Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bill Plaschke: Right For All the Wrong Reasons!!!

Yup, that's the name of Bill's new book, due out next week.

Alternate titles included:

Bill Plaschke: Can I Has More Stupid?
Bill. Plaschke. Sentence. Fragment. Poems. For. Us. All.
And of course...
Bill Plaschke: If I Had a Normal Name, I'd Be Easier to Mock.

Just kidding, Bill isn't writing a book. Just more stupid shit.

He has saved day games, night games, winning streaks, road trips, confidence, face, butts and souls.

Who could we possibly be talking about? He's saved souls? And butts? This sounds like some kind of kickass Jesus with a machine gun!!! Or Rambo!! Yeah, RAMBO!!!!!

In giving the Angels the shirt off his back this season, Francisco Rodriguez has saved all but one thing.

How exactly, has he given them the shirt off his back, Bill? By pitching? That's sorta what he gets paid to do... so I'm not sure I follow where you're going with this. And what didn't he save?

The shirt off his back.

Umm.... wha? "In giving the Angels the shirt off his back this season, Francisco Rodriguez has failed to save the shirt off his back."

The English language just committed suicide. You fucking killed it Bill. Are you happy now?

Yes, his major league-record 58 saves is one of the coolest things to happen in Anaheim since Darin Erstad caught that final out.

Why do I get the feeling that Bill Plaschke's about to say something stupid.

For all this, the Angels should shake his hand and tell him two things. Good job, and goodbye.

Yeah, motherfucker!!! Hit the bricks!!!! Wait... wha? Ohhhh... I get it!! Because the closer is vastly overvalued in baseball economics, because all "closing" really is, is pitching an inning with a 3-run lead! Any reliever can do it! Why not pay a good middle reliever a quarter of the money and plug him in as the closer? Or bring up a fireballer from the minors to handle it!!

He has set the price, at five years, $15 million a year. He has set the tone, breaking a saves record that stood for 18 years.

Yeah, that's wayyyyy too much money to spend on 70 innings a year.

He's so ready to put himself on the open market, sometimes it seems as if he's already there, with post-save celebrations that highlight his individuality.

You lost me again. Let me get this straight, you're calling him selfish for having a freakishly good season and being happy about it? He's performing well... and because of that, he's "doing it all for himself and not the team?"

But more than any other statistic in the game, saves are a team stat. And even without their closer this season, here's guessing the Angels would be a first-place team.

I beg to differ. Wins are much more of a "team stat" than saves. RBIs are a big-time "team stat." And furthermore, here's guessing that we have no fucking CLUE where the Angels would be with Scot Shields closing ballgames. No clue.

If he really believes he will be better served playing for a manager who doesn't understand pitchers as well as Mike Scioscia, well, they should politely offer to have his head examined.

So wait... you're saying that he's saved 58 games this year... because Mike Scioscia understands pitchers? Bill, what's to fucking understand. He's their closer!!! Let me break it down for you.

They play 8 innings of baseball, with bats and balls and gloves, and they score points that are called runs... and when the 9th inning gets there, if a team is winning by 1, 2 or 3 runs... they bring in a pitcher called their "closer" to try to finish the game. If he succeeds in doing so without surrendering the lead at any point, he'd credited with what we call a "save."

Every manager in baseball understands this, Bill. Not just Mike Scioscia. When the game calls for the closer, Scioscia puts in his closer. It's not fucking science.

He is a historically incredible closer, but he's not as important to the team as a potential Angels free-agent slugger named Mark Teixeira, or a potential free-agent starter such as the Milwaukee Brewers' CC Sabathia.

Teixeira is going to cost them at least $20 Million a year, as he's firmly on the Yankees radar. After the giant contract they gave Torii Hunter last year, I doubt they're touching Teixeira.

And Sabathia's also going to command about $20 Million a year... and again, is firmly on the Yankees radar. They have $80 Million coming off the books. And the Angels have about 72 starting pitchers. So why the fuck would Sabathia be a bigger priority than F-Rod?

Closers get three outs. Closers do not hit three-run homers. Closers cannot pitch three-hit shutouts. Closers will never work three scoreless innings in relief. Closers get three outs, and only after everyone else has first done their job.

Fucking poetry. But here's the problem... if you let F-Rod go, who does his job next year? Who gets those three outs... after everyone else has done their jobs?

Scot Shields? Darren Oliver? Justin Speier? Or do you give the job to 24-year old Jose Arrendondo, who has the most impressive numbers, but has only worked 54 inning in his career? And who do you use to replace whoever slides down to the 9th inning?

Just for the record, what do you think is more demoralizing to a team?

Trailing from the first inning on and losing 8-3? Or having a 5-3 lead in the 9th inning and watching your closer blow it.... losing 8-3? Same score... but what has more of an impact?

Why don't you ask the 2007 Mets about this... better yet, why don't you ask the 2008 Mets about it? They're working on doing the same damned thing again... because they don't have a guy like F-Rod at the back-end.

Ultimately, Plaschke's right... $15 Million a year for a closer is insane... but if you're that team, do you really want to see how your season ends up without a real closer?

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