I wanna be on top!
Mean People: Do They Suck?
Happiness: A Warm Gun?
These are the types of headlines that appear on, say, your AOL welcome screen or as teasers for the WJAR 10 nightly news. Well, maybe not WJAR... we'll say FOX 64. I'm not a huge believer in aphorisms such as these, but guess what? I'm getting a little ign'ant today!
Back in 2003 when my heart and head were swollen with the Boston Red Sox, "Theo" started talking about the whole closer/bullpen by committee thing. I put Theo in quotes because although he was the mouthpiece for this concept, I'm sure it was an idea that developed among the staff in general. And, lo, the whole world hated this plan. The pitching staff appeared rickety in spring training and then downright crappy in their first few games in TB. I'm talking to YOU, Chad Fox.
But wait a minute, Dad... did you actually say 'freedom'? Isn't it always bullpen by committee? Yeah! So all that's happening is that your closer is going to be whatever guy you think is going to get those last few batters out. Is it the bottom of the order? Okay, Frank Castillo might be okay. Is it the meat of the team? Better get Timlin.
So what's so bad about that? Let's say your closer is BK Kim. Gotta save the game. But Kim's shoulder is effed up tonight. Is he gonna say, uh, I don't think I can get these outs? Or is he going to just go out there and battle and possibly blow it? Guess!
Well, first of all, the pitchers hated it. They were definitely not shy about their disdain. I might go so far as to say they were uncooperative. Secondly, the guys we had were... not great. The idea was quietly scrapped after the Shea/BK thing. Or maybe it was loudly scrapped. At any rate, BK Kim came and most people were happy about it.
I told you that to tell you this (tm). Joel Pineiro is coming to town and say hello to your new closer (allegedly). I'm excited about JP and I am looking forward to seeing what's what in spring training, but I do not need him to be the closer. I say: Closer By Committee '07! Why not? It failed the first time, sure, but why not go after it Wile E. Coyote style? Have it backfire spectacularly AGAIN just to be really, really, sure it can never work. I am excited just thinking about Red Sox fans all over the world with red faces and cracked craniums and permanent clenched fists.
Baseball is very slow to evolve. There are still people who hate the DH and the wild card, which are clearly Very Good Ideas. I'd like to see the revolving closer concept successfully implemented in my lifetime. I'd also like to see Doug Mientkiewicz back in Minnesota. With the stupid WS ball. Because I'm sad for him that he's on the Yankees.
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