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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