When looking back over old baseball cards, I see the cards from sets such as 1983 Topps that celebrate the "Firemen of the Year".

When I used to think of Firemen, I'd think about guys like Rollie Fingers or Goose Gossage who would be called on to get outs with the game on the line. It didn't have to be the 9th inning, if the other team was threatening you'd see them come into the game.

As for the Reds, when I think about Firemen I consider guys like Franco or any of the three Nasty Boys.

Closers complete the game with a lead of three runs or less. That's pretty much it. They collect a stat, the save, by coming in and getting three outs in the games final inning, whether the situation is high leverage or not.

Guys like Danny Graves or Francisco Cordero are closers, but not firemen. If you look at the top 15 guys on the all time saves leaders board, you'll see Troy Percival, Roberto Hernandez, Jose Mesa, Todd Jones and Rick Aguilera. These guys were closers, but I'd be hesitant to call them firemen.


I think the statistic of the save has become too easy to rack up. I'd like to see baseball look at tightening the requirements to be credited with a save to bring back the days of the firemen in the bullpen and move away from the overhyped closer.