reminiscing about Cy Young - I am only 30)

IMO, the "closer" is generally overrated.

-end rant-
http://img83.imageshack.us/img83/7039/bakerdustywebua7.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
"I disagree with your statement. I'm not afraid to wear out ANY of my pitchers, starters OR relievers!"

Green
09-13-2006, 07:39 PM
Pitch count is also overrated

rainbow6
09-14-2006, 10:06 PM
Interesting thread...

If a starter has tossed over 100 pitches, I can see the logic in putting in your designated 'closer' - if you are going to rely on him in 9th inning situations throughout the year, he should get as much exposure to those scenarios as possible.