Baseball Epistemology II – HOF

Mariano Rivera has this evening been voted into the hall of fame by unanimous vote as the greatest closer of all time – going back to the first bubbling amino acids which ever existed on this solar orbiting rock we call earth!!!

And he has achieved this in the beginning age of the  ‘opener’ and the ‘primary pitcher’ in the replacement of the ‘starter’, and the replacement of the sacrosanct 9th inning closer by the bullpens best available high leverage rally shut-downer.

There’s something historic alone in that. He was jusnt’t just the greatest, he was the last.

I’ve been trying to remember a pop song from my youth that was “changes like the…” and can’t remember enough of it to find it on you tube. So here you go instead. Just like you and me he wanted to be “somebody”.

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Baseball Epistemology II – HOF

  1. I don’t buy the “death of the closer” meme. Sorry. In my day (just before the big meteorite hit), a French poststructuralist named Roland Barthes proclaimed “the death of the author.” Lo and behold, that big black devil at the top of Bald Mountain summoned the authors back from their graves about as quickly as the French could kill them orf. If you haven’t noticed, we’ve got more authors all around us than ever. In fact, I just cracked a bottle of Domaine Tempier Bandol with Jim Harrison the other night.

    Now, after this “opener” nonsense plays itself out and the “best available in the bullpen” fixates, team by team, on the one guy who’s most reliable in the clutch, they’ll just start calling him the closer again.

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    • I don’t think they’ll start calling him the “closer” again. It will be more along the lines of “bullpen ace”. The identity of which will be messy and endlessly arguable. Unlike when the 9th inning is, the deciding movement of each ball game will never be known until after the game is over. Decisions as to who to bring in at those feared to be moments will be influenced by righty – leftie matchups, historical matchups’ of up coming hitters versus available pitchers, the weather, the manager’s gut feeling influenced by what he had for breakfast, etc. There will be no such thing as career or even just seasonal “saves” because the definition of ‘game deciding interventions’ will be endlessly evolving, as per the market realizations per obtaining the greatest number of wins per player payroll dollar.

      Face it Gator, the stat heads got us by the balls, How can we be at least poetic about it?

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  2. I’m as impressed by his achievements as anyone. I have a certain ambivalence to NYY players – it’s a left coast thing. That said, is the BBWAA f’ing nuts? I can see this dominating career as very impressive and certainly worthy of first ballot induction. But this is NOT (and I’ll qualify: there might not be anyone) the player deserving of the first unanimous induction.

    I will stipulate best closer ever. Particularly impressive are the postseason stats, and no “small sample size” can be applied – he has more total postseason innings than any of his regular seasons.

    No, my argument is about the closer, a position I see as limited by design. Edgar Martinez is in, but he was held out for years because of the limits of his position (in the lineup offensively only). I see similar limitations for the closer position. The classic closer gets three outs – supposedly the toughest outs. The reality is the closer is as likely to face the 2-3-4 hitters as 6-7-8. Our Yankee star is the unquestionable best closer ever, but the closer itself – and the save – is a made up stat as Happy alluded to above. Remember that other stat of the save era, the Game Winning RBI? The reason it never took off is the GWRBI might be a sac fly in the fifth. Where is the thrill in that? The ninth inning, going back to The Might Casey, is fraught with drama.

    Congrats to Mo, as textbook a HoF career as ever, but he’s not deserving of the honor of 100% of the votes. He got the honor because voters are now public, which aids fans like me in determining accountability of the voters. But nobody will ever remember that. Every article about Mo from this point forward will include some variation of the phrase “first unanimous vote getter” without further explanation.

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    • Hey, don’t be slagging GWRBI. According to Tony LaRussa, that’s the reason he voted to put Harold Baines in the HoF.

      As for the “unanimous” thing, I think it’s unrealistic to say that no one should ever be unanimously voted in, as if unanimous selection is any better than being selected by a 76% margin. Voted in is voted in. In my opinion, the BBWAA should have one question in mind when considering a given player… “Does his career, relative to his peers at the same position and in relation to current Hall of Famers, merit induction? Yes or No”. Full stop.

      Now, in real life, the BBWAA have decided that other things do matter, such as actual/suspected PED use (Bonds/Clemens/et al), position played (Edgar), ballpark (Larry Walker) and being a general douche bag (Schilling). What shouldn’t be a consideration is whether the Hall is such a holy institution that no one should EVER be unanimous… to me that’s bullshit. If there are none of the above reasons for exclusion, then the only question should be the one in the previous paragraph… is he a Hall of Famer, yes or no? And if every voter can answer that as a yes and every voter does, so be it. Same thing with the “first ballot” bullshit… I don’t know how someone can say so-and-so is a Hall of Famer, but not a first ballot Hall of Famer… WTF is that?

      I am glad to see Edgar get in, though, as I don’t think I could stand the hypocrisy of the people who colluded (NO COLLUSION!!! WITCH HUNT!!!) to keep him out and then voted to induct David Ortiz, whose career numbers are worse than Edgar’s in every offensive category but HR and RBI… AND who played 88% of his games as a DH, compared to Edgar’s 70%.

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