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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Washington Post:  Boswell:  The Greatest Yankee Since Ruth

Mariano was the greatest Yankee since Babe Ruth. He was more valuable, more central and more emblematic than Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson, Derek Jeter or any of the assorted Hessians like Roger Clemens of the free agent era since ’76. That’s an opinion from observation; it’s not a proof. Joe DiMaggio hit .271 (.760 OPS) in his 10 World Series. Rivera’s ERA was 0.71 in 31 postseason series. Not 31 games, 31 entire series….

Too soon, Mo will become an oldie-but-goodie. But not yet. The Yanks have the best record in the AL and have outscored their foes by even more than the much-heralded Phillies. Will we have a Series with Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels pitching on one side against a rotation of CC Sabathia, Question Mark and the Mysterians, plus ancient Mariano Rivera?

Some say: Just enjoy 602. Don’t expect another big Mo-ment in October. Fine, you believe that. The greatest of the great in all sports will dispute it.

If the Yanks reach the point where they can shut the door on another season, Rivera will arrive, as he always has, like the dream of every pinstripe fan, but the final nightmare for those who must face the Yankees.

Exit light. Enter night. Yankees win. Yankees win.

A little pinata post to console Red Sox fans between visits to their overworked laundromats.  Don’t ever say that Yankee fans lack compassion.

ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 21, 2011 at 01:19 PM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: general

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   1. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 21, 2011 at 02:46 PM (#3931851)
Um, thanks?
   2. BDC Posted: September 21, 2011 at 02:56 PM (#3931857)
What is it with Yankees and memes? There always seems to be something like this. Earlier this year there were a bunch of identical Jeter stories, and when the Yankees went into Chicago there were a dozen or so "Wrigley-is-a-dump" stories. They buzz about and then die off, like mayflies.
   3. Rally Posted: September 21, 2011 at 03:06 PM (#3931869)
Boswell is not appreciating the greatness of Mickey Mantle.

12 World Series (won 7), .908 OPS, still record 18 homeruns. I'm not as impressed by the 31 postseason series. Of course players now have more postseason appearances when you triple the number of rounds, and quadruple the number of teams in the playoffs.

Mantle had 273 World Series plate appearances. Rivera has faced 144 batters in the WS.
   4. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 21, 2011 at 03:07 PM (#3931871)
What is it with Yankees and memes? There always seems to be something like this. Earlier this year there were a bunch of identical Jeter stories, and when the Yankees went into Chicago there were a dozen or so "Wrigley-is-a-dump" stories. They buzz about and then die off, like mayflies.

What are you saying here? You mean the whole wide world isn't talking about "The Core Four"? Because that would suggest that some of these guys are merely echoing impermanent talking points without any real conviction just to fill column space, and THAT, sir, I REFUSE to believe.
   5. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: September 21, 2011 at 03:43 PM (#3931906)
It wasn't for the Yankees, so it doesn't count, but Ruth had a better World Series ERA than Rivera has, and only five fewer innings pitched.
   6. DanG Posted: September 21, 2011 at 04:48 PM (#3931957)
Closers with most pitching WAR in 2011

Rk                Player WAR ERAOPS+  WHIP SV   IP Year Age  Tm Lg  G GF BB  SO  ERA
1         Mariano Rivera 3.3  223   42 0.898 43 59.0 2011  41 NYY AL 61 52  7  57 1.98
2          Craig Kimbrel 3.0  185   40 0.996 45 75.1 2011  23 ATL NL 77 63 29 124 2.03
3          Joel Hanrahan 2.7  221   52 1.020 39 66.2 2011  29 PIT NL 68 57 15  59 1.75
4            John Axford 2.4  189   62 1.191 43 69.2 2011  28 MIL NL 70 59 25  81 2.07
5          Jose Valverde 2.3  170   62 1.203 46 67.1 2011  33 DET AL 70 66 33  62 2.41
6          Jordan Walden 2.2  158   68 1.161 31 56.0 2011  23 LAA AL 58 40 23  63 2.41
7    Francisco Rodriguez 2.2  138   92 1.324 23 68.0 2011  29 TOT NL 69 36 25  73 2.78
8         Fernando Salas 2.2  161   60 0.935 24 71.2 2011  26 STL NL 65 45 20  71 2.26
9      Francisco Cordero 2.0  161   59 0.960 34 66.2 2011  36 CIN NL 65 60 17  40 2.43
10           Ryan Madson 2.0  155   65 1.162 31 57.2 2011  30 PHI NL 59 44 16  57 2.50 
   7. JRVJ Posted: September 21, 2011 at 04:58 PM (#3931969)
We already had this thread.
   8. Flack42 Posted: September 21, 2011 at 06:28 PM (#3932057)
Is there a study showing the percentage of games the Yankees won when ahead going into the ninth inning pre-Rivera?
   9. I Remember When Posted: September 21, 2011 at 06:51 PM (#3932076)
I love the constant conflation of today's post season vs World Series. If we want to compare era's perhaps we should remember that we still play a World Series every fall.
   10. . Posted: September 21, 2011 at 07:45 PM (#3932130)
Is there a study showing the percentage of games the Yankees won when ahead going into the ninth inning pre-Rivera?

Saw it in a reputable newspaper (can't remember where) recently -- a seemingly rigorous study found that aggregate successful close percentages are no better with a "closer" assigned to the job than they were under previous systems of bullpen usage.
   11. Randy Jones Posted: September 21, 2011 at 08:00 PM (#3932145)
Saw it in a reputable newspaper (can't remember where) recently -- a seemingly rigorous study found that aggregate successful close percentages are no better with a "closer" assigned to the job than they were under previous systems of bullpen usage.


Didn't that come up recently in another thread on this topic, and wasn't it pointed out there that if those percentages were the same, that was actually a benefit of the current system since the higher run scoring environment should have resulted in more blown leads late in games?
   12. Repoz Posted: September 21, 2011 at 08:19 PM (#3932181)
Is there a study showing the percentage of games the Yankees won when ahead going into the ninth inning pre-Rivera?

Total Blown Saves.

297 during Mariano Rivera's 17 years (10 games left in this season).

300 during the 17 years before Mariano Rivera joined the Yankees.
   13. God Posted: September 21, 2011 at 08:29 PM (#3932212)
Yeah, Rivera's definitely more valuable than Mantle, Gehrig, and DiMaggio. Combined.

I remember when Thomas Boswell used to be a great baseball writer. What I don't remember is the exact date when he had his brain surgically removed and replaced with that of a hamster. I'm thinking it was between 1990 and 1992, somewhere in there.
   14. Turfblitz Posted: September 21, 2011 at 08:33 PM (#3932225)
Are stupid columns contagious or something?
   15. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: September 21, 2011 at 08:38 PM (#3932242)
THE GREATEST STORY EVER HULA'D!
   16. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 21, 2011 at 08:55 PM (#3932277)
Is there a study showing the percentage of games the Yankees won when ahead going into the ninth inning pre-Rivera?


Total Blown Saves.

297 during Mariano Rivera's 17 years (10 games left in this season).


I'm not sure what that "total" refers to, but Rivera's career total of Blown Saves is 72.

300 during the 17 years before Mariano Rivera joined the Yankees.

Total Yankee wins during Rivera's 17 years: 1632

Total Yankees wins during the previous 17 years: 1415
   17. . Posted: September 21, 2011 at 09:05 PM (#3932293)
I'm not sure what that "total" refers to, but Rivera's career total of Blown Saves is 72.

A potential Yankee save can be blown by someone other than Rivera.

It's not our fault his managers only wanted to give him a shot at the low-hanging fruit -- the easy pickens.
   18. Lest we forget Posted: September 21, 2011 at 09:17 PM (#3932312)
somewhat lost in all the hyperbole is the remarkable season Rivera is having. sure, he 'slumped' for a short stretch, but jeepers, the guy is putting together the reasonably arguably best closer season of the year.. again..

career? great story. this year? great story.

triple wow
   19. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 21, 2011 at 09:20 PM (#3932318)
Glad to help your get your mind off less pleasant thoughts, SBB, like having to accept a welfare payment in the form of another Yankee win over a team the Red Sox couldn't beat with a two run spot. But then this pinata post of Boswell's was put up there for that very purpose, because Yankee fans----well, we're all about compassion.
   20. . Posted: September 21, 2011 at 09:40 PM (#3932341)
If Andy's number is right, Rivera has saved 602/674, or 89.3%, of his save opportunities.

The BB-ref win expectation coming into a home game at the start of the 9th inning with a two-run lead is 92%. For a home one-run game it's 83%. For a road one-run game, it's 79% and for a road two-run game, it's 91%. (These figures are all based on the most recent example of the specified game state, for the 2011 Yankees, as per BB-ref).

Thus, Rivera's average save is harder than a typical start-of-ninth-inning up 2 runs, but easier than a typical start-of-ninth-inning-up-one-run. (The ratio to "even them out" is 3.772; he's 2.2% worse than typical two run -- blending home and road -- 8.3% better than typical one run).

I'm not sure where these figures lead us, but I think we'd all agree that if a closer came into an aggregate win expectation state of, say, 90%, and his save percentage was 88%, he'd be no great shakes. Rivera's aggregate win expectation state is almost certainly below 89.3%, but it would be interesting to know exactly how much and how much his "improved win expectation" compares to others'.

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