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The Yankees will have to replace his _innings_ and his _quality_, but they won't have to replace what made him great: the ability to do this for 15-20 years.
Well, they would also hope to (but be extremely unlikely to be able to) replace his seeming ability to kick it up a notch in the postseason (unlike Pettitte). He had something like two full seasons worth of inning in the postseason, and they would've been the best two seasons of his career.
Cut in half that'd be 4-1 with 21 saves which would be a low save total surprisingly enough.
Because in the postseason he was being used in a sane fashion
During the Red Sox series they mentioned that he had 11 career two inning saves. I thought that seemed low so I looked it up on BBRef. The 11 was correct for the regular season but he had another 14 in the post-season.
Rivera's first postseason relief appearance came in Game 2 of the 1995 ALDS, and he finished that outing with 3 1/3 innings of two-hit, no-run ball with five strikeouts and no walks. It was one of 33 games in his postseason career that Rivera worked at least two innings in a relief appearance. In those 33, he hurled 69 1/3 innings, was charged with four earned runs, fanned 57, walked eight and didn't allow a home run.
Those 33 are more than double the tally of the No. 2 guy: Tug McGraw, who was responsible for 15 such outings. Rollie Fingers comes in third with 13, and Goose Gossage had 10. Rivera's WHIP in these 33 outings was 0.63. There are 18 other pitchers who have had at least seven postseason relief appearances of at least two innings. None of them had a lower WHIP in those outings. Rivera has more postseason saves (42) than the next two guys combined. He has thrown the seventh-most innings for any postseason pitcher (starter or reliever), and his ERA stands at an all-time best 0.70 (minimum 30 innings).
. . .
Rivera has compiled seven seasons with at least 40 saves and an ERA below 2.00. No other pitcher has had more than two. . . . Rivera is the only pitcher to accumulate at least 200 saves and pitch for only one franchise.
Some spreadsheet maven can probably find this out in about 60 seconds, but I wonder what the lowest combined team closer ERA is from 1997 to 2013, using the numbers for all the closers who were actually used by that team during those years. For example, let the Red Sox begin with Heathcliff Slocombe and yada yada yada end with Koji Uehara, with all closers like Papelbon used in between.
Now compare that best combined number to Rivera's, and see how much money and talent (including draft picks) they had to give up to acquire those closers.
I don't know how it compares to his regular season usage but that seems a lot of appearances with a 4+ run lead. Fair enough, why take chances? And it's just 17 of his innings.
No, but they obviously made it worth his while to stick around, as opposed to letting him go and trying to find a cheaper replacement.** I'm talking about comparing the numbers Rivera put up vs. the numbers put up by any other team's version of "the field". The flipside of that "easily replaceable" theory is that often those replacements can blow up in a team's face, but with Mo the Yanks never had to worry about that.
good points. Someone mentioned 75% of Rivera, I think what the Giants have proven is that if you have a little bit of money and good scouting you can get like 90% of Rivera combined from all your guys. I think Ray's overall point is that no you won't ever get one guy as good for as long, however if you're clever, you'll get 6-8 guys for less money and get maybe 85-90% of the production in the long run.
In the four World Series the Yankees won with Mariano as closer, they swept two,
But if he ever had a season in which he went 19-11 with a 3.81 ERA, it would be described as a pretty standard Pettitte season.
As for Rivera's dominance in the playoffs relative to his overall numbers, I doubt bunting helps explain it Ray.
Sure, and I'd much rather start a team with Greg Maddux or Mike Trout than Mariano Rivera, but that's not exactly a relevant point of comparison. What team has replaced their closer(s) for 17 years in a row and achieved success in that role anywhere near to what the Yankees have done with Mo? It may be easy to replace a closer once or twice, but keeping it up for 17 years is another story altogether, and meanwhile what happens in the years that you don't?
As for Rivera's dominance in the playoffs relative to his overall numbers, I doubt bunting helps explain it Ray. He's never walked many, but in the post-season his walks per IP are about 63% his regular season rate (IBBs excluded). He doesn't give up a lot of regular season HR and his post-season HR rate is about a quarter his regular rate. He doesn't give up a lot of hits in the regular season and his post-season hits per IP are only 78% what they were in the regular season.
Sure, and I'd much rather start a team with Greg Maddux or Mike Trout than Mariano Rivera,
but that's not exactly a relevant point of comparison. What team has replaced their closer(s) for 17 years in a row and achieved success in that role anywhere near to what the Yankees have done with Mo? It may be easy to replace a closer once or twice, but keeping it up for 17 years is another story altogether, and meanwhile what happens in the years that you don't?
But the extra 10 million dollars the NYY's overpaid annually for a closer could have purchased additional wins in some other areas. He's a great closer. We agree. The point is
whether or not the $'s spent on the guy were wisely spent, or foolish overkill.
And I think that with the way modern closers are deployed, save percentage is almost a better way to evaluate relievers than ERA+, because if the closer saves the game, you don't care whether he did it allowing 0 runs or 1 run or 2 runs.
But the A's closers were rarely viewed as weaknesses
But the extra 10 million dollars the NYY's overpaid annually for a closer could have purchased additional wins in some other areas. He's a great closer. We agree. The point is whether or not the $'s spent on the guy were wisely spent, or foolish overkill.
Right. If you don't have Rivera, you'll lose a few more games in the 9th inning. Not many, but a few. But an upgrade elsewhere can offset that. It's just that people won't realize that, since blown saves are more memorable. But who cares for the purposes of the standings whether you lost a few games in the 9th inning or you lost them because you had Rivera but a crappy 3B? A loss is a loss is a loss.
I don't think anyone suggested changing closers EVERY year, but for a pretty good example of this, look no further than the Moneyball team itself, the Oakland A's. Over the past 17 years, they've gone from Billy Taylor to Jason Isringhausen to Billy Koch to Keith Foulke to Octavio Dotel to Huston Street to Andrew Bailey to Ryan Cook to Grant Balfour. The only guy who really struggled was Dotel in 2004. They rest of them ranged from adequate to outstanding. Street and Bailey had injury issues, but guys like Brad Ziegler picked up the slack.
I don't think any of those guys was particularly expensive. Taylor was as scrap-heapy as they come, and was traded for Isringhausen. Koch was picked up in a trade, then was traded for Foulke. Dotel came in a trade, and Street and Bailey were drafted. Ziegler was another scrap-heap pick up, Cook came in a trade, and Balfour was a low-profile free agent add.
17 years of these guys might have cost less than 2 years of Mariano Rivera. Street and Bailey were Rookies of the Year, and the closers tallied 6 All-Star Game appearances. (Justin Duchscherer also made an All-Star Game as a setup man.) Did their production match Mariano Rivera's? No, of course not. But the A's closers were rarely viewed as weaknesses.
You'd be hard pressed to find any year where the difference between Mo's salary and the salary of any roughly comparable replacement would have enabled them to upgrade other positions from the available FA market**, especially given that it's only been in the past 2 or 3 years that the Yankees have ever shown any serious concern about reducing their payroll.
What team has replaced their closer(s) for 17 years in a row and achieved success in that role anywhere near to what the Yankees have done with Mo? It may be easy to replace a closer once or twice, but keeping it up for 17 years is another story altogether, and meanwhile what happens in the years that you don't?
. Easy Regular Tough SV ATT SV ATT SV ATT Closers 436 460 .948 241 312 .772 61 112 .545Other 128 166 .771 204 393 .519 69 264 .261Closer% .735 .542 .298
. Easy Regular Tough Closers .520 .353 .127
Hey, I know that meal I sprung for the other night was pretty damn sporty, but you don't have to pay me back with that sort of compliment.
by that point my concentration was actually more on that magical little thing in your hand
Not every year, of course not.
But how do you know in advance when those replacement closers are going to blow up in your face?
Should the Braves get rid of Kimbrel because he's going to cost them money they could find another use for?
I often wish they had a Rivera clone.
Kimbrel will score big in arbitration (if the Braves don't extend him) but assume he pitches a few more years at about the same level - letting him walk in the hope you'd get lucky in reprograming his money would be silly.
All I'm saying is that when a team with the Yankees' resources has a closer like Rivera already in the fold, it's not worth the risk to try to get an extra $10M or so by letting him go
Rivera's salary has average $9 million, which to me leaves plenty of discretion over a 19 year period to sign a Proven Closer for a few years, and/or go with young arms at a depressed salary for a few years, etc.
How many "proven closers" are there at this point?
This all leads me to thinking. The approach would never be accepted because of the wins and saves stats, but how about if Rivera or any closer was used as an opener instead? Some of these save situations have such little leverage that the same performance in the first inning of a game would be more valuable. So let Rivera pitch the top of the first, he shuts the other team's best hitters down for one time through the order.
Because basically, for a one-inning closer, 2.0 WAR is sufficiently close to a "perfect" season, and anything beyond it is just cosmetic improvement -- the equivalent of winning a game 6-2 instead of 6-3.
Rivera's dominance was a strong foreteller of continuing success - he was so good that even a modest fallback wouldn't matter. But anyone who, in retrospect, would have preferred having the 44-for-49 dominator over the 49-for-49 head case IN THAT SEASON would be certifiable, of course. They have one specific task at hand - trying to successfully convert each save opp (used to be more tie-game issues, too, but I don't see that as being cited as an equalizer here). Assuming no tie game issues, a system that has the 49-for-49 closer as less valuable than the 44-for-49 closer that season is a system with a problem.
And once they've gotten you into the 4th inning, then what? Frozen baseballs and Kryptonite bats?
Aren't there presumably examples of it going the other way? Would Gagne (0 blown saves) versus Tim Worrell (7 blown saves) in 2003 be one?
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