Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, November 21, 2011

Bisher Unleashed: On Closers

Can You Take Another Dose of PERCEPTO?...for Furman Bisher Has Been Unleashed Once Again!

This is, of course, a reflection of my vintage, but it strikes me as being totally sinful that the Rookie of the Year in the National League is a pitcher who played only one inning at a time. True indeed, that Casey Kimbrel played his part in the Braves’ charge toward the National League pennant, but consider where they might have finished without Freddie Freeman’s daily appearance at first base. This “closer” thing has become a baseball disease.  Freeman was in the lineup every day, with a .282 batting average, 76 RBI—only Dan Uggla drove in more — 21 home runs, 32 doubles and a bulwark of defense at first base. Kimbrel—an inning at a time, nicely done. I’m repeating myself, I know, but I never have, and never will cast my Hall of Fame vote for a “closer.”  Never.

Repoz Posted: November 21, 2011 at 10:38 AM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: awards, braves, hall of fame, history

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 21, 2011 at 11:54 AM (#3998343)
Furman Bisher's age when these diseased "closers" become eligible for election:

Troy Percival: 96
Trevor Hoffman: 97
Billy Wagner: 97
Jonathan Papelbon: 105+
Casey Kimbrel: 113+
Mariano Rivera: ?
   2. Jim Wisinski Posted: November 21, 2011 at 12:26 PM (#3998349)
Pitching just an inning at a time? Obviously Kimbrel isn't playing real baseball.
   3. zfan Posted: November 21, 2011 at 12:56 PM (#3998358)
Does he actually go by "Casey"? Isn't his name Craig?
   4. Rickey! is all out of bubblegum Posted: November 21, 2011 at 01:17 PM (#3998364)
Aside from being a grumpy old man and getting Kimbrel's first name wrong, where is the grumpy old man wrong on the merits? I'm glad my favorite team has Kimbrel (and Venters and O'Flaherty.) But closers are the most overrated players in the game, bar none, and there's a perfectly good argument that 1) Freeman played an every day position and should have been considered more valuable than a 1-inning per game pitcher and 2) 1-inning pitchers don't belong in the HOF.
   5. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 21, 2011 at 01:31 PM (#3998366)
Bisher just assumes that no other reliever will ever measure up to the first closer he covered, Doc Crandall.
   6. cardsfanboy Posted: November 21, 2011 at 04:27 PM (#3998489)
I'm agreeing with Sam... Freeman should have won, Collmenter should have placed second, and Kimbrel should have gotten two votes from local scribes.
   7. Bug Selig Posted: November 21, 2011 at 04:59 PM (#3998531)
Pitching just an inning at a time? Obviously Kimbrel isn't playing real baseball.


Great Martha's Garters! How could they give ANY award to someone from the AL?!?!? None of those bastards play real baseball!

Furthermore, is ROY supposed to be "most-valuable rookie" or "best rookie"?
   8. Walt Davis Posted: November 21, 2011 at 05:46 PM (#3998602)
is ROY supposed to be "most-valuable rookie" or "best rookie"?

Not sure what you're asking. It's quite clear that RoY is awarded based on "best-performing rookie" which is close to "most valuable" but the whole "has to be from a contending team" thing doesn't play much of a role. "Potential" plays virtually no role at all.

If you're going for an argument that Kimbrel performed at a higher level while being less valuable, I suppose there's a reasonable argument there but I don't think it's one that's been employed often in RoY voting.

But, yeah, I see nothing to disagree with in that excerpt.
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 21, 2011 at 05:51 PM (#3998608)
Fred Bisher is right for once. Closers are overrated. Frankie Freeman was the more valuable rookie.
   10. Bug Selig Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:56 PM (#3998760)
8) Walt - yes, that was my point. Kimbrel was freaking amazing. While his usage certainly speaks to value, I think it can be said that he was the top performer.
   11. cardsfanboy Posted: November 22, 2011 at 04:19 AM (#3999226)
8) Walt - yes, that was my point. Kimbrel was freaking amazing. While his usage certainly speaks to value, I think it can be said that he was the top performer.


he was something like 7 runs better than Collmenter over 70-80 innings, then Collmenter also pitched another 70 innings as a league average pitcher. Not comparable, Collmenter was better.
   12. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 22, 2011 at 04:41 AM (#3999239)
But Kimbrel had a leverage index of 1.9 compared to Collmenter's 0.9. I considered Collmenter for my vote on the ESPN panel, but I went with Kimbrel in the end.
   13. MM1f Posted: November 22, 2011 at 05:31 AM (#3999261)
10,
Agreed. I am quite ok with prioritizing "top performer" over "most value" in the Rookie of the Year voting. I don't think the Rookie of the Year voting has to follow the MVP award's focus on production and value.

That being said, I don't disagree with Bisher at all here. He is completely right. Freeman's role was certainly more valuable and it is probably more difficult for a rookie to adjust to playing 9 innings every day over a 162 game season than it is for a reliever to throw an inning every few days, though of course Fredi tried his damnedest to have Kimbrel throw every darn day. And Freeman was pretty darn good this year.

There is nothing wrong with either approach, but I think we should be giving Bisher credit for being completely right about the "closer as a baseball disease" thing. So many "old school" sportswriters get blasted on here, sometimes rightfully so, for worrying too much about "proven closers" but Bisher is so damn old school that he still treasures baseball without 'em. I love it.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Ray (RDP)
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogPirates acquire Joakim Soira from Tigers | MLB.com
(15 - 3:50am, Aug 01)
Last: Drexl Spivey

NewsblogOTP - July 2015: Winning the Political Game: Politics is More Like Baseball Than Football
(6208 - 2:48am, Aug 01)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogThis Is The Refusal Roberto Clemente Got When He Asked For A Raise
(21 - 2:30am, Aug 01)
Last: Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame)

NewsblogLast minute deals
(28 - 1:33am, Aug 01)
Last: Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos

NewsblogFormer Tigers pitcher Billy Pierce dies at 88
(7 - 1:05am, Aug 01)
Last: OCF

Newsblog7-31-2015 OMNICHATTER/TRADE DEADLINE OMNICHATTER
(166 - 12:44am, Aug 01)
Last: Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim

NewsblogOT: Soccer June 2015
(1436 - 11:21pm, Jul 31)
Last: frannyzoo

NewsblogLookout Landing: Ackley Traded to Yankees for Flores and Ramirez
(24 - 11:21pm, Jul 31)
Last: frannyzoo

NewsblogWith money and cutting-edge brilliance, Dodgers playing a game others can’t - Yahoo Sports
(12 - 10:53pm, Jul 31)
Last: Bourbon Samurai in America

NewsblogYankees remain in Kimbrel market; could active Astros join them? - CBSSports.com
(5 - 10:46pm, Jul 31)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogThe Official Mets Fan Self-Immolation Thread
(402 - 10:45pm, Jul 31)
Last: Banta

NewsblogKeith Law - ESPN (Insider) - Phillies effectively reload their farm system with Cole Hamels deal
(36 - 9:49pm, Jul 31)
Last: greenback, tyrant of bakers

NewsblogTrade Chatter - 2015 Deadline
(604 - 9:44pm, Jul 31)
Last: Squash

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - July 2015
(1712 - 7:46pm, Jul 31)
Last: Rickey! is all out of bubblegum

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(1043 - 7:31pm, Jul 31)
Last: The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB)

Page rendered in 0.2011 seconds
48 querie(s) executed