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

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Where the Crazy Closer Comes From

FacePage was way ahead of its time:

I wondered if it would be possible to locate the origin of the Crazy Closer archetype. Was there one late-inning reliever who was simultaneously good at his job and bonkers, thus planting this archetype in the heads of baseball fans and writers forever after? In my hunt to find the answer to this question, I kept coming back to one man: Joe Page.

DEFCON: jive Posted: April 09, 2013 at 05:26 PM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: closers, 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. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 09, 2013 at 06:50 PM (#4408842)
This is a great piece. Great links to the primary sources as well.

I would instantly have said Ryne Duren was the prototype. But nay!
   2. GGC for Sale Posted: April 09, 2013 at 07:45 PM (#4408880)
I was thinking Hrabowsky.
   3. Steve Treder Posted: April 09, 2013 at 07:49 PM (#4408888)
This is a fine piece. That said, if you're looking for the archetype of nutso ace reliever, Hugh Casey wasn't exactly sane, and his moment in the sun (in NYC no less) predates Page's.
   4. Mayor Blomberg Posted: April 09, 2013 at 08:44 PM (#4408988)
'The Gay Reliever'?
   5. OCF Posted: April 09, 2013 at 09:07 PM (#4409058)
I think it was Mitch Williams who supplied the motto for the type: pitch like your hair is on fire.
   6. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 09:46 PM (#4409184)
I enjoyed RingTFA for the nostalgia, but a distinction has to be made between "drunk reliever" (Page, Duren*), and "crazy reliever" (Hungarian, Wildthing, etc.) One had his distinction (if that's the right word) away from the ballpark, while the latter had his distinction on the mound.

*Duren, of course, fits both categories
   7. Adam Starblind Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:01 PM (#4409214)
Jeff Reardon robbed a freaking jewelry store.
   8. Bob Tufts Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:33 PM (#4409274)
Jeff Reardon robbed a freaking jewelry store.


That's nothing - I communicate with primates on BBTF.
   9. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:35 PM (#4409279)
That's nothing - I communicate with primates on BBTF.

you're giving us too much credit, Bob
   10. Bruce Markusen Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:53 PM (#4409317)
He certainly wasn't the first of the whacky relievers, but Dick "The Monster" Radatz deserves a mention. When he closed out games, he used to thrust his fists wildly into the air, which is nothing now, but was an unheard of form of celebration in the 1960s game.

Radatz' inability to throw strikes in the late sixties became such a problem that he sought out hypnosis as a remedy. It didn't work. In a 1968 spring training game, he threw 24 consecutive pitches out of the strike zone.
   11. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:59 PM (#4409325)
Radatz' inability to throw strikes in the late sixties became such a problem that he sought out hypnosis as a remedy. It didn't work. In a 1968 spring training game, he threw 24 consecutive pitches out of the strike zone.

now we know who Mitch Williams modeled himself after
   12. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 10, 2013 at 12:00 AM (#4409382)
As a teenager, I somehow had a profound moment of insight while reading about Ryne Duren. The gist of the article was that when batters came up against Ryne Duren, they were afraid that he would hit them in the head because he couldn't see them properly because of his weird glasses, and they had the overlapping fear that he would hit them in the head because he was drunk and/or hung over. And this was a special advantage he had, independent of his talent. This really struck me. How could someone get such an advantage? It's like a shortcut to success - if you can manipulate the expectations of other people rather than having them see exactly what you are.

And maybe he could see fine and was not actually drunk, which was probably true in order to pitch at all without violating the laws of the game. How could he maintain the illusion? Just by occasionally throwing a certain type of brushback pitch.

Anyway, this made me realize that we respond to how we perceive the situation to be, not to the objective facts of the situation, which are unknowable.
   13. Adam Starblind Posted: April 10, 2013 at 08:37 AM (#4409537)
That's nothing - I communicate with primates on BBTF.


That is pretty weird. Also, going through life with a name like Tufts - people will think you couldn't get into Brown or Dartmouth.
   14. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: April 10, 2013 at 09:23 AM (#4409568)
Reardon holding up the jewelry store was a sad story. He was on some heavy anti-depression meds after his son died of a drug overdose.
   15. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: April 10, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4410078)
It's like a shortcut to success - if you can manipulate the expectations of other people rather than having them see exactly what you are.


They wrote a musical about this in the early '60s...

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


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

NewsblogOTP 16 October 2017: Sorry, Yankee fans: Trump’s claim that he can ensure victory simply isn’t true
(1502 - 10:21am, Oct 20)
Last: BrianBrianson

NewsblogDodgers crush Cubs in Game 5 to advance to the World Series for first time since 1988 | LA Times
(24 - 10:19am, Oct 20)
Last: winnipegwhip

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-20-2017
(4 - 10:13am, Oct 20)
Last: Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant

NewsblogOT: New Season August 2017 Soccer Thread
(1175 - 10:04am, Oct 20)
Last: stevegamer

NewsblogOT - NBA 2017-2018 Tip-off Thread
(378 - 10:03am, Oct 20)
Last: . . . . . . . . . .

NewsblogYankees, Masahiro Tanaka take 3-2 ALCS lead | MLB.com
(8 - 9:58am, Oct 20)
Last: You're a clown, RMc! I'm tired of it!

NewsblogDeadspin: Please Enjoy(?) 21 Years Of Joe Buck Hyping Forgotten Fox Shows
(17 - 9:57am, Oct 20)
Last: You're a clown, RMc! I'm tired of it!

Gonfalon CubsFive minute Los Angeles Dodgers Preview
(73 - 9:48am, Oct 20)
Last: Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist

NewsblogTBO: Trop Flop Brings Hillsborough Hunt
(2 - 9:44am, Oct 20)
Last: You're a clown, RMc! I'm tired of it!

NewsblogNLCS Game 5 OMNICHATTER, for October 19, 2017
(275 - 9:10am, Oct 20)
Last: Barry`s_Lazy_Boy

NewsblogYankees Thumbs Down Guy is now getting his own bobblehead
(8 - 9:03am, Oct 20)
Last: ThisElevatorIsDrivingMeUpTheWall

Sox TherapyQuestioning the Winter
(9 - 8:56am, Oct 20)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine

NewsblogOT - 2017 NFL thread
(145 - 1:49am, Oct 20)
Last: Random Transaction Generator

NewsblogDo the Cubs realize how badly the Dodgers insulted them on national TV? - Chicago Tribune
(37 - 10:20pm, Oct 19)
Last: Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist

NewsblogTV Simpsons documentary about 'Homer at the Bat' episode to air Sunday
(18 - 8:51pm, Oct 19)
Last: Lassus

Page rendered in 0.3679 seconds
47 querie(s) executed