Monday, June 4, 2012


Heath Bell #21 of the Miami Marlins pitches during a game against the Houston Astros at Marlins Park on April 14, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

2012 has certainly been a volatile season for closers.  It is the year of the blown save.  Probably more than any other factor, this has led to the movement to change the PFBL's roster format.  Now some (Jefe) might argue that this season is just an aberration and therefore we shouldn't change anything.  That logic seems a bit shallow to me.  No, this turbulent year has exposed a rare flaw in the PFBL--the disparity of closers available on waivers.   Rather than ignore the writing on the wall (not to mention the majority of league sentiment) and plod ahead using an imperfect system, the PFBL should take this opportunity to adapt, to better itself.  I believe it was William Wallace who said, "those who do not learn from the History Channel are doomed to repeat the History Channel."

League-wide explosive seasons for closers might soon be commonplace as, dynastic closers like Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera seem to be things of the past.  Some might point to closers' short shelf life as proof that the 9th inning is the most stressful or taxing.  Moreover, some MLB managers aren't afraid of new approaches to bullpen management, for example using a 'named closer' in what might be a game's highest-leverage situation, even if it isn't the 9th inning just yet.  As the baseball world moves forward and adapts, so too should the PFBL.  Declaring this year an outlier, only to have another rear its ugly head, would spark this same debate once again.  Why waste the time?

We find a fitting analogy in the use of instant replay.   Bud Selig, in his profound wisdom, could look at recent events and declare this season a bad one for blown calls.  He could cite long intervals where umpires haven't received such widespread criticism, declare that the norm, chalk up 2012 as an aberration, and subject the league to further error.  Wake up!  We have the technology!   The NHL has an efficient and effective replay model that could be easily implemented in the MLB.

Likewise is the state of the PFBL.  Recent events have brought to light the need for a simple remedy.  We stand at the threshold of a better PFBL.  Let us not shrink from this opportunity for greatness.


1 comment:

  1. Did you read that snippet of an article? "The other 20 closers with at least five saves have converted 156-of-188 save chances, which works out to an 82 percent success rate that’s actually pretty typical across MLB most seasons."
    Hardly the year of the blown save.
    And, this push for a reduction in closers isn't due to an increase in BSVs, it's due to a lack of closers on the waiver wire. These are very different reasons.