"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

No Better Yet a Chunk of that Funk

The Yanks gave the Mariners a whuppin’ today–smushed ‘em 8-1–and finished the first half in style, winning another series. They’ve got the best record in baseball at 56-32, just two games ahead of the Rays, and five ahead of the Red Sox.

CC Sabathia was a horse once again and his record stands at 12-3, with a 3.09 ERA. Mark Teixeira drove the Score Truck with four hits, bringing his average to .254, Derek Jeter had a couple of RBI, and Marcus Thames hit a dinger. Yup, a most excellent way to go into the All-Star Break.

Sang it:

[Photo Credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images]

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41 comments

1 RIYank   ~  Jul 11, 2010 7:45 pm

Cool.
Missed it. I might watch it later, but probably I'll stick with the highlights.
But anyway, good for CC, and Marcus, and Teix.

2 jjmerlock   ~  Jul 11, 2010 7:46 pm

With apologies, and in light of the fast cap by Alex, figure I might as well throw this one up here:

I pronounce myself satisfied.

Now, is the following irrational: over the ASB, trade for a guy with reasonable potential as your eighth inning bridge. I know folks around here hate that term, but I think it’s only hateful when it’s forced on something that’s not working.

Otherwise, the bridge method, when you have a hammer like Mo, is the best, imo.

So you get that guy – which allows you to send Joba down immediately without second thoughts.

If Joba gets it together by some miracle at SWB and you decide that you still think he’s that bridge, the worst thing that’s happened is that you’ve found another valuable piece for the 6th and 7th in the new guy.

Of course, I guess it’s a double-edged sword – on the one hand, it’s great to have a limited set of problems to address, because addressing one or two spots is far from impossible, and when you have that situation, it means that the difference between a very good team and a monster team is only one, or at most, two, good trades away. Otoh, I’m guessing the “guys with 8th inning potential” isn’t exactly glutted. If a little money gets it done, this is the spot they can’t afford not to fix. This team is too good to let it be undone by something so identifiable. Obviously, adding a bench bat is my other move in the “must” category.

I don't think any of this is Carnac stuff, just wondering what folks think will happen with all this.

3 jjmerlock   ~  Jul 11, 2010 7:49 pm

Yikes, CC looks about 800 pounds in that pic.

He is a marvel, though. I think I see how he gets it done at his current weight, but hold the line steady, big man.

4 jjmerlock   ~  Jul 11, 2010 7:51 pm

Man, I saw that ad over on the right of the page. Don't we all live in Mets' Fantasy Camp?

5 Alex Belth   ~  Jul 11, 2010 8:23 pm

I thought that shot of CC was cool, because it made a big guy look even bigger with all the movement and his big uniform. The picture reminds me a little of a Francis Bacon picture.

6 The Mick536   ~  Jul 11, 2010 8:50 pm

I still say A-Rod has some hip issues. Yankees not playing well right now. Many injuries and the reawakening of Ortiz and Crawford have made it closer than Yankee fans had hoped. Not as upset about losing out to Texas for Lee as I am about Granderson.

Happy for the All-Star break. It always comes around my birthday. July 14, 1947. Good for me and good for the American League.

7 Alex Belth   ~  Jul 11, 2010 9:01 pm

A Rod's got hip issues, sure, but they're not playing well? I want what your drinkin...

8 Bobtaco   ~  Jul 11, 2010 9:26 pm

CC looks like he swallowed David Wells in that picture.

9 flycaster   ~  Jul 11, 2010 9:34 pm

[6] Yankees not playing well right now.

Yikes. Mick, I was raised to respect my elders, and since I'm a 1954 model I'll defer. However, best record in baseball, two best hitters (HOFers) just getting on track, best starters in baseball (some are close, but I like ours), I mean, Jeez. Can't wait till they start playing well, Mick.

Perhaps you're judging against the 1950-1955 standard?

10 Chyll Will   ~  Jul 11, 2010 10:19 pm

[2] I'm not sure about that move. The bullpen is definitely missing Aceves, who would soak up a lot of the innings that the starters couldn't complete and allowing the rest of the bullpen to be used for certain situations. CHoP isn't the guy Aceves was, and Joba isn't who he was, and it seems to have had a domino effect on the rest, including perhaps Mo. Rather than solely an eighth inning guy, you need a guy who can come in and eat up innings in the middle when the starters spit the bit and who can support the bridge to Mo on occasion so it doesn't have to fall solely on one guy (Joba). As for him, if you send him down, you're also removing him from the eighth inning equation for the foreseeable future; he may come back as that innings eater later in the season, but not someone you would want to immediately throw into tights situations during a pennant race. Otherwise, I just don't know what to do with him; the Yanks might have broken him.

11 Raf   ~  Jul 11, 2010 10:46 pm

[10] Since Joba has had experience as a starter, you would think that he would be the guy like Aceves. The way his development has been handled is kinda wonky. Then again, the organization moved Igawa to the pen, so I'm not sure what they're trying to do...

12 monkeypants   ~  Jul 11, 2010 11:49 pm

10) to add: worrying about finding the eighth inning guy or the bridge or the setup guy or whatever one calls him is the wrong way to approach building a BP. The team could and should make improvements to the pen but instead of focusing on a specific role, the team should simply...add the best arms they can find, whether from inside the organization or via trades. Jettison the drek and add one or two more reliable relievers, and the roles will sort themselves out.

The Yankees are tied for third in the league in starters' INN/start, at 6.3. That means on average the starters are getting into the seventh inning on their own. This means in turn that the most reliable reliever nor named Mo is going to be used as the eighth inning guy almost by default.

13 monkeypants   ~  Jul 11, 2010 11:54 pm

11) this same organization also took Phil Hughes, a starter, and made him into a one inning reliever last year. They are not wonky as much as they have been seduced by the siren call of Tony LaRussa into having an EIGHTH INNING GUY.

So, I am not surprised that they have tried to slot Joba into the all important eighth inning role. Rather, I am a bit worried that they seem so determined to use him and only him. Of course, no one else has stepped up. I keep hoping that someone like Robertson would start pitching lights out so he can be trusted in the eighth inning, which would perhaps open the Yankees minds to working more on developing Joba as a starter, or at least as more of a pitcher.

14 jjmerlock   ~  Jul 12, 2010 12:42 am

[10-13?]

At its most simple, this is definitely about bringing in another quality arm, as [12] suggests. And Aceves is not coming back - at least, I have become pretty darn convinced of this at this point. So I don't see him in the equation. Now with that said:

1) Some of this is contingent on getting an answer to the question I posed elsewhere about options. Does Joba have to go through waivers once he hits three years on the 40 (?) (three years of actual big league service?) - and are we in the last weeks where Joba can be shipped down with no larger consequences?

Can anyone answer this authoritatively?

If this is the case - and knowing that it is hard for an organization to suddenly abandon allegiance to an "eighth inning guy" concept, I think that colors what you will have to find to make the organization willing to send Joba to SWB.

2) I don't think I can have a full blown conversation about "8th inning guys" vs. Flexible mixing and matching - particularly after this road trip, I don't know about you all, but I'm actually looking forward to four days of getting some work done.

3) I've seen the "8th inning guy" concept be very successful. I've seen it win a few World Series.

The closest, I suppose, I've seen to us winning without the concept is when we kind of matched Stanton and Nelson. Not exactly a great departure, and it presumes having a Stanton and a Nelson.

Last year, we won with Phil Hughes as an "8th inning guy plus."

Tom Gordon just about dragged himself across the finish line, but all that throwing up in the bullpen finally caught up to him.

4) In my experience, the teams that are able to be more mixing and matching about things have had a surfeit of passable to good arms in the bullpen to employ in such a strategy. See: the Angels when they had like four guys who could throw. See: The current Red Sox, where the strategy has some flaws, as it involves using guys like MDC in high-leverage spots. But they have a bunch of guys who conceivably *could* get people out, if things break in their favor.

But see: Us. Where we don't have a surfeit of passable arms, but a verifiable shortage. We're the opposite of the Sheets, Donnelly, etc. Angels pens. We have a lot of guys that all of us expect to give up runs as soon as they hit the mound.

I've seen the closer by committee thing go up in predictable and hilarious flames. I don't believe it works. I never did.

5) I think a problem, in general, with trying to find a replacement arm, may be the biggest problem in the whole situation, despite Raf's (?) (it was another thread) assertion that there are plenty of set up men available.

We've seen the harm in bringing in a guy you know is wrong for the job, going all the way back to Witasick. Farnsworth's flaws were obvious before he got there. Dotel came draped in red flags.

I don't know who is out there.

6) (this one is a complete mash of various thoughts)

I generally like Marte more than most do, and have since his arrival. I also have never had even a glimpse of anything that seems to get folks excited about Melancon. I see a bad prospect when I see him pitch.

I think another factor in the debate is the reality component - you're going to have a hard time dissuading an organization that has had so much success with Bridge + Mo combinations to go a different direction, and if suggestions are preconditioned on something other than reality, they are of limited value. Add to that the point above that we are not remotely close to have a slew of mlb capable arms to mix and match against various situations - we're closer to having absolutely nothing before Mo.

7) I'm in agreement that the current attempt to insist on one guy in this role, one guy who is not right for this right now, is not a working solution.

I'm interested in what other people see as better/optimal scenarios in the second half of the season.

15 jjmerlock   ~  Jul 12, 2010 1:05 am

[5] And that makes it *less* disturbing?

16 monkeypants   ~  Jul 12, 2010 1:51 am

14) 3) I’ve seen the “8th inning guy” concept be very successful. I’ve seen it win a few World ...Last year, we won with Phil Hughes as an “8th inning guy plus.”

Hm. In 2009 Hughes had a 9.00+ ERA in the divisional series, and a 16.00+ ERA in the WS. He pitched in the eighth in one game during the WS and once in the ninth, both in losing causes. He also pitched in the seventh. Joba pitched one game in the eighth, and in the clinching game Mo entered in the eighth and went two innings. Yet somehow the Yankees managed to win that series.

17 MDF   ~  Jul 12, 2010 1:53 am

[5] More like Botero.

18 monkeypants   ~  Jul 12, 2010 2:04 am

16) the issue is not whether the team should tend to employ a more or less fixed specialist for both the eighth and ninth inning. Rather, this obsession with finding THE EIGHTH INNING GUY as if this this one inning is, now, the most important in the whole game is counterproductive. If the team focuses instead on getting as many quality arms as possible for the bullpen and the manager mixes and matches until he finds who is the most trustworthy...and if they all remember that Relievers tend to be flaky from year to year...the issue of roles will sort itself out. If girardi is set on finding an eighth inning specialist, one will emerge, provided that he is given a few reliable options and he is willing to experiment.

What they should not do is what they are doing now, which is to christen Joba the eighth inning guy and then stick with him ignoring all results, while other potential options are buried in the BP or in the minors. Equally bad would be to overpay for a new toy for the purpose of christening him the eighth inning guy. That sort of thing leads to things like Kyle Farnsworth.

Last year the bull pen eventually rounded into an asset when the GM and manager were willing to jettison deadwood and experiment a little. They should be similarly flexible this year.

19 jjmerlock   ~  Jul 12, 2010 3:28 am

[16,17] I'm answering this quickly, so forgive me if finer points are missed, but the Yankees come nowhere near sniffing that World Series without Hughes efforts in the 8th inning of game after game, no matter how you slice it. And just as the Yankees were fortunate that the schedule allowed them to make it through the entire postseason with a 3 man rotation, you can't possibly deny that this extends a similar boon to a short bullpen (even a bullpen of one).

I like your idea of multiple arms, but I don't see how acquiring two arms that can actually pitch in the AL/AL East is not harder than acquiring one arm.

If they can acquire two plus arms, fantastic! Yahoo! Hip Hooray!

That just seems like a tall order.

You also keep repeating your objection to christening Joba with the title, which is exactly what I am posting in opposition to.

I'd love to be optimistic that things can sort themselves out in the bullpen, but right now, you are sorting through mostly trash. This is my concern.

20 jjmerlock   ~  Jul 12, 2010 3:31 am

Excuse me, [16,18]. [17]'s thought-provoking suggestion of a likeness to a Botero (and God, do I *hate* Botero), was not meant to be subjected to my commentary.

21 seamus   ~  Jul 12, 2010 6:16 am

[18] dude, you just answering yourself? The eight inning guy concept does work. 2009 Yankees was one example. Yes, it's true that Hughes stumbled in the playoffs and we had to use Mo for extended two innings to compensate. But that's something you can't do regularly with Mo. The 8th inning bridge is there and it's effective if you have the guy to do it. The fact is, that the later you lose a lead, the less time you have to respond. You'd always rather lose a lead in the 7th inning than the 9th when the game is all but done. Loading a bullpen full of good arms sounds great (and is obviously the goal) but it's harder to do than it sounds. And in any case, you'd still want to use your best guys late given the choice.

22 RIYank   ~  Jul 12, 2010 6:45 am

The fact that some teams with dedicated EIGs have been very successful does not mean that "the eighth inning guy concept does work." It's a mistake to plug your second-best relief pitcher into such a strait role. The fact that some teams have been successful while making this error proves nothing. Every team that's successful has some flaw, after all. When a team wins the Series despite having a lead-hitter with a .350 OBP (hi, 2008 Phils!) doesn't show that it "works".

The fact that you'd rather lose the lead in the 7th than in the 8th is irrelevant, I think. If you have one pitcher who will shut the opposition down today, and one who's going to give up two runs, it really doesn't make any difference which of them pitches the 7th and which of them pitches the 8th. Right? They key is to get your best pitchers in the highest-leverage situations. Sure, the 8th has more of those than the 7th, and as monkeypants pointed out Sabathia often obviates the need for anyone to pitch the 7th. We can recognize those facts without giving in to the EIG fallacy. (Now I'm thinking 8IG looks better.)

23 monkeypants   ~  Jul 12, 2010 7:27 am

21) The fact is, that the later you lose a lead, the less time you have to respond.

Obviously, which is why which inning it is factors into leverage. But of course, not all late innings are created equal. A one ruled in the sixth or seventh is surely a more important situation than an eight run lead in the eighth or ninth.

You’d always rather lose a lead in the 7th inning than the 9th when the game is all but done.

I'd rather not lose the lead at all, which is why I would try to use my best relievers when they have the most impact, which sometimes...perhaps often...does not strictly correspond to the inning.

This phenomenon of the 8IG (I like this aabbreviation, RIYank) is patently absurd. Proponents of this bullpen usage are really saying that they want two shutdown relievers who are all but locks in the late innings. Well of course, who wouldn't? But I don't see this as substantially different from the dreaded closer by committee or, frankly, to what I am saying. where we differ is that I would be less dogmatic about how the last nine or so outs are dealt with by my best relievers.

24 RIYank   ~  Jul 12, 2010 7:52 am

[23] Yes, it's a good aabbreviation, monkey-ipad-pants.

25 monkeypants   ~  Jul 12, 2010 8:02 am

[24] MiP? MiPP?

I used to say that if I could change any one thing about myself, it's that I wish I did not have tp wear glasses.

As I get older, however, I wish I could type.

26 monkeypants   ~  Jul 12, 2010 8:20 am

[23] This phenomenon of the 8IG...is patently absurd. Proponents of this bullpen usage are really saying that they want two shutdown relievers who are all but locks in the late innings. Well of course, who wouldn’t?

This came out sort of wrong. What I was trying to get at is that wanting two lock down, virtually infallible late inning relievers is like wanting to have two Mariano Riveras. While of course this would be great, teams shouldn't build their bullpens and BP strategy around such expectations.

At the same time, by placing such emphasis on the eighth inning, teams overvalue the so-called 8IG. This leads to several attendant problems, as I see it. First, teams will overpay (in terms of money or trading chips), or by "wasting" talent (converting a pitcher who is likely to be more valuable as a starter into a late inning reliever) trying to find that which is inherently elusive..the virtually infallible reliever. Second, it leads to organizational dogmatism and lack of creativity: building a team around preconceived notions of roster construction with less attentiveness to the reality of a team's personnel. Third and most obviously, it leads to managerial dogmatism and lack or creativity with in-game decisions.

The reality is that most relievers, including most closers, tend to be a volatile lot, so that it is extremely difficult to predict from season to season who can be trusted as the 8IG or whatever, and not infrequently even within a season trusted relievers go through really bad stretches. So, in my mind, it is better to try to build BP depth and let the roles work themselves out.

27 monkeypants   ~  Jul 12, 2010 8:32 am

All of this being said, the Yankees are in first place, with the best record in baseball, and their problems are (in my mind) relatively small: a decision on the BP here, a bench bat there.

It's a nice place to be at the break.

See y'all here in four days or so.

28 seamus   ~  Jul 12, 2010 9:26 am

[23] you'd rather not lose a lead at all. Fine, but that's not the point. If you need guys to go 3-4 innings, you're going to need to use 3+ relievers or stretch one of your better guys into a zone where they aren't any better than your 3rd or 4th guys. You'd rather use your 3rd best reliever earlier than later (in case they blow it). Simple as that.

[26] That's all dogma to me. The fact is that your goal is to build bullpen depth regardless of whether or not you have an 8th inning reliever. The rest all seems to be speculative psychology about why people make roster decisions.

And of course pitchers are volatile and go through stretches of success and failure. I'm not sure why that means you should forego a more effective strategy.

I also think the anti-8th inning reliever folks here also devalue how important it is to anyone doing any job to have a well defined role. As a manager in multiple arenas the one thing I've learned over the years is that no matter how talented, and no matter how trivial or critical the situation, people are more effective when they know and understand their role/job. It's easier to set goals, work plans (pitching approach if you will), evaluate your work, etc.. I've thought about this a lot in terms of bullpen guys and I've heard Girardi make comments about it that are consistent with my position on this that I was glad to hear him make.

Mostly I don't debate these points on this site. When it comes to debates like this on here, folks seem to see no gray area. Could there be benefits to structuring the bullpen differently? Sure. But there are tradeoffs. And the issue isn't black and white that doing it another way is better. Or that the 8th inning guy is the best way to go. I certainly haven't seen an undebatable better approach proposed on here in all the thousands of comments on the subject that I've read.

29 Raf   ~  Jul 12, 2010 9:28 am

[13] Wonky in that the organization can't seemingly figure out what to do with Chamberlain. Last year, Hughes was primarily a starter, but an injury prone one, at least it made sense to throw him in the pen for a bit. Joba was a starter, then a reliever, then a starter then a reliever. The organization has been all over the map with him. And now that he's struggling, they haven't even farmed him out, which is what they did with Kennedy and Hughes when they were struggling. My thinking behind my comment in [11] was more surprise that Joba hadn't been used for multiple innings, something like Rivera was back in 1996.

Then again, they did convert Righetti into a closer after Gossage left in '83

30 monkeypants   ~  Jul 12, 2010 10:32 am

[28] You’d rather use your 3rd best reliever earlier than later (in case they blow it). Simple as that.

No, no it's not that simple. You want to use your best relievers in the place where he can do the most to help you win, which may come earlier rather than later (but it may not). You want to use your third best reliever in a lesser circumstance. That *may* be the sixth inning, or it may be the ninth inning...even in a so-called "save" situation (three run lead, no one on in the ninth is not a particular high leverage situation).

I also think the anti-8th inning reliever folks here also devalue how important it is to anyone doing any job to have a well defined role.

This *is* possible. There may in fact be a value to identifying this or that reliever by a more or less fixed role so that he can better prepare himself to fulfill that role. I am skeptical that this adds much value, and it may bring with it a certain amount of negative baggage (if we create a team full of creatures of habit, then the team will be less able to deal with situations that do not conform to expectations). But I concede that you may have a point here.

31 monkeypants   ~  Jul 12, 2010 10:41 am

[29] My thinking behind my comment in [11] was more surprise that Joba hadn’t been used for multiple innings, something like Rivera was back in 1996.

I know what you mean, and my response was more sarcastic. But then, why should we expect the team to use Joba like Mariano '96 when they haven't really used anyone else like that since then? Bullpen usage seems to have evolved to ever greater specialization: more relief pitchers, throwing fewer innings per appearance, with more strictly defined roles. I don't agree with this, of course, and there is no empirical evidence to support that teams are actually better off using their relievers the way they do. But that's the way the game is played.

So I am not at all surprised that when Joba was made (back) into a reliever, and he was designated as a valued reliever (i.e., one used in late innings), that he would be used for only one inning. Hell, I wasn't all that surprised that Hughes had appearances of 4, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9 pitches.

What does surprise me is that announcers haven't yet started to clamor for the seventh inning guy. Hm, what would he be called, since Closer and X-inning Guy have been used.

32 Diane Firstman   ~  Jul 12, 2010 11:55 am

Jays are apparently waving white flag .... would we want one of their relievers?

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/07/blue-jays-make-kevin-gregg-available.html

33 Raf   ~  Jul 12, 2010 11:58 am

[31] Sarcasm doesn't translate well over the internets :)

As for the "why" I was thinking because Joba wasn't that far removed from starting, like Rivera was. And if they're trying to "stretch" him, it would make sense for him to throw a few innings at a time. I'm not surprised at the way he has been used, as you mentioned, it's the way the game is played today, I just find it odd the way he has been deployed.

34 monkeypants   ~  Jul 12, 2010 12:06 pm

[32] I saw that...he gives up lost of walks. He's an improvement over Chan Ho Park, but then, who isn't?

It would depend on the asking price.

35 monkeypants   ~  Jul 12, 2010 12:14 pm

[32] If the Jays are giving up, I think that the Yankees might want to consider trying to pick up...(Mattpat will love this)...Lyle Overbay. He's not very good or particularly flexible (he can only play 1B). But he is still hitting LHP at pretty good clip (.800+ OPS this season, .844 for his career). He could make a reasonable, cheapish platoon with Thames. Then again, I'm not sure how long his contract with Toronto lasts.

I really think the Jays should have sold him high last year, but they didn't.

36 jjmerlock   ~  Jul 12, 2010 2:49 pm

There are two things in this thread that either unfairly or inaccurately paint the picture of the type of bullpen arm some of us feel the team must acquire and the use of that arm that we might foresee:

1) To describe our position as wishing for "two Mariano Riveras" is simply argumentative hogwash. There is not a single Mariano available. There are no other Mariano Riveras. There is only one Mariano Rivera.

Really, please.

2) I can only speak for myself, but I think that those of us who hope that the team will acquire an 8IG are not praying for one guy who can come in and always fill that role.

The best 8IG may sometimes come in for the 7th instead of the 8th, may sometimes pitch both innings, but what is needed is somebody, anybody *who can actually pitch in the 8th inning*. Right now, there are exactly zero relievers on the staff that I trust with the 8th inning. In any close game.

What this means is that the acquisition cannot simply be someone who is a middle-innings inning eater - he must at least be *capable* of pitching big 8th innings. In at least a relatively dominating manner. Robertson has not shown himself to be that guy so far this season.

The idea of Cashman suddenly being able to turn a bullpen with no dependable arms into a version of the Angels cadre of rotating flamethrowers, I think involves wishful thinking.

As to the mention of Kevin Gregg, my inclination is no. I have not been all that impressed by him.

As to one of those broader questions like "should you ever use your closer in the biggest spot of the game, even if it's the 6th inning" - I find such questions intriguing, but very, very unresolved. I think people who insisted on this as dogma are now retreating from the position, as I suspected they would and for the reasons I had such suspicions.

37 Raf   ~  Jul 12, 2010 4:44 pm

[36] I took "two Mariano Rivera's" to mean two closer caliber (for lack of a better word) pitchers. Like Rivera/Wetteland, Henke/Ward, Benitez/Myers, Davis/Gossage, etc, etc, etc.

38 monkeypants   ~  Jul 12, 2010 5:07 pm

[37] Right---or Joba 2007/Rivera, or Hughes 2009/Rivera.

[36] The best 8IG may sometimes come in for the 7th instead of the 8th, may sometimes pitch both innings,

well, if that's how we define 8IG, then I'm all for it. I agree, the team really needs another reliable bullpen arm or two, to complement Rivera.

I think people who insisted on this as dogma are now retreating from the position

I'm not sure what you are referring to as "this" in the sentence: the dogma that closers should always be used in the ninth, or the dogma that your ace reliever should always be used in the tightest relief spot.

39 jjmerlock   ~  Jul 12, 2010 7:29 pm

[38] The dogma being that it was simply *obvious* that the closer role was absurd and that such a pitcher should be used in the biggest spot in the game, be it the 4th inning, the 6th inning, the 7th, etc.

40 RIYank   ~  Jul 12, 2010 7:34 pm

I agree, the team really needs another reliable bullpen arm or two, to complement Rivera.

I believe that we at Bronx Banter compliment Rivera pretty nearly every time he pitches. (I'm just assuming that Monkeypants mistyped again.) The fact that none of us can pitch better than Chan Ho Park* doesn't seem to me to have anything to do with it.

*This was merely a rhetorical flourish. Obviously, out of any fifty randomly chosen baseball fans, it's overwhelmingly likely that at least seven will be able to pitch better than Chan Ho Park.

41 jjmerlock   ~  Jul 12, 2010 7:37 pm

[37,38] I do think you need a guy of the stripe that you are describing - less Ramiro Mendoza (as great as El Brujo was at his best), more Jeff Nelson.

This pen is so bad, I think it simply must have an injection of a guy good enough that you can reasonably expect him to put a clean sheet up when you send him to the mound for an inning.

It was just that the idea of anyone being mentioned with Mariano that was disturbing. The most clever thing posted over at nomaas.com, by a guy who also had the admirable characteristic of not really being a dick, at all, was posted by a kid who went by "xcyankees": "Trevor Hoffman should never be mentioned in the same sentence. As Mariano Rivera."

I always felt that was one little piece of genius.

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