I have three new pieces up on SI.com today as the lead part of a larger package on closers. In the first, I rank today’s closers from 1 to 30. In the second, I look at the resources teams are devoting to locking down the ninth inning. In the third, I take a look at how closers are made and point out some of the top closers-in-waiting around the game.
I’m sure many of you will be upset to learn I ranked Mariano Rivera a mere fourth out of the thirty closers. Here’s my comment on Mo:
The Great Rivera had perhaps his best season last year, converting 39 of 40 save chances while posting a 1.40 ERA and 0.67 WHIP. Since 2003, he has posted a 1.89 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and converted 91 percent of his save opportunities. He’s the greatest closer in the history of the game, but at 39 years old, he may only be the fourth-best closer in the game in 2009.
Who are the three closers I ranked above the Yankee great? Check it out.
Also included in the package is Tom Verducci’s list of the top 10 closers of all time (which includes two Yankees), and accompanying pieces on Joe Nathan by Steve Aschburner and Heath Bell by Ted Keith.