Eddie Guardado – 2009 UD OPC

March 22, 2011

All Hail Everyday Eddie

Baseball isn’t the same without characters.

“Everyday Eddie” Guardado was such a man.

He was a good, fun guy to have on the ballclub. Ron Gardenhire was a victim of many of Eddie’s pranks (I’m sure Bert Blyleven helped to inspire Eddie). He also loved to play the game, and mentor the youngsters on the team.

Guardado is a prime example of how closers are made, not born. Any time you hear a team needing a ‘proven closer’ just needs to remember Everyday Eddie. He went from LOOGY to closer when LaTroy Hawkins was deemed unfortunate.

Looking at his stats – they’re rather pedestrian. He had just a 12.2 WAR over his long career – but it’s hard for a reliever to generate a lot of WAR especially if they’re used as a LOOGY much of the time. But even closers don’t pile up a lot of WAR. Mariano Rivera’s best WAR season ever was 4.8. The 100th best WAR season for a set-up reliever (IP < 100 and SV < 10) was 2.3 (Joaquin Benoit’s 2007. He went 7-4 with 6 saves, 18 holds and a 2.85 ERA in 82 innings)

Guardado was more than stats, though. He exhibited a joy in playing the game. Not everyone has to be exuberant, but you need a few guys who love being out there and will take the ball every day.

So here’s to you Eddie on your one-year anniversary of your retirement (give or take a few days).

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