I told you with the release of my ballot, that I spend way too much time worried about this. But baseball is really my thing. So I need to take a minute to rant about Saves, Trevor Hoffman, and “The Jester” Rob Manfred. Even if nobody reads this…it’s therapeutic for me…good for my sanity.
Saves, which were invented in the 60’s, are a useless and meaningless statistic. Some saves are “clutch”, and some I could convert. 3 run lead with the bottom of the order coming up? Why are you using your best relief pitcher??? Oh, that’s right, so he can get a save. It’s the ONLY statistic that it actually managed to. Thanks, Tony LaRussa.
Now, relievers in general are just failed starters. The best pitchers are starting pitchers, and if they wash out, they end up in the ‘pen. The best of those guys might be allowed to pitch the sacred 9th inning…and accumulate these meaningless saves.
Well, the ultimate saves accumulator, Trevor Hoffman, got his call to the hall last night. This guy- a solid pro, teammate and all around guy by all accounts- was a guy with an above average arm who managed to hang around for the better part of 20 years. Good career…great career, even. But Hall of Fame??? C’mon.
Hoffman basically pitched an inning per outing over his career. If a guy is pitching one inning, 50-70 times a season, he better have an unbelievable impact over those innings. Hoffman was really good, but pretty unremarkable. I won’t get into the stats, but just look at ERA+ (ERA adjusted for park and compared to the league), WAR…basically any stat will support my argument. Only Mo Rivera is HOF worthy…and Hoffman is NO MO.
Let this be a wakeup call.
Manfred needs to step in here and put an end to this. He needs to #OUTLAWTHESAVE.
Get rid of it. Altogether. The smarter teams are heading toward this slowly…the Indians use their best reliever when he’s needed, even if not the 9th. Several teams are spending top dollar on quality relievers in Free Agency, ignoring the “Proven 9th Inning” label. If Manfred would just get rid of saves, the game would be better for everyone altogether.