Friday, November 7, 2008

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

Joe Posnanski, over at his newish digs, dishes on a new way of looking at relievers, using Bill James' work as a basis. You should go have a read because, well, most things from Joe Pos are worth reading (even if they are less Pos-like than his blog).

But, to quote The Who: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss:

Here goes nothing: these were the best closers in 2008 (20 or more save opportunities):

1. Mariano Rivera, Yankees

...I'm fascinated by the guy's ability to get people out for a decade and more with, essentially, one pitch. Plus, I have this theory that I'm working on that Rivera has been even more valuable than his reputation, but for a very odd reason.
See, we all know that nothing sucks the life out of a fan base more than the local heroes blowing a late lead. I don't know if it has a measurable effect on the team -- I haven't studied it -- but it definitely seems to have an effect on the general atmosphere, the energy level, the manager's enthusiasm, the talk radio tenor and so on. These things are multiplied in New York. And basically, in the case of Mariano, one guy has more or less eliminated that negativity from the equation.

Yep, Mo is still #1. Sure K-Rod got more opportunities and is ridiculously expressive/silly-looking. Papelbon's an animal and, to me, the heir apparent to Mo's throne. But Mo still holds court. For that, I am thankful!


tadthebad said...

Oh, definitely. Papelbon is great, but from my POV, he's not particularly close to Rivera.

Jason @ IIATMS said...

No, he's still "grasshopper", but if I had to pick just one closer* to build a bullpen around, he'd be my guy.

*excluding Mo!

dinologic (Dean D) said...

"but if I had to pick just one closer* to [make me vomit], he'd be my guy."

There, I fixed it. :)

He's got a long way to go before we can talk about him in the same sentence as Mo, but I have to begrudgingly agree.

Jason @ IIATMS said...


That's the one thing I try to bring to my little nook here: respecting the talent regardless of the uniform. Sure, it's fun to hate on the Sox, just like it's fun for them to hate on us. It's as natural as breathing and blinking.

But, while I do root for the pinstripes, I try to handle the Sox with the level of respect that they deserve.

I look at Papelbon as a guy who I love to root against but would be giddy if he were on my team. Same with Pedroia. Not true with JD Drew!

And yes, Pap does have a ways to go to reach Mo's stature (like a decade's worth of excellence) but he's on the right path.