• Enter Louisiana Lightning?

    Posted by on October 3rd, 2013 · Comments (2)

    If Ron Guidry had started playing in the major leagues in 1995 instead of 1975, and he had been used in the same manner as Mariano Rivera when he came up, could Gator have been the greatest closer of all-time?

    Comments on Enter Louisiana Lightning?

    1. #15
      October 3rd, 2013 | 9:05 pm

      Odds are… No. Mo is so far out there in terms of career performance that statistically the chances of someone being better are very slim. Put another way, his save total and career ERA are likely to hold up for many generations or forever. It took a 60-70 years to find one guy this good. Odds that there will ever be more than one or two more closers in that range are pretty slim. Now, Hank eventually ran down Babe, but to my eye that had as much to do with changes in the game, the ball, the yards, etc… as with Hank being better than Babe. In both cases you have to start with almost inhuman durability. All it takes is one or two hamstring injuries and/or a sore rotator cuff for half a season over two decades of high usage and you’ll never get there. Plus, any other closer is unlikely to get the post season aura that Mo had. Dynasties are harder to come by in the free agent era. Getting 5 shots at the world series and 16 playoff runs will be very hard to come by. Gator wouldn’t have had 1/2 that many post season runs under any reasonable scenario.

    2. October 4th, 2013 | 7:08 am

      @ #15:
      I dunno. They both had one unhittable pitch and both threw hard. Both had the same body type and nice repeatable motion. And, we know Gator could handle the pressure – since he filled in for Goose.

      Remember, Mo had it someone easy – as all the modern closers do…only pitching in save situations and only pitching one inning…only pitching the 9th inning.

      I think, if used the same way, Gator could have been one of the greatest closers of all time.

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