Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Papelbon to Clo--Oh, Forget It

Here's what happened today:

Edes reports Henry and Werner having an Abbott and Costello-style dialogue about closers.

Good friend Evan Brunell, Over the Monster, and Yanks Fan Vs Sox Fan suggest at their blogs that what they might have meant is that Papelbon just might be, possibly, maybe, kinda, the closer.

Edes says "terrible job, I never said that!" to the "blogosphere."

I'd just like to say that I'm pissed that I missed all this at the time, and I would've gone more overboard than those blogs if I'd thought they were actually hinitng at Pap being the closer, since that's been my hope all along.

Either way, the "truth" (?) is that "nothing's changed." And they've always said Pap still hasn't been "ruled out" as closer. I'll restate my position: We've got a great staff, a great lineup, and the best closer in the league. Let's keep it that way. That's a winning formula, I think. Again, I think Jon would be great as a starter or reliever, but he's our only closer, why change things?

So that he could pitch 200 innings instead of 70. I don't think there is much evidence that a steady closer has more impact than that same pitcher in a starting role, even giving the fact that the increased workload probably makes them less effective...and it certainly doesn't matter when in a game someone performs. Unless Pap somehow can't handle the starter role (which I don't think is the case because of how he pitched in 2005), I don't see the downside...except perhaps on those with heart-problems if we end up with a less than optimum closer.

Wow, that was long-winded.
Well, we've been through this a million times, but, hey, so what?

That last thing you said--well that's a big deal! Winning the game! I'm never going to believe that when you perform in a game doesn't matter. Why does any great closer stay a closer, if the better thing to do would be just simply pitch him MORE, like, as a starter? Closing is a huge deal. Are you telling me pressure doesn't exist? I feel it in Wiffle Ball, dice baseball...late in the game is different than early in the game. These are human beings.

As long as I'm saying stuff I've already said, how many championships would the Yanks have won had they taken Mo out of the closer's role in, say, 1998?

I'm psyched for this team this year and I think we should be fine--but there's no closer, and that absolutely worries me. It just makes it worse that the best closer in the league is on the team! And, if it's true that they're only doing this because of his health, than doesn't that mean they'd keep him as closer if they could? I just think they want him to start, so they're having him start. If our closer blows every game, they'll give some BS excuse why he IS okay to close, and put him back there. And you know what would happen? Everyone would go crazy cheering for him as he enters the game in the ninth that first time.

I'll just hope we have a five-run lead going to the ninth every game:)
Yes, we have been through it a million times, and closers are still overrated :)

My greater concern than who's going to be assigned the closer role, is the bullpen overall. You have to get to the 9th with a lead for the closer to seal it, and we saw last year what a struggle that was. I'm just not feeling very good overall about this pen...Timlin seems cooked to me, Hansen and Delcarmen still not ready, and who knows what we get out of Pineiro, Donnelly and Romero. And don't get me started on Tavarez. I am psyched about Okajima as the LOOGY, though. And I've said this a million times, but I really, really hope they give Devern Hansack a full look and a fair chance at making the roster; if it were me calling the shots, he'd be the Opening Day closer.
AJM, Ryan and Jere...I have so much to say...I'll edit it down....If Paps is FORCED to be closer, that would mean that the multiple arms in the bullpen, all of them hoping to know their roles out there, would be busts at stepping up to claim the role of our ninth inning guy. And that would be bad. Pap's shoulder might not be able to take the up and down that's required of a ninth inning guy. And clearly, there is NO ONE IN THE BIG LEAGUES that could do what he did last year. Not a soul! I have to hope that someone will step up and give us at least 75% of what he did last year. For if Jonathon has to step into that role, I, and the doctors, would be scared that the strain on his recently strenthened but still "suceptible to injury" shoulder would result in an injury. And no way do I want or can I see Mike Timlin go the full season as closer, even though that's what he wants. I do hope someone will step up in spring training, even though this all would be a moot point if the club had taken care of this during the winter. We'll see....the only Achilles' heel of our club, capable of bringing us down, is the "go to in the 9th". I hope not. Take care guys!!!! Great post, and comments. As always!
//If Paps is FORCED to be closer, that would mean that the multiple arms in the bullpen, all of them hoping to know their roles out there, would be busts at stepping up to claim the role of our ninth inning guy.//

I think if Papelbon becomes closer it's because they and he want him to be, not because he's being forced.

And I think it will take a lot of pressure OFF the rest of the bullpen and put them back in the frame of mind of just getting into the game when they're needed and being effective.

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