Matt Capps – 2007 Topps

October 10, 2010

Coffee is for closers!

Well, everyone needs to grab a cup.

Nothing irritates me more (besides slappies playing corner outfield or infield positions and managers with an overgrown affection for LOOGYs and ROOGYs and 12-man pitching staffs) than the current usage of the ace of the bullpen.

The game is potentially won or lost at many points during a game.

It used to be that the ‘firemen’ came in to keep the game within one run, came in when it was tied, came in early when ahead. They came into the game when the game was at risk – with men on base.

Getting three outs in an inning when you start with no one on base? That’s your job. Whoop-de-damn-do. If it’s the 4th, 7th or 9th, a major league pitcher should be able to do that.

When entering the game at the start of the ninth, any major league pitcher worthy of his uniform should be able to:

A. Close out a three-run lead.

B. Close out a two-run lead

C. Close out a one-run lead with the bottom of the order coming up.

A real ‘fireman’ can leave those jobs to the junior recruits. A real ‘fireman’ comes in with the tying run on third and no one out in the 7th and shuts ’em down. A real ‘fireman’ faces 3-4-5 in the 8th up one with a runner on second.

Managers are managing for stats – and they probably are pressured by agents to secure a ‘logical’ bullpen. Players like ‘order’ and want to have ‘roles’, and claim they need them to succeed. Well, that’s just…

You pitch when your name is called. If you are such a ‘closer’ then close the game out when it needs to be closed. That could be the 6th or 7th.

Why am I creating a diatribe on Matt Capps’ card? Why not on a card of Shawn Chacon, whose 2004 season irritates me to no end? (He was the ‘closer’ all right, 1-9 with a 7.11 ERA. Oh, yeah, he had 35 saves. Whooopee! He also had a -1.7 WAR. Batters had a .914 OPS against him. He had 9 blown saves. You telling me Steve Reed, Scott Dohman or Tim Harikkala couldn’t have done better as a ‘closer’?? Really? How about Marc Kroon down in Colorado Springs? Never gave him a chance in June, but he had a great year down in that launching pad an hour south of town. Grrrr….)

Oh, yeah, why on Matt Capps’ card? Well, next year, the Twins have a choice to make.

Joe Nathan comes back, hopefully, from surgery.

Jon Rauch did a heck of a job in the bullpen.

When the Twins got Capps, yes they got a closer, but they did it to shore up the bullpen from head to toe. Same with the acquisition of Brian Fuentes.

Jesse Crain can be infuriating, but he’s got a great arm. Jose Mijares needs to stop trying to look like Rich Garces and get in shape. Matt Guerrier is quality as well. Pat Neshek could come back (or be non-tendered).

Fuentes’ option did not vest, so he’ll be a free agent, so he may be out of the mix. But anyway, even without Fuentes that’s three ‘proven’ closers, and four pitchers with that ability to be the ace in the pen (or at least a main stopper).

A luxury. Gardenhire could probably not wear out Crain and Guerrier like he does every year with that cast.

So, mix-and-match, but pitch not by role, but by situation.

Unless they make a big trade, you will have a team with those pitchers on it. Make it an advantage. Make it a 6-inning game.

Just please…no more Randy Flores!




One Response to “Matt Capps – 2007 Topps”

  1. Kerry Biggs Says:

    I’ve been saying “no more Randy Flores!” since 2005.

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