Is Mariano Rivera the best closer ever?



  1. joefromnewhampshire

    haha. Great blog huh? It is difficult because he pitches fewer innings then closers of old, but I would most likely go with him anyway. He is definitely the best of the current crop of closers, (not now, although still top five) but I mean out of all of them career wise, including Hoffman.

  2. joefromnewhampshire

    There was a comment on “yankees chick” blog that influenced me to do extensive research and come up with this definite conclusion.

  3. mikeeff

    you should go ahead and submit this blog entry for your doctoral thesis. i hear that succinct, yet pithy dissertations like this are all the rage these days.

    there is a definite difference between the modern closer and guys like gossage etc.. so it’s hard to put them in the same category.

    it is very early to be making any kind of predictions, but i’m hopeful that this might be the year that mo wins his well deserved cy young award.
    i know his ERA won’t stay at 0.00, but apparently scouts are saying that this is the best he’s looked in years; and that is hard to argue with. i’ve seen every inning he’s pitched this year and have been astonished.
    in fact i read today that a couple of advance scouts have used one word to describe him: unhittable.

  4. joefromnewhampshire

    Well, remember as good as he is and as good as he will be this year…Ortiz is batting under .200. I still take a closer or two ahead of him currently, no offense.

    I watched him last night he was pitching well. He is someone that one would have to see from behind the catcher or in the batters box to see how difficult he is to hit. Because watching from our view its just like “one pitch” just expect it to cut. haha. easier said than done.

  5. mikeeff

    well i’d have to wonder why you’d take anyone over him this year if one were looking at his stats and record. no blown saves, no runs, no walks.
    he got 5 outs last week in chicago with 17 pitches.

    if you like papelbon more, fine. he was a better closer last year, but not so far this year…

    jus the stats man…

  6. joefromnewhampshire

    Yes, but that is why I mentioned Ortiz. It is a 27 game sample or whatever. Cliff Lee has a 0.28 ERA, but I wouldn’t take him over Beckett.

  7. mikeeff

    so you are going by historical record? then mo would win in that estimation as well. if you are looking at last year’s record, then you would take papelbon. if i had to pick a closer to have for the next 3 years i’d take pap in a heartbeat.

    and who knows, maybe lee will be better than beckett this year. so far, he’s better than anyone.

  8. joefromnewhampshire

    Well, maybe…Nothing is set, but I would still take Beckett over Lee, even statistically THIS season. That isn’t to say that Lee couldn’t have a better year though.

    But no, I would take 27 year old Papelbon over 38 year old Rivera based on age AND performance, based on the past few seasons and on how I think they will do as the year plays out. But its close, this isn’t some clear cut friendly argument we are having , it is choosing between two great closers. And I am sure Rivera will have a good year, but a 0.00 ERA isn’t realistic at this point (and I know you know that he isn’t going to finish with a 0.00 ERA too, as we also know he isn’t going to go the entire year without a walk either.

  9. joefromnewhampshire

    I dont know if that was clear what I said. The argument/discussion is friendly but the conclusion is not clear cut, objectively at least.

  10. joefromnewhampshire

    Yes, Halladay did too though, but stuck around to get a “loss.” Which is why I dont care much about the won/loss record. But you know that.

  11. mikeeff

    here’s the thing about halladay- it makes no sense to have him throw all these complete games. they’ve got some very good arms in their pen.

  12. joefromnewhampshire

    I agree somewhat on Halladay, but like tonight he threw 112 pitches, and thats reasonable. Its just the four in a row I guess that seems like a lot. And he has had some injuries in the past.

  13. kozmo

    Having just seen this post, I’m sorry I didn’t have the chance to comment earlier. I don’t think it’s even debatable that Mariano is not just the greatest closer, but the greatest relief pitcher, ever. That’s saying a lot, given the great careers of people like Eck, Wilhelm, Fingers, Gossage, Hoffman, and others. No one has dominated in the way that he has, to the degree that he has, over the length of time he’s pitched, nor in the clutch and post-season. I’m naturally biased, but the closeness to the team has been a real privilege in order to see this guy operate as frequently as I and other Yankees fans have. Mariano is The Man. If there is one guy in the history of the game, in any situation late in the game, that I would call on to get crucial outs, it’s Mariano–a thousand times Mariano.

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