Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Closing the deal

So yeah, it's been about a month since my last post. I blame the negative chi of my New York home. When I'm using the computer, I'm no where near a cable equipped TV, so I can't watch baseball while I do something else, and baseball is the perfect background sport. So if you're gonna blame something, blame feng shui. But my sister lleft her laptop out tonight, so here I am: computer, tv, and provolone hummus mix, raring to go.

And that's all I have to say about that.

I was watching the Mets play the Dodgers out in L.A. tonight, and the Mets lost 8-5. The Dodgers brought in Cy Young award winner Eric Gagne to seal the deal, and he earned his salary AKA got three batters out. I'm not even going to get started on the irony of giving a closer an award named after a guy who pitched nine innings every day. That's ancient history. What I noticed at tonight's game was how the crowd reacted.

They were absolutely electric, everyone on their feet just for his walk from the bullpen to the pitcher's mound. You'll notice this is a typical reaction for closers. They always get the biggest cheers and the most applause. I first noticed it for Mariano Rivera on the Yankees, but it works that way for almost any closer in the majors.

They're really lucky bastards.

For one, they only come in to a game when their team is winning. So right away they benefit from the good vibes of a winning home team crowd. Then, assuming they don't blow it, they're the ones on the mound when the game ends. So no matter how great the starting pitcher was or how clutch the hitting, there's an isntant association between the closer and the win.

You can probably tell by now I don't have a terrible amount of respect for the position of closer. John Smoltz proved to me that any good pitcher can close. I mean, compare it to the starting pitcher role. Would you rather pitche every five days for as long as you can until you mess up and get a stat that labels you as the loser or would you rather just get three outs every few days and only get a stat if you win.

So what's the gist of what I'm trying to say? Ummm...closers aren't that great, yet they get a lot of adulation anyway? Yeah...I guess so.

Maybe I should've just written that

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