Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 10/17/13
One of the many myths about the post-season is that you need a "proven closer" to have any kind of success. As with most myths, it only takes some cursory research to reveal that it is all just a pack of lies. Look no further than the 2013 post-season for that research you need to dispel this particular myth. There are four teams left standing in the playoffs and not one of them has what one would call a proven closer. The Red Sox? They've got Koji Uehara who has had a tremendous season with a 1.09 ERA. He might very well have been the most dominant reliever of 2013. He is also the third different closer Boston employed. Uehara is only serving in that role because Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey got hurt, yet here he is closing games in the ALCS. His counterpart in Detroit, Joaquin Benoit, has a similar story. He had a fine season himself, but only ended up the closer because the Tigers ran out of options. Rookie Bruce Rondon was supposed to take the role, but he didn't pan out. They inexplicably gave Phil Coke a shot at the gig before quickly realizing their error and bringing back Jose Valverde. Why Valverde? Because he had the proven closer label, even if he was obviously washed up by the end of the 2012 post-season. Welp, Valverde was still washed up and got himself released a few weeks later leaving them with Plan D, Joaquin Benoit closing games. Up until that David Ortiz grand slam, it was a situation that served Detroit well. Things aren't much different in the National League. The Dodgers currently boast Kenley Jansen as their big hammer at the end of games, but they first had to put up with Brandon League. Even though it was painfully obvious to even the most casual of observers that Jansen was more talented and effective, League started the season as LA's closer because of his veteran experience, which is just another way of saying he was the "proven closer" while Jansen was just an amazingly good reliever. Now in the post-season, League isn't even the Dodgers' playoff roster. So much for that. Perhaps the most stark example of the proven closer fallacy lies in St. Louis. For almost the entire season, Edward Mujica was closing games for the Cardinals. He has a tidy 2.78 ERA and racked up 37 saves. Of course, Mujica only ended getting those saves because Jason Motte blew out his arm and Mitchell Boggs flamed out quickly when given the chance to replace him. Mujica was quite the story right up until September when he began to fall apart. So what did St. Louis do? Did they stick with him because he had proven himself all year long? Nope. Less than two weeks before the season ended, Mujica was demoted into middle relief and youngster Trevor Rosenthal was given a battlefield promotion. Despite what the proven closer myth would have you believe, Rosenthal suddenly being thrust into such a prominent role hasn't hurt the Cards one bit as they sit one win away from reaching their fourth World Series in X years, with four different closers, no less. Four teams all on their second, third or even fourth closer. All playing in the League Championship Series. Two will play in the World Series. One will take home the Commissioner's Trophy. And they will all do it without a proven closer. [follow]

This article first appeared on The Outside Corner and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Indians reveal Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field

Report: Jerry West considered rejoining the Lakers before they hired Magic Johnson

The NHL is thinking about hosting an outdoor game in Nashville

Michael Vick in talks to retire with Falcons

Hall of Fame pitcher and former U.S. Senator Jim Bunning passes away at 85

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Roger Goodell to speak at Rams event, tickets start at $550

Ohio State hails itself as the ‘fastest team in college football’

Get a look at Shia LeBeouf as John McEnroe in Borg/McEnroe movie trailer

Draymond Green is the most efficient defender in the NBA

It’s not even June, but the San Francisco Giants are probably screwed

Odell Beckham Jr. appears to take shot at Ben McAdoo

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker