Friday, August 29, 2008

Chasing History: Francisco Rodriguez

Francisco Rodriguez is on the verge of breaking Bobby Thigpen's 1990 single-season record of 57 saves, and with a little over a month left in the 2008 season, I can't imagine he wont significantly break it. Other than to fantasy baseball owners, does it really mean anything?

The save has become less important to real baseball these days than this guy is to politics. Closers rarely come into the game for more than one inning of work (0 of 62 times for KROD in '08 compared to 18 of 77 for Thiggy in '90) and hardly with runners on base (7 of 62 for KROD vs. 21 0f 77 for Thiggy).

Are the official rules for receiving a save too loose? Let's see. A pitcher must meet ALL FOUR of the following conditions:
  1. He is the finishing pitcher in a game won by his team
  2. He is not the winning pitcher
  3. He is credited with at least ⅓ of an inning pitched
  4. He satisfies one of the following conditions:
    1. He enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs
    2. He enters the game, regardless of the count, with the potential tying run either on base, at bat or on deck
    3. He pitches for at least three innings
What are your opinions of the save and its statistical relevance to real baseball?

Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com, one of the most comprehensive statistical websites on the intrawebbernet™.

1 comment:

Bob Taylor said...

I think it's great for fantasy purposes and useless for pretty much everything else.