Saturday, July 29, 2006

Tom Verducci, SI, 6/29/06---doesn't even mention Mariano for All Star closer

From SI, Verducci responds to reader mail re All Star picks:

"At the risk of sounding like a homer, I have a question regarding Blue Jays closer B.J. Ryan. Boston's Jonathan Papelbon is having a brilliant season, and given that you have already included three Blue Jays (thank you) in your All-Star selections, I can understand why you chose him over B.J. for your team. However, since B.J. has a nearly identical ERA, with fewer hits, more strikeouts and only two more walks allowed than Papelbon, my question is twofold: 1) How does B.J.'s season stack up historically, and 2) who would you call on in the ninth inning of the World Series with a one-run lead?
-- Ian K., Toronto

"Ryan and Papelbon are halfway to all-time great seasons, joining Dennis Eckersley in 1990 (my pick for best ever), Trevor Hoffman in 1998 and Eric Gagne in 2003. To get the last out of the World Series, right now I'd go with Ryan, only because he's a little older and experienced (though not in October), but I'd also have no problems with Papelbon, who looks like he has the guts for that kind of situation. ("Tough Calls on All Star Closers," article)

  • Astonishing disrespect & white-wash job. As Verducci may be aware, the actual manager of the game announced his choice of Mariano Rivera to close the All Star game on July 5. Sorry. Actual life won out over media spin. Never underestimate media bias or the seemingly benign exterior of Mr. Verducci.


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