Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
December 1, 2004
BASEBALL: Be Careful Who You Wish For

The Giants have to be planning on drifting gradually to a safe distance from the pennant race as the Marlins did this season if they are looking to entrust their closer job to Armando Benitez. As the AP item notes:

[W]hile Benitez has been one of the game's top closers in the regular season with 244 saves in 283 chances - the fourth best percentage all-time -- his postseason history is spotty. He has blown six of 10 postseason save opportunities -- a major league record . . .

Yeah, and that doesn't count meaningful regular season games in pennant races. Brian Sabean is falling back on the "everybody blows games" defense:

"He's 32-years old and has learned a lot from his experience," Sabean said, adding that in this postseason "people with greater reputations proved they're fallible."

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:25 AM | Baseball 2004 | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Heh. As a Mets fan, I'd be happy to point out to Brian Sabean each gray hair on my head that is directly attributable to Benitez.

However, I hope the Giants do sign him, since that would heighten the likelihood that Bonds retires without a championship.

Posted by: mikeski at December 1, 2004 11:38 AM

Benitez obviously does have elite talent, and if I was looking for a closer for the Royals or the Tigers or some such, I'd take him any day - give him 40 save opportunities and not much attention, and he'll give you 37 saves, and help turn your low 70's win total into a low 80's win total. But no good can come from bringing him to a contender like the Giants. Sure, he's better than what they had, but the contract they gave him will prevent SF from replacing him, and he will fail them when it counts.

Posted by: Jerry at December 1, 2004 1:57 PM

How many meaningful blown saves does Mariano Rivera have? I can think of two pretty big ones that just happened in the 2004 ALCS. And he probably had two others against the Red Sox in 2004. And let's not forget the '01 World Series.

Posted by: boatshoes at December 3, 2004 7:41 PM
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