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 11:38 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 12:54 PM (#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 01:26 PM (#3998349)
Pitching just an inning at a time? Obviously Kimbrel isn't playing real baseball.
   3. zfan Posted: November 21, 2011 at 01:56 PM (#3998358)
Does he actually go by "Casey"? Isn't his name Craig?
   4. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: November 21, 2011 at 02:17 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 02:31 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 05:27 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 05:59 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 06:46 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 06:51 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 08:56 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 05:19 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 05:41 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 06:31 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
tshipman
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogLA Times: Angels' Garrett Richards Suffers Knee Injury in Win Over Red Sox
(46 - 5:16am, Aug 22)
Last: A New Leaf (Black Hawk Reign of Terror)

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - August 2014
(286 - 5:08am, Aug 22)
Last: RollingWave

NewsblogOT: Politics, August 2014: DNC criticizes Christie’s economic record with baseball video
(4807 - 4:39am, Aug 22)
Last: David Nieporent (now, with children)

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 8-21-2014
(60 - 4:24am, Aug 22)
Last: boteman is not here 'til October

Newsblog10 episodes of ‘The Simpsons’ every sports fan needs to watch
(24 - 4:21am, Aug 22)
Last: Snowboy

NewsblogDowney: Let Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame already
(28 - 3:35am, Aug 22)
Last: BrianBrianson

NewsblogESPN’s Jayson Stark: Phillies shake-up coming, Ruben Amaro not safe
(2 - 3:28am, Aug 22)
Last: Bhaakon

NewsblogPhillies have decisions to make heading into '15
(8 - 2:31am, Aug 22)
Last: Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes

NewsblogCurt Schilling Reveals He Was Diagnosed With Mouth Cancer in February, Believes Chewing Tobacco Was the Cause
(40 - 1:58am, Aug 22)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogJapan Today: Fanatic fans oblivious to sleazy side of Koshien high school baseball
(7 - 1:48am, Aug 22)
Last: Yellow Tango

NewsblogOT August 2014:  Wrassle Mania I
(58 - 1:04am, Aug 22)
Last: Dock Ellis on Acid

NewsblogPosnanski: The Royals might actually know what they are doing
(82 - 12:45am, Aug 22)
Last: Shibal

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread August, 2014
(484 - 12:23am, Aug 22)
Last: nick swisher hygiene

NewsblogMegdal: Humble shortstop Marty Marion should be in Hall contention
(52 - 12:09am, Aug 22)
Last: bjhanke

NewsblogAngels Acquire Gordon Beckham
(17 - 11:44pm, Aug 21)
Last: The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward

Page rendered in 0.2265 seconds
52 querie(s) executed