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Since Mariano is #1, who's the second best closer ever?


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So what you are saying is that we can never compare any player with another from some 20 years earlier or later.

MBN-The greatest disparity in talking baseball from 25 years ago to today is pitchers and how they are used and what is expected from them.

Do you argue that?

Batters still get generally 4 to 5 at bats, depending where they hit in the order and there are 9 batting spots in theorder. The DH has changed some machinations of that premise, but it generally holds true to the general mechanics.

look at pitching. Do an analysis of complete games from today to 30 years ago. Look how much "closers" had in innings pitched, to today's closers. Look at the group that was responsible for "middle inning" work in comparison to today.

The whole scheme of a bullpen, how a bullpen is used and how you use your closers and starters has totally changed. Do you deny this.

Go back in a time machine to 1976 and ask Sparky Anderson how many "holds" his bullpen has. He will look at you like you are Johnny Bench on Qualuuds.

The premise-Closers have FAR MORE of a finite role in today's bullpen than 30 years ago. They are much more situational than ever before in teh game.

I am not saying that is a bad or good thing. BUT, if you want talk about relative value of "closers" in comparing eras, you are talking about 2 very differnt animals. Closesrs of that day could not "just' get by in throwing 15-20 pitches in an all out effort and know that they did not need to conserve.

Tell me what you disagree with.

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The game is alot different then it was in the 70's

We all know that guys like Gossage, Fingers, Lyle and the such would go 2 sometimes 3 innings to get a save. It all depended on the situation.

Relievers back then were basically guys were not successful as starters but could come in and give you 2-3 innings of relief.

The only reason I would put Mariano up there as the greatest in this.

The guy has never EVER had a bad season. Not one in 12 seasons. That is mind boggling. Guys like Fingers, or a Gossage may have had a year or two where they were not dominant. Now that could be because of the total amount of innings they worked or amount of games they pitched but Mo has never even had an off year. (Unless you consider 2000 or 2002 where his ERA was in the 2.70 range)

Basically you are arguing apples and oranges though. Two different eras, different types of relivers.

Shawn, in the modern era of bullpens, which I will generously go back 20 years, I cannot deny Mariano his due.

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MBN-The greatest disparity in talking baseball from 25 years ago to today is pitchers and how they are used and what is expected from them.

Do you argue that?

Batters still get generally 4 to 5 at bats, depending where they hit in the order and there are 9 batting spots in theorder. The DH has changed some machinations of that premise, but it generally holds true to the general mechanics.

look at pitching. Do an analysis of complete games from today to 30 years ago. Look how much "closers" had in innings pitched, to today's closers. Look at the group that was responsible for "middle inning" work in comparison to today.

The whole scheme of a bullpen, how a bullpen is used and how you use your closers and starters has totally changed. Do you deny this.

Go back in a time machine to 1976 and ask Sparky Anderson how many "holds" his bullpen has. He will look at you like you are Johnny Bench on Qualuuds.

The premise-Closers have FAR MORE of a finite role in today's bullpen than 30 years ago. They are much more situational than ever before in teh game.

I am not saying that is a bad or good thing. BUT, if you want talk about relative value of "closers" in comparing eras, you are talking about 2 very differnt animals. Closesrs of that day could not "just' get by in throwing 15-20 pitches in an all out effort and know that they did not need to conserve.

Tell me what you disagree with.

I disagree with just this.

Mo has shown, when asked, that he can give you more then the typical 1 inning that closers do these days. That is why, while Pitching has changed in the past 20 years (after all, who gets 10 complete games a year these days, or pitches 300 innings, or pitches on 3 days rest instead of 4??), Mo has displayed some of the tendencys of the greats from the past. Therefore, IMO, he would have been dominant in any era, and should sit on top of the heap, when talking about "closers".

Shawn also has another point that is so true. Mo has had 11 dominant years. 11!! I doubt any relief pitcher has done that, ever. Not 1 bad year thrown in there. Unreal.

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Mo didn't end the dynasty. Torre did. The middle infielders should have been at double play depth!

Bull. I am as big a fan of Mariano as you will find. Mariano created that disaster of an inning. He is the reason the Yankees had a dynasty to be gin with, but he also killed it. He was given the pill with his work cut out for him that night. He failed. No one is perfect and I doubt many Yankee fans will hold that against him. But you must call it as it is. Mariano lost that WS for us.

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I disagree with just this.

Mo has shown, when asked, that he can give you more then the typical 1 inning that closers do these days. That is why, while Pitching has changed in the past 20 years (after all, who gets 10 complete games a year these days, or pitches 300 innings, or pitches on 3 days rest instead of 4??), Mo has displayed some of the tendencys of the greats from the past. Therefore, IMO, he would have been dominant in any era, and should sit on top of the heap, when talking about "closers".

Shawn also has another point that is so true. Mo has had 11 dominant years. 11!! I doubt any relief pitcher has done that, ever. Not 1 bad year thrown in there. Unreal.

MBN- You are talking about "displaying tendencies" and believing what Mariano could have been then. That is precisely the problem-We are relying on beliefs and forecasting, which is a dangerous business to be in. They do not always pass the litmus test.

Just because Mariano has at times been able to pitch a more than 1 inning save, still has no comparison to what relievers in the "other" era were expected to do. They are not the same comparison.

MBN, I value your baseball accumen more than any other in the board, but talking closers today to 30 years ago is talking apple and oranges.

Does that mean that Mariano would not have been dominant in that role? Of course not. But, there is no guarantee he would be posting as strong of numbers as he does today.

His arm would have more exposure, his outings would have been longer, batters would have seen his pitches more often (sometimes even twice in a game), and those would effect his stellar numbers.

Listen, it is not his fault and he has done everything he can do to be the dominant closer in today's game. That does not mean though, that he could slip into the Big Red Machine's bullpen, and the results would be the same.

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I heard last night during a game that compete games were 2.8% for the entire year.

Not a surprise, but a pace for teh lowest ever, I believe.

I wonder what thhe % was for 1968?

I don't know, but that was a dominant year for pitching. I'll bet it was around 10-15 percent.

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Nice article. The vanishing numbers of CGs is something else. And the author is dead on about starters. No more 300 inning guys. No one is even close.

I really believe that the advent of the pitch count has had something to do with this phenomonon. Pitchers now have a psychological barrier as well as a physical one.

I would tend to agree that there are more pitches per at bat, and certainly more pitches per inning, but some of these pitchers are incedibly pampered.

I can understand the younger arms being pampered, but now all arms are. I guess big money contracts will lend you to those decisions.

I didn't realize that the 5 man rotation was first conceived as late as 1970. That is amazing. It soon became gospel.

Anybody know what year the revised save rule came into effect?

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I didn't realize that the 5 man rotation was first conceived as late as 1970. That is amazing. It soon became gospel.

i once heard Tom Seaver comment that since the 5 man rotation came into effect, pitchers became more prone to injuries, as they did not throw as often as they used to. His theory was that the more pitchers throw, the more they "toughen" their arms. Katt has stated the same thing on YES telecasts.

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i once heard Tom Seaver comment that since the 5 man rotation came into effect, pitchers became more prone to injuries, as they did not throw as often as they used to. His theory was that the more pitchers throw, the more they "toughen" their arms. Katt has stated the same thing on YES telecasts.

To put that to test I'd love to know what percentage of Japanese pitchers suffer major arm injuries. I remember reading when Nomo came to the U.S. about how pitchers in Japan throw hundreds of pitches between starts for that very reason. They feel that the more you throw, the more conditioned your arm will be. Interesting theory and it makes sense.

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To put that to test I'd love to know what percentage of Japanese pitchers suffer major arm injuries. I remember reading when Nomo came to the U.S. about how pitchers in Japan throw hundreds of pitches between starts for that very reason. They feel that the more you throw, the more conditioned your arm will be. Interesting theory and it makes sense.

We never seemed to have some many arm injuries back in the 1960s into the 1970s. It has been a more recent phonemenon. I really think this is a cause of it.

BTW - Leo Mauzzone is a firm believer in pitchers throwing a lot between starts. And he is quite successful. Cause and effect?

I once met Tommy John, when he was a member of the Yankees, near the end of his career. He mentioned that he believed in throwing every other day, as a solid regiment for keeping the arm in shape.

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