Thursday, September 25, 2008

I've been hearing a lot of crap lately- mostly from Red Sox fans- that Jonathan Papplebon is just as good, if not better, than Mariano Rivera. I've also been reading that K-Rod is the best reliever in the game.

Is that right?

K-Rod may have 60 + saves this year, but look at some other numbers from 2008:

ERA: 2.27
WHIP: 1.3
IP: 67 in 75 games (age 26)
BB/IP: 0.5 (a walk issued every 2 innings)
K: 76

Now for Mariano:

ERA: 1.43
WHIP: 0.68
IP: 69 in 63 games (age 38)
BB/IP: 0.087 (yes, that number is accurate. A walk issued every 11.5 innings)
K: 76 (just as many as K-Rod, no?)

As for Papplebon, many have come along and had a couple of 30+ save seasons. Who remembers Bobby Thigpen? Remember those 57 saves in 1990? Care to guess how many saves he had for the rest of his career?

The answer is EIGHT.

What makes the Sandman the best is that year after year after year, he is on top. Jonathan, you are a great relief pitcher, for now. But there's about a decade to go before you even approach Mo's status. Climbing Mount Olympus is not an easy thing to do. Standing in your path on the way up are Gossage, Hoffman, Fingers, Eckersley, and Franco.

And if you get to the top, say hello to Mariano for me.


At 5:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're almost right. Rivera is surely at the top of Mt. One Inning. But to suggest that he's the greatest reliever ever is silly. What Gossage and company did is much, much harder than what the current crop of "firemen" does. To start with, the old guard actually put out fires -- 7th or 8th inning of a close game, runners on, no outs? Today, you come in the 9th with no one on and a three run lead, mow down some scrubs, and you're a hero. That Rivera ever goes more than one inning makes him better than most, but it doesn't put him anywhere near the top of the heap. The heap is topped entirely by relievers from the 1970s and 1980s, when they weren't pampered babies who whine if they are asked to pitch in a non-save situation. End rant.

At 1:44 PM, Blogger The leftist southpaw said...

Your point is well taken, but a man is judged by the era he plays in. Straight up, pitch for pitch, Gossage, Sutter, Fingers, and Mariano are probably equals. There is no saying that Mariano could not have accomplished what Gossage did if he pitched in the same era.


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