Originally Posted by dougdirt
Except teams didn't even use "closers" before the 80's really. Yet the rates were exactly the same.
I'm not sure that proves the closers don't matter point necessarily. Looking at league wide averages in different eras won't show you the difference between teams with a good closer and teams without once it became a more dominant role.
What "could" prove it more conclusively is to measure the win % after 8 innings for a team that used the closer and the league average. Maybe the win % of the 89-92 A's who used Eckersley in the manner of the current closer before it was widespread league wide.
I think it's an important point too that while pretty much the league averages .97%, if a good closer means you're at 98% and a poor closer means you're at 96%, then isn't a good closer worth roughly 3 wins?