FIRE JOE MORGAN: Good Ol' Mike Celizic


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Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Good Ol' Mike Celizic

You can always count on Mike Celizic to toss off a few head-scratchers in every article he writes. His latest column is about Kerry Wood.


"And other than a truly dominant starter — and we’ve already established that Wood doesn’t meet that description — no player is more vital to winning baseball games than a great closer."

>> I don't know what his basis for saying that is. What about a guy who hits a home run every four at-bats? Wouldn't that player be more vital? I'm not saying he's wrong -- I'm saying he shouldn't be stating opinions as facts without any explanation or evidence.

"For all that’s been written over the years about the power of the Yankees lineup, New York would not have collected four world titles in five years without first John Wettland (sic) and then Mariano Rivera."

>> Again, this may be true. Maybe. What if instead of Wetteland and Rivera, the Yankees had had Mike Timlin and Trevor Hoffman? Isn't it possible that they would have won those same four titles?

"There are precedents galore for moving Wood to the bullpen.

Historically, a team’s best starter was once also its top reliever. In the days before the Yankees introduced the concept of a relief specialist in the person of Joe Page in the late 1940s, most staff aces supplemented their win totals with relief stints."

>> That is totally crazy. Who cares what guys in the 1920s did? It's 2005. Baseball is a completely different sport today because we've learned things about the human body. That's how human progress works. To hear some writers tell it, guys in the 1920s threw 200 pitches in both games of a doubleheader and were fine -- or even, as Kevin Kennedy, I believe, once suggested, better off for it.

"Lefty Grove won 300 games in his career, and in 1931 he won 31 games. That was a pretty good trick, because he started only 30 games. But he relieved in 11 others, picking up a few wins and five saves. Over his career, in fact, Grove had 55 saves. Bob Feller was another who pitched in relief when his team needed him. Every great starter did it in those days."

>> Kerry Wood may become a good reliever. Or it's possible that everyday use of his arm may be even worse for him than throwing 100 pitches every five days. But if, in the course of making their decision on what to do with Wood, the Cubs consider what Lefty Grove did in 1931, the organization is in some serious trouble.

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posted by Junior  # 7:10 PM
Also worth noting that many people think Mariano was just as valuable as an excellent set-up guy. It wasn't Wetteland and then Rivera. It was Wetteland and Rivera.
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