Thursday, March 24, 2011
Podcast: Greatest active pitcher and more
By David Schoenfield
Eric Karabell and Mark Simon tackle the issues of the day in Thursday's Baseball Today podcast , including:
Buck Showalter's comments: Much ado about nothing?
Brian Wilson and the Giants' bullpen.
Brandon Webb's injury status and what the Rangers should do with Neftali Feliz.
Brandon Morrow to start the season on the DL.
Players who've never received an MVP vote: Who will get one this year?
Greatest active pitcher: Halladay or Rivera?
I'm going to weigh in on that last question: The answer is not Mariano Rivera. Look, Rivera has been unbelievable, a dominating closer, a class act, clutch in the postseason (although also the possessor of a few vital postseason blown saves that nobody likes to mention) ... but he's a closer. He's thrown 1150 innings in his career, most of them in one-inning stints. Roy Halladay has thrown 2297 innings in his career.
How many starters would become dominant closers? Random example: Justin Verlander, very good, top-shelf starter. Imagine him throwing 100-mph heat for ONE inning at a time. You don't think he'd be as dominant as Rivera? This isn't meant to belittle Rivera's accomplishments, but to point out that the best closers aren't closers: they're starting pitchers.