But, but…Mariano Rivera (1219.2) is less than 2 innings behind Babe Ruth (1221.1) for *943rd* place on the All-Time Innings Pitched List! #context
“I think that these guys are so dominant in that one-inning role that they’ve forgotten what we used to do,” the former Yankees closer said. “It takes three guys to do what we used to do.”
Gossage, a Yankees spring training instructor, added: “Believe me, I do not want to take anything away from this guy, this guy is right up there. But had we been used like that, hard telling what [our] statistics would be. They’d be right there. We were dominant in that role for three innings.”
Gossage, who accrued 310 career saves with a 3.01 ERA over 22 seasons, had 193 saves of at least four outs to Rivera’s 116. There’s an even bigger gap in six-out saves—125 for Gossage and 11 for Rivera, none since 2006 (Rivera had two six-out saves in the 2009 postseason).
“I believe had Mo been used like us, he might have 350 saves,” Gossage said. “You just wouldn’t have had the numbers. The workload was amazing.”
Gossage’s point, again made repeatedly, wasn’t to disparage Rivera, whom he continually praised. It was to put the roles of relievers over the years in context.
“I would throw out the challenge of, do what we did and we’ll compare apples to apples, and I believe today is the way they should be used,” Gossage said. “I’m not taking anything away from Mo . . . We know we could have finished the ninth, Sutter, Rollie Fingers, myself. Could they have withstood that workload? I guarantee the numbers wouldn’t be what the numbers are. It’s impossible statistically to do it.”