Originally written April 19, 2013 on The Flagrant Fan:
I have often leaned against the tide when it comes to defending the role of a closer. But managers do take it too far and you would think someone with the reputation of Joe Maddon would not be one of those guys who goes with accepted dugout wisdom. But he does. What is that accepted dugout wisdom? If you are on the road, you do not pitch your closer in a tie game because if you get the lead, you want the closer finishing off the home team in the bottom half of an inning. Mr. Maddon should understand that this logic often misfires because a game is often lost by lesser relief pitchers while your best reliever sits in the bullpen. It has happened twice to the Rays in the last four days. It happened on Monday in Boston and it happened again last night in Baltimore. In the Boston game, the Red Sox were leading going into the top of the ninth, 2-1. Boston's closer, Andrew Bailey, blew the save and allowed the Rays to tie the game at two runs apiece. Does Maddon bring in Fernando...
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