Saturday, March 09, 2013


The regular season saves record won't be Rivera's legacy anyway


Jeter and Rivera after Rivera press conference, March 9, 2013, ap


3/7/13, "Next Step for Rivera: Closing a Career," NY Times, Tyler Kepner

"Kimbrel met Rivera last winter, at the New York baseball writers’ dinner, and Rivera gave him one piece of advice: stay healthy. 

The saves record could fall someday, maybe even to Kimbrel, with a lot of health and luck. 

It will not be Rivera’s legacy, anyway

The postseason distinguishes Rivera from every other reliever, before or since. His regular-season earned run average is 2.21. His postseason E.R.A. — in 96 games against the best competition, under the most pressure — is 0.70."...

Rivera at 2013 Spring Training in Tampa, AP, via NYT


Ed. note: The popular point is made in Kepner's article that not everyone has had Rivera's "opportunities" to play in the post season. Rivera's 141 post season innings are the equivalent of 2 additional years of relief pitching @ 70 IP/yr. These additional 2 years have been pitched within the same calendar years as players who only played in regular season. Also, the majority of his post season appearances were more than 1 inning.

Not everyone who goes to the post season gets good numbers. In other words, it's not always a great "opportunity." Post season pitchers have shorter off seasons, shorter amounts of time in which to recover for the next regular season, have pitched under the most pressure, against the best hitters, often in cold and rain. Rivera pitched into November twice, in 2001 and 2009. These things aren't mentioned in recitation of his regular season stats, the so-called "career" stats, not even in discussions about 'durability.' Plenty of players have had post season "opportunities." Some perhaps wish their post season numbers would be forgotten. They may feel the same about their All Star numbers.  


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