FIRE JOE MORGAN: You heard it here first:


Where Bad Sports Journalism Came To Die

FJM has gone dark for the foreseeable future. Sorry folks. We may post once in a while, but it's pretty much over. You can still e-mail dak, Ken Tremendous, Junior, Matthew Murbles, or Coach.

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Thursday, June 02, 2005


You heard it here first:

Mariano Rivera = Most ineffective post-season closer of ALL TIME.

Sure, you can make the argument that Rivera has historically been a good closer in the post-season. You might even say he has been the best in history. I'll even go so far as to say that you might be right on both counts. HOWEVER, these statements do not necessarily contradict what I am saying. More on that later. Anyway, Joe Morgan raises a few eyebrows today with a shockingly enlightened column about the use of closers. Nothing Bill James hasn't been saying for like two decades now, but decent progress for Joseph. Unfortunately, he has to go and say this:

"And I've always felt that closers are the most essential in the playoffs. That's why, to me, Mariano Rivera is the best pressure closer I've ever seen."

I don't know about you, but I can't think of a more "pressure"-filled scenario than protecting a lead in the seventh game of the World Series. Well, Rivera blew that one pretty famously, giving up four hits and committing a panicked throwing error in the process. Add to that the famous pair of blown saves in the 2004 ALCS, and, with apologies to Jose Mesa and BH Kim, Rivera owns the three highest-profile post-season blown saves in recent memory. Dennis Eckersley.

Yes, perhaps Rivera is the most effective post-season closer of all time. But mightn't he be the most ineffective as well? Well, probably not. But who knows....

(And if you think I will be swayed, deterred or silenced by his career post-season record of 8-1 or his 0.75 era, then you, my friend, are in fact the crazy one.)

posted by Coach  # 5:19 PM
I hate to argue here, Coach, but one of the biggest reasons those blown saves were high profile is because Rivera had been so lights out for so long. Very few people talk about Charles Nagy against the Marlins in 1997, because who the fuck cares about Charles Nagy. (I know, I know -- that wasn't a save situation. You get my point.) Assuming you don't count Game 5 in Boston as a blown save, which I don't, really, then Rivera is on the hook for Game 4 against the Sox and Game 7 against the DBacks, versus like 30+ other 1-2-3 innings where he broke six bats and nobody got the ball out of the infield. Remember Rivera pitching to Damon Buford with two outs and two on in the ninth inning of Game 2 in 1999? Well, I do. He threw him four straight high fastballs and made him look like an old woman. Only in Game 7 against the DBacks did Rivera really crack in any real way. So, sorry, I can't go with you on this crazy ride, since I am of the belief that if you take Rivera away from the '96 to '01 Yankees, they maybe win the Series twice, but probably only once. The guy is insane.


Ken Tremendous,
Crazy Person
You're right, Ken. Maybe there are two sides to this issue.

-jimmy ballgame
Excellent use of hypertext, though.
it seems a Coach apologist beat me to the punch. do visit

-jimmy ballgame
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