Wednesday, August 6, 2008

in closer situ, part 2

Does closer by committee ever actually work? 

Do we really need a "closer"? 

Who came up with the idea, anyway?

Here's what Jim Caple (Page 2) wrote recently:

Jerome Holtzman, a legendary baseball writer...made closers incalculable millions because he is the writer responsible for the save becoming an official baseball statistic. He invented the save in 1960 as a way to better measure the effectiveness of relievers and it became an official major league stat in 1969 (saves previous to that year were added to record books after the fact).

The problem is that Holtzman's well-intentioned attempt to measure a reliever's worth has been cheapened, manipulated and bastardized to the point that the save is the most overrated stat in baseball and the closer is the most overrated and replaceable role in American sports.


Dear Tony,
Please don't put Adam Wainwright in the bullpen when he comes back from the DL. He is far too valuable as a starter.
Thank you sincerely,