Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I can't take phonies

Ken Rosenthal reveals a "for sale" sign around his neck. He waffles all the time, and is clearly an easy target for massive sales campaigns teams put on for certain players. I'm not just talking about Jim Rice. There are more clues in 2 paragraphs from his hallowed Jan. 2007 HOF votes, and I'm also not talking about Lee Smith. There are other clues.

  • "Lee Smith: It's the old question: What do you do with closers?

    How about stop penalizing them?

    Dennis Eckersley is in, Bruce Sutter is in and other top closers should be in, too.

    The argument against Smith is understandable: The save is a dubious statistic, and his candidacy is based on his 478 career saves, second all-time to Trevor Hoffman.

    Well, if protecting ninth-inning leads were so easy, teams wouldn't scramble to find closers who achieve year-to-year consistency.

    Players who were the best at their roles — whether they be shortstops, closers, or designated hitters — should be Hall of Famers.

    Smith was one of the best of his era, if not the best.

  • Rich Gossage: If Sutter is in, Gossage should be, too.

    Bill James, in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, rates Gossage the 37th-best pitcher of all time and Sutter the 57th.

    That's "best pitcher," not "best reliever" — and few who saw Gossage would argue. Scowling behind his Fu Manchu mustache, he was an absolute menace in his prime.

    "The Goose" pitched in the 1970s and '80s, when closers were hardy sorts who actually worked more than one inning. His career lasted 22 seasons, or 10 more than Sutter's. And from 1977 to '85, he posted a 2.10 ERA.

    Gossage also was terrific in '75, and might have produced 11 straight brilliant seasons rather than nine if White Sox manager Paul Richards hadn't made the ill-advised decision to use him a starter in '76."

  • I really can't take it.


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