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Thread: Joe Posnanski with more data showing that closers simply don't matter

  1. #61
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    Re: Joe Posnanski with more data showing that closers simply don't matter

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    Are those stats any different when you trim the sample down to just include save situations entering the ninth? I doubt it will differ much but I don't know.
    Which stats? There have been a whole lot in this thread.

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  3. #62
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    Re: Joe Posnanski with more data showing that closers simply don't matter

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Which stats? There have been a whole lot in this thread.
    Sorry. The most recent ones you listed involving the Yanks and Bucs when leading entering the ninth.

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    Re: Joe Posnanski with more data showing that closers simply don't matter

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    That isn't what I am saying. What I am saying is that he doesn't close games at some special rate compared to other closers. Good relievers can close. And they can do it nearly as well as the "elite" guys.
    The "special rate" is that if it were as easy you make it out to be, there would be more like him. I highly doubt these "good relievers" don't close games simply because they prefer to get paid less and have less notoriety.
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    Re: Joe Posnanski with more data showing that closers simply don't matter

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    Sorry. The most recent ones you listed involving the Yanks and Bucs when leading entering the ninth.
    I doubt it changes it much. But, I also can't look it up either, at least not with any ease.

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    Re: Joe Posnanski with more data showing that closers simply don't matter

    Quote Originally Posted by TSJ55 View Post
    If you're saying that you would take one of those guys before Mo over the course of career then good luck. I'll take Mo and not look back.
    Where has anyone said they would actually take any of those pitchers over Mariano Rivera?

    The point is that the end result between having one or the other isn't as great as so many people are making it out to be.

    The lesser closers often make your blood pressure go up a notch, but in the end - they usually get the job done at a rate nearly as good as the best of the best. Obviously anyone in their right mind would take Mariano Rivera over basically anyone else given the choice, but it's not like having a lesser closer than him means you're screwed.

    As for me, if I can choose between Mike Leake or Aroldis Chapman pitching ~150-170 innings during the portion of ballgames where most of the outcome is being decided - I'll take Chapman and not look back.
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    Re: Joe Posnanski with more data showing that closers simply don't matter

    Quote Originally Posted by TSJ55 View Post
    The "special rate" is that if it were as easy you make it out to be, there would be more like him. I highly doubt these "good relievers" don't close games simply because they prefer to get paid less and have less notoriety.
    The Pittsburgh Pirates closers were within 2% of Rivera over the course of his career. Yeah, he was just one guy, but let's not pretend like the Pirates were running out elite relievers year in and year out and they were still almost identical in converting 9th inning leads into wins over a 15 year period of time.

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    Re: Joe Posnanski with more data showing that closers simply don't matter

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    The Pittsburgh Pirates closers were within 2% of Rivera over the course of his career. Yeah, he was just one guy, but let's not pretend like the Pirates were running out elite relievers year in and year out and they were still almost identical in converting 9th inning leads into wins over a 15 year period of time.
    That's all fine and good. I'm glad it worked out for them. But if it were as easy you want to make it out to be, they would have just sent the same guy out there. Or flipped a coin. Or drawn straws.
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    Re: Joe Posnanski with more data showing that closers simply don't matter

    Quote Originally Posted by The Operator View Post
    Where has anyone said they would actually take any of those pitchers over Mariano Rivera?

    The point is that the end result between having one or the other isn't as great as so many people are making it out to be.

    The lesser closers often make your blood pressure go up a notch, but in the end - they usually get the job done at a rate nearly as good as the best of the best. Obviously anyone in their right mind would take Mariano Rivera over basically anyone else given the choice, but it's not like having a lesser closer than him means you're screwed.

    As for me, if I can choose between Mike Leake or Aroldis Chapman pitching ~150-170 innings during the portion of ballgames where most of the outcome is being decided - I'll take Chapman and not look back.
    I'm not getting sucked into the Chapman thing. My problem with that move is less about finding another closer and more about my doubts that Chap has the mental ability to start. I've already been over this in another thread though and I don't have any all mighty numbers to back it up so I'll leave it at that.
    Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.

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    Re: Joe Posnanski with more data showing that closers simply don't matter

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    Are those stats any different when you trim the sample down to just include save situations entering the ninth? I doubt it will differ much but I don't know.
    Actually, we need to throw out the "save situation" stat altogether. It's beyond meaningless to this discussion.

    The only stat that has any bearing on the value of closers is performance in high leverage situations (I think that's what you were getting at). "Save situations" are bloated with pitching to the bottom of the order with a three run lead type situations. Take those out, and average closers Save % is probably closer to 50%.

    I agree that most good relievers can post 85% save results, given the current definition of a save, and how that has affected how closers are used. However, if used properly, in mostly high leverage situations, there are only a handful of pitchers who can handle a true closers role, and their value is significant.

    Btw, using league averages in this discussion is even more meaningless. Anyone who has taken Logic 101 knows that nothing, not a single thing, can be concluded from those stats. Many other posters have detailed why already, but I just wanted to emphasis it. Poz really looks like clown on this one.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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    Re: Joe Posnanski with more data showing that closers simply don't matter

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    Actually, we need to throw out the "save situation" stat altogether. It's beyond meaningless to this discussion.

    The only stat that has any bearing on the value of closers is performance in high leverage situations (I think that's what you were getting at). "Save situations" are bloated with pitching to the bottom of the order with a three run lead type situations. Take those out, and average closers Save % is probably closer to 50%.

    I agree that most good relievers can post 85% save results, given the current definition of a save, and how that has affected how closers are used. However, if used properly, in mostly high leverage situations, there are only a handful of pitchers who can handle a true closers role, and their value is significant.

    Btw, using league averages in this discussion is even more meaningless. Anyone who has taken Logic 101 knows that nothing, not a single thing, can be concluded from those stats. Many other posters have detailed why already, but I just wanted to emphasis it. Poz really looks like clown on this one.
    Continually reducing the sample size will of course increase the difference between the good and the bad. Which is great if you are trying to determine which pitcher is better. Yet you cannot throw out overall win percentage increases when determining the overall impact of a closer. The overall win percentage increase puts things into perspective for the overall impact. If there are only 20 1 run game saves in a year, even if a guy is perfect in them, the impact is less than something that impacts a higher number of games. The more things you cherry pick, the more it proves the lack of impact a closer has because you continually lower your sample size. If something only happens 10% of the time, I don't care how good you are at it, the impact is minimized by the lack of occurrence.

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    Re: Joe Posnanski with more data showing that closers simply don't matter

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Except teams didn't even use "closers" before the 80's really. Yet the rates were exactly the same.
    And the use of closers in the 80s, 90s and 2000s also coincides with a huge increase in offense league-wide (smaller ballparks, expansion/watered down pitching, and PEDs). More offense means a greater chance for blown leads.

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    Re: Joe Posnanski with more data showing that closers simply don't matter

    Quote Originally Posted by Pony Boy View Post
    And the use of closers in the 80s, 90s and 2000s also coincides with a huge increase in offense league-wide (smaller ballparks, expansion/watered down pitching, and PEDs). More offense means a greater chance for blown leads.
    I would make the case that pitcher specialization (use of lefty vs. lefty and righty vs. righty more often) had a much bigger impact than the use of a bullpen's best pitcher only in the 9th inning in certain situations.

    Plus overall runs for the last 3 years on a per game basis is very similar to the mid to late 70's. Perhaps the 2010's vs. the mid to late 70's would be a nice comparison.

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    Re: Joe Posnanski with more data showing that closers simply don't matter

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    The Pittsburgh Pirates closers were within 2% of Rivera over the course of his career. Yeah, he was just one guy, but let's not pretend like the Pirates were running out elite relievers year in and year out and they were still almost identical in converting 9th inning leads into wins over a 15 year period of time.
    Bad example. The Pirates play in one of the most pitcher friendly parks in baseball. This has a huge effect on the frequency of blown leads. It is just harder to come from behind in a pitcher's park like PNC. There are lots of factors that go into a teams' win percentage when leading in the 9th other than the closer.

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    Re: Joe Posnanski with more data showing that closers simply don't matter

    Quote Originally Posted by scott91575 View Post
    Continually reducing the sample size will of course increase the difference between the good and the bad. Which is great if you are trying to determine which pitcher is better. Yet you cannot throw out overall win percentage increases when determining the overall impact of a closer. The overall win percentage increase puts things into perspective for the overall impact. If there are only 20 1 run game saves in a year, even if a guy is perfect in them, the impact is less than something that impacts a higher number of games. The more things you cherry pick, the more it proves the lack of impact a closer has because you continually lower your sample size. If something only happens 10% of the time, I don't care how good you are at it, the impact is minimized by the lack of occurrence.
    There were 4459 "high leverage situations" during last MLB season. there were 4288 "save situations."
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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    Re: Joe Posnanski with more data showing that closers simply don't matter

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    There were 4459 "high leverage situations" during last MLB season. there were 4288 "save situations."
    Yet high leverage is not all closers, so it's not applicable to this situation. Only high leverage and a save situation would be applicable. A high leverage situation with a non closer has no relevance to the debate at hand since that has zero impact on how much a closer affects wins and losses.

    Now if you want to say closers should not be used to only close the ballgame in a save situation (so they are no longer technically a closer) and instead should be used in a higher percentage of high leverage situations, I am on board.
    Last edited by scott91575; 03-13-2013 at 11:30 PM.


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