Baseball Primer Newsblog
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Friday, June 08, 2012
Mitch Williams set the pace for a new breed of hero. Those that had just one thing in common…(uhh, I forget the rest)
I can say this: the closer role is not just about “stuff.” It is a combination of stuff and a mentality to make that stuff useful and effective. I have argued with so-called numbers experts who claim anyone can close. That could not be further from the truth.
...I was told by my idol, Goose Gossage, that too much control in the ninth can be a dangerous thing. He couldn’t have been more right. You get ahead with strikes, you get outs with balls. I have seen more 0-2 and 1-2 base hits given up this year than I think I ever have. Pitchers are afraid that if they waste a pitch to set up another pitch, then that will count against them and that might make them unavailable for tomorrow’s game. The mission of the closer is to get three outs before the other team scores a run. I don’t care if it takes 50 pitches to do it. So what? In my 16 years as a professional pitcher, I never once went to a manager and said I wasn’t available that day. I figured if I could pull my pants on, I could pitch.
That is my take on why there has been so much inconsistancy at the closer role this year. The role is not just about stuff. It is about understanding the hitters you are facing, their egos, also the situation you are in. The pressure is on the hitter!
for his generous support.
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