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  1. Farnsworth is a overrated juicer and choker – period.

    Anyone who considers him a closer hasn’t watched him pitch.

    Comment by Casablanca — February 16, 2011 @ 9:36 am

  2. I don’t think it’s possible for Kyle Farnsworth to be overrated.

    Comment by Lucas Apostoleris — February 16, 2011 @ 9:48 am

  3. Embiggen is a perfectly cromulent word.

    Comment by Matthew Nolan — February 16, 2011 @ 10:01 am

  4. Continuing on the topic of Joe’s binder, is it against major league regulation to have a laptop in the dugout? I’m assuming there is.

    Comment by Ryan S. — February 16, 2011 @ 10:01 am

  5. Nitpicking the headline, but isn’t every bullpen a commitee?

    Comment by Kevin S. — February 16, 2011 @ 10:08 am

  6. I don’t think you read this article. Or maybe it’s that you can’t read. Impressive writing skills if it’s the latter.

    Comment by Sandy Kazmir — February 16, 2011 @ 10:54 am

  7. This isn’t the deepest thought out there, but if anyone can make a closer by committee work it’s probably a guy like Joe Madden. And he’s also in a market where he can try and it not get beat down in the media for doing so. This is the kind of experiment that wouldn’t fly with fans/media in a lot of cities.

    I’m a Sox fan so I don’t want it to become the greatest bullpen in the history of bullpens for personal reasons, but as a fan of baseball I’d like to see it work out well here. Then at the least the traditionalists couldn’t just point to the 2003 Red Sox bullpen and go “See! It doesn’t work!”

    Comment by teejay1324 — February 16, 2011 @ 11:06 am

  8. You are correct. Don’t know why, but I’ll leave it. Seems to emphasize the point that the bullpen is a team, and every out is an out, so I guess that’s why I’ll leave it.

    Comment by Eno Sarris — February 16, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

  9. Yeah, it’s that Red Sox bullpen that I didn’t really want to talk about, so I just ignored the past haha.

    Comment by Eno Sarris — February 16, 2011 @ 12:11 pm

  10. I agree in a vacuum this is the best route (and for most teams that don’t have Rivera, etc), but I think in general your biggest resistance you encounter is that of the players. They like knowing approximately when they’ll be in the game, and how long they’ll be in the game for. Maddon doesn’t exist solely to appease his players but it’s unknown how much ‘knowing your role’ can affect individual performance and I think the argument should get some consideration.

    Comment by anonymous — February 16, 2011 @ 12:14 pm

  11. All results-oriented discussion aside, I think it’s funny that “traditionalists” are attached to the role of the closer, given how relatively new it is. I guess fans my age (26) can’t remember a time when there weren’t closers, so it might seem traditional for us. It’s at the very least conventional by now. Maybe the idea of fixed bullpen roles easily resonates with a “traditionalist” worldview, and so has become an entrenched traditional idea despite its conflict with the older traditional view, that pitchers should finish what they start. With all the ballpark ritual surrounding the closer and the way that some pitchers are developed for the role, maybe it’s an innovation that traditionalists were waiting for all along.

    Comment by Al Dimond — February 16, 2011 @ 12:34 pm

  12. I agree with you, but I disagree with the mindset. Guys still have roles, the roles are just better defined as Groundball Guy, Strikeout Guy, ROOGY, LOOGY, All Purpose, Mop Up, Longman. You can tweak what they are there to do, but they should know the symptoms of when they will be called upon. I know these guys would prefer to be 7th Inning Guy, 8th Inning Guy, etc…, but if you’re a team player it’s essentially the same thing.

    Comment by Sandy Kazmir — February 16, 2011 @ 1:06 pm

  13. I think the missing point is that it is about usage and preparation. The worst thing you can do to a bullpen is have guys throwing hard and regularly not getting them in the game. Once in a while, this is fine. But you can’t get your best guy up at the start of the 6th inning expecting to have a situation with two guys on with two out and needing that big out. That is not real life.

    Comment by ttnorm — February 16, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

  14. As a “traditionalist” I think the role of the closer is too overblown. As MLB moves on from the PED era, more games will be decided by fewer runs and it will be impossible to use “the closer” in every game. thereby creating the role of 2nd closer and 3rd closer. Not to mention a lot of managers are also realizing that frequently the “save” is the in 8th inning therefore “saving” your closer for the 9th could hurt a teams chance for victory. In 2010 we saw more 2 inning saves than any time since the 1980’s. which in turn saw more teams with multiple saves from more than 1 bullpen member.

    Comment by elvis — February 17, 2011 @ 4:09 am

  15. @ttnorm

    Relievers never get up in the middle of an inning at the first sign of trouble? Stay stretched and be ready to throw a few warm up pitches at a moment’s notice. In other words, do your dang job and shut your mouf.

    Comment by Sandy Kazmir — February 17, 2011 @ 9:12 am

  16. I think some are working groups.

    Comment by Coop! — March 1, 2011 @ 9:49 am

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