Monday, October 15, 2012


Jim Leyland disagrees that closers should be interchangeable parts, cites Mariano Rivera

10/14/12, "The Valverde decision: How the Tigers will adjust," Detroit News, Lynn Henning

"A manager most of Michigan seemed to have in its crosshairs Saturday spoke with the media Sunday ahead of Game 2 of the American League Championship Series. Jim Leyland talked about Jose Valverde, whose implosion during Game 1 turned a 4-0 game into a 4-4 ninth-inning disaster the Tigers ultimately won, 6-4, in 12 innings....

The media question-and-answer session, held in an interview room at Yankee Stadium, included these questions and answers:...

Q. If you could explain two more things: If you take out Octavio Dotel, let's say, from a seventh-inning spot and put him into a ninth-inning role — just if you were hypothetically to do that — what does that do? How much stress does that place on the seventh- and eighth- or sixth-inning situations?

The second part: A lot of people think that closers should be interchangeable parts. The guy who pitches is the closer, regardless of whatever his particular role may be. Could you talk about those two points?

A. "I will answer your second one first. I totally disagree with anybody who thinks the closer can be interchangeable parts. And if 

I was ever in the right place to have a lot of people on my side, this is the place, 

because they had a guy named Mariano Rivera who I don't think 

they wanted to interchange too damn often. That's the answer to one question. 

I disagree with it, totally — the thought process."...


10/14/12, "Closers matter, but the Tigers won Sunday without one,", Danny Knobler

"Closers matter, as Jim Leyland tried to remind people Sunday.

Good closers matter, anyway, as Leyland tried to point out when he referenced Mariano Rivera in a discussion that began with questions about Jose Valverde.

If you don't have Rivera, and your closer is struggling (as Valverde is), you do what Leyland did in Game 2 of the ALCS.

You go with what works.

Leyland didn't say beforehand who would close, because he didn't know how the game would play out. As it turned out, he used Phil Coke to get the final six outs of the Tigers' 3-0 win, in part because the Yankees have so many left-handed hitters (Coke is a lefty), and in part because when Coke got to the mound, he proved to Leyland that he deserved to stay there."...

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