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"I think that these guys are so dominant in that one-inning role that they've forgotten what we used to do," the former Yankees closer said. "It takes three guys to do what we used to do."
|Comparing relief pitchers, such as Goose Gossage and Mariano Rivera, across generations is a hard task to do.|
The obvious reason is that it diminishes Goose Gossage to talk this way. Goose Gossage was a great pitcher. A truly great pitcher. Gossage is in the Hall of Fame, he's widely remembered, he does not need to go around telling people how great he was or how he wasn't used the way pitchers today are used. I think it cheapens him to do so, especially when he uses the beloved Mariano Rivera for effect. Rivera has been gracious and classy and respectful. Gossage shouldn't use him as a prop.
OK, do you see? Rivera was better. A lot better. He was better in cold numbers, and he was a lot better when you take into consideration the eras when they pitched. For Rivera to match Gossage in the basic numbers, he would have had to pitch 278 more innings -- all those multiple innings that Gossage pitched -- and he would have to allow 201 more (a tidy 6.51 ERA). He would have had to walk 350 or so batters in those innings, while allowing 42 home runs. And he would have had to do all that in a much lower scoring run environment. I'm guessing here, of course, but I think he could have managed it.