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The W - Baseball - Rivera done for year?
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Since: 5.9.02
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
Or perhaps, completely?

Or, as the New York Post so charmingly puts it: Mo No! (espn.go.com)

Torn ACL shagging flies during pregame. If that's how it ends, it is amazingly unfortunate for the best closer of all time. Even as a Mets fan, he was one of the few Yankees I could really never muster up a whole lot of dislike for.



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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.64
What a terrible way for it to all end. I'd like to hope that somehow he has a magical healing power and the time off gives him an extra 5 seasons, but the reality is he's probably done for good.




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Since: 14.1.02
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.41
Pride.

The greatest have it, and he's the greatest closer of all time. There's no debate; he's the greatest.

He'll end things on his terms, and this isn't his terms. He'll be back next year, with at least 35 saves.
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.64
He's great. He may be the greatest. But it's definitely not without debate.

Trevor Hoffman had a very similar career to Rivera. He did not have the same opportunities as Rivera, playing for a much worse team. He also didn't excel in the post season - but neither did the Padres.

There are certain moments where Hoffman was "exposed", perhaps. But in the end, compare the career numbers.

Both have played about the same length of time. Hoffman had 601 career saves, Rivera 608 to date.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/​friv/​scomp_​pitch.cgi?​I=hoffmtr01:​Trevor Hoffman&st=career&compage=&age= { Fixed that for you - Ed. }

It's definitely in the debateable range. I know back east you guys don't see a lot of West Coast games, and I know SportsCenter loves the eastern time zone - but Hoffman was a damn fine closer. He deserves to be discussed in the same sentence as Rivera, and I wouldn't necessarily disagree with either of them being listed as the best closer ever.

(edited by CRZ on 4.5.12 1812)



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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.25
Ugh.



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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.36
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    He's great. He may be the greatest. But it's definitely not without debate.

    Trevor Hoffman had a very similar career to Rivera. He did not have the same opportunities as Rivera, playing for a much worse team. He also didn't excel in the post season - but neither did the Padres.

    There are certain moments where Hoffman was "exposed", perhaps. But in the end, compare the career numbers.

    Both have played about the same length of time. Hoffman had 601 career saves, Rivera 608 to date.



as a padres fan, I wouldn't argue Rivera and Hoffman.

the only person I would maybe argue about is Eckersley, but he's now probably most famous for 2 blown saves than all his great regular season work.



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Since: 24.3.02
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.96
    Originally posted by Guru Zim

    Trevor Hoffman had a very similar career to Rivera. He did not have the same opportunities as Rivera, playing for a much worse team. He also didn't excel in the post season - but neither did the Padres.

I'm not buying the lack of opportunities argument. Rivera is credit with 73 blown saves in his career, which means 681 save opportunities. Hoffman is credited with 76 blown saves, which means 677 save opportunities.

The unadjusted numbers do in fact look similar, but that shows how unadjusted numbers can hide the truth.

Rivera's Park-Adjusted ERA+ for his career is 206, Hoffman's is 141. That means Rivera's ERA is 206% better than the average pitcher playing in his ballparks would be (incidentally this is first all-time; Hoffman's 141 is still good enough for 14th). In both cases we have to note that relief pitchers should have lower ERAs than starters, for several reasons. Regardless, Rivera was better. Or we can just us regular ERA if you want. Rivera's career ERA was 2.21, Hoffman's was 2.87.

If you use a stat like Wins Above Replacement or Win Probability Added, you get the same thing. Win Probability Added works like this: If you come into the game with a 3 run lead, your team has a 96% chance of winning. If you leave the game and your team has won, you have a +.04 WPA (because you increase your teams odds of winning by 4%).If you leave the game and your team has lost, you have a -.96 WPA. The all-time leader in WPA among relief pitchers is Rivera with 54.3. In other words, he is responsible for 54 wins over his career. Hoffman is second, but with only 34.4. Wins Above Replacement (which for pitchers, looks at how many runs a pitcher saves compared to a AAA pitcher) has a similar margin.

All of these advanced stats are giving the same results: Rivera, by far the best reliever ever. Hoffman, good, but a distant second.
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.64
Again, stats don't tell it all. Hoffman was brought in by Bochy in non-save situations far too often, and he took losses because of it. He also has diluted stats because of this.

We're talking about a difference of 7 saves over a career, where both guys are over 600. I get that you think he's the better pitcher, and I'm telling you I can understand why you think that way - but it's not miles apart ("a distant second").

Using your numbers, Hoffman was 601/677 (88.8 conversion) and Rivera was 608/681 (89.3) We're talking about a half a percent different there. Looking at it differently, When Rivera got 601 saves he did it in 674 opportunities Vs Hoff's 677. I'm sorry, but that's pretty much equivalent.

ERA+ is a very misleading stat in this comparison, and I'll tell you why. The majority of pitchers in the league are right handed. Yankee stadium (old and new) and let's just quote here:

"Both the old and the new Yankee Stadium greatly favor left handed starting pitchers due to the dimensions. With a deep center field, and left-center field, a left handed pitcher has a huge advantage versus right handed batters in Yankee Stadium, as many well hit balls are simply outs in the spacious left and left-center outfield. It is a huge advantage for left handed pitchers and the Yankees have done a tremendous job, historically, exploiting the advantage."

So yes, maybe it's a tough park - if you are an RHP. Rivera has the advantage of being a great pitcher in a park that is hard for RHP, but not as hard for LHP. His stats are inflated due to this.




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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.64
Wins above replacement is a terrible stat for judging the performance of a pitcher. Let's look at the two extreme cases here.

Pitcher 1 never gives up a run. His ERA is 0.00. The opposing team will always strike out against him in 9 pitches.

Team A will never score a run for the pitcher. The probability model says that something will happen, and it does. There is a 100% correlation. If a pitcher is pitching for team A and they are down by 3, the team loses. If they are up by 1, they win.

Team B always scores 100 runs in the 9th inning. No matter what the probability model says, the will in the game.

Pitcher 1 spending his career playing for Team A will have a Wins above replacement of near 0. Pitcher 1 playing for team B will have a wins above replacement near 100.

In neither case has pitcher 1 performed differently. Explain to me how this stat does not greatly benefit the player playing for a better team? Is the probablity model that Rivera is graded against the same model as Hoffmans? I can tell you for a fact Hoffman pitched for more teams unlikely to overcome a deficit. His Hold and long relief attempts were much more unlikely to end up in a victory, giving him higher numbers.




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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.68
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    Wins above replacement is a terrible stat for judging the performance of a pitcher. Let's look at the two extreme cases here.

    Pitcher 1 never gives up a run. His ERA is 0.00. The opposing team will always strike out against him in 9 pitches.

    Team A will never score a run for the pitcher. The probability model says that something will happen, and it does. There is a 100% correlation. If a pitcher is pitching for team A and they are down by 3, the team loses. If they are up by 1, they win.

    Team B always scores 100 runs in the 9th inning. No matter what the probability model says, the will in the game.

    Pitcher 1 spending his career playing for Team A will have a Wins above replacement of near 0. Pitcher 1 playing for team B will have a wins above replacement near 100.



It took me a while of wondering where you were getting that (and some online research to make sure I wasn't crazy) before I realized that you meant Win Probability Added, not Wins Above Replacement. Because how many runs his team scores has no effect at all on a pitcher's WAR.

OK, so assuming you mean WPA...I don't think THAT works for what you're saying, either. It's done per play, so I think that if Pitcher 1 and Pitcher 2 do the same thing in the top of the ninth, they'll have the same WPA no matter what happens in the bottom of the ninth.

Now, if Pitcher 1 is always coming in with his team up or down by a run, and Pitcher 2 always comes in with his team up or down by 100 runs, that would make a huge difference. Basically, Pitcher 2's WPA will always be close to 0 no matter what he does (unless he actually gives up over 90 runs), while Pitcher 1's will be far more dependant on how he actually pitches--he'll get a lot of credit when he doesn't give up a run and a lot of blame when he does.

I'd try to figure out more about this, but I have to work in the morning.

(edited by Peter The Hegemon on 5.5.12 0003)
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.59
    Originally posted by Guru Zim


    So yes, maybe it's a tough park - if you are an RHP. Rivera has the advantage of being a great pitcher in a park that is hard for RHP, but not as hard for LHP. His stats are inflated due to this.
Rivera is a RHP. If anything, this suggests that his ballpark-adjusted stats understate how hard it is to be an RHP in Yankee Stadium.



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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.64
Well I'm an idiot then. Carry on.





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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.64
I will write a long post about Bruce Bochy being an idiot later. hoffmans numbers are very skewed by the outings e never should have been in.

Rivera is great. I still stad by what I said. Hoffman is in the discussion and I'll make a case for it somewhere else





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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.67
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    Again, stats don't tell it all. Hoffman was brought in by Bochy in non-save situations far too often, and he took losses because of it. He also has diluted stats because of this.


    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    I will write a long post about Bruce Bochy being an idiot later. hoffmans numbers are very skewed by the outings e never should have been in.


You're killing Bochy for using Hoffman in a "non-save situation" but using your best reliever at the most important times (like tie games) is a LOT smarter than being a slave to whether or not it is a "save situation".



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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.64
You had to be there. I will try to write it up.

Ask anyone who watched Bochy manage Hoffman.

In retrospect, I can see that he had little to work with and had to use him, but...

Ok.

Think about the Renaissance fair. Think about the black knight. He is imposing. He is impressive. He is to be feared and respected.

Now put him on a used car lot.

Hoffman was the black knight. If you put him in during a save opportunity, he transcended who he was. His change-up was so effective because of when and how it was deployed.

It's not to say he wasn't a great pitcher. He was! But he was an AMAZING closer.

I don't want to derail this thread any more so I promise I will move all of my Hoffman homerism to another thread somewhere and actually write a long narrative about Trevor Hoffman, Bruce Bochy, the 1998 Padres, and New Jersey.




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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.59
Baseball-Reference has splits for both Hoffman and Rivera. Both were better pitchers in save situations than non-save situations. Rivera was an incredible, lights-out pitcher in save situations (1.92 ERA despite being in a hitters-park); Hoffman was still-good but not otherworldly in non-save situations (3.15 ERA despite being in a pitchers-park.

The difference? Rivera was still better in non-save situations than Hoffman was in save situations. (2.34 vs 2.71) And Hoffman's average inning length in a save situation was 1.003 (698.1 innings, 696 games). Rivera's was 1.103 (784.1 innings, 711 games). Rivera regularly had more asked of him than Hoffman and was as or more successful at it.

There's certainly enough evidence on those splits to support what Guru is saying about Hoffman being worse in non-closer situations. (Hoffman's worst inning as a reliever by ERA was the 8th inning.) But Rivera excelled as both closer and non-closer situations (his best ERA inning was the 8th inning). Flexibility and reliability in all circumstances counts.



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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.64
    Originally posted by hansen9j
    Baseball-Reference has splits for both Hoffman and Rivera. Both were better pitchers in save situations than non-save situations. Rivera was an incredible, lights-out pitcher in save situations (1.92 ERA despite being in a hitters-park); Hoffman was still-good but not otherworldly in non-save situations (3.15 ERA despite being in a pitchers-park.

Hoffman was terrible in certain non-save appearances though. Really, really terrible. So bad, that when Bochy put him in, fans audibly groaned, and people walked out of the stadium. We knew we were going to lose.

I am robbing myself of my planned material here - but it comes down to the effectiveness of a change-up pitcher requiring a psychological advantage. Hoffman was a great pitcher because he was a closer. He would not have been a good starting pitcher. Still, that's like saying a 100 yard dash guy is a bad runner because you wouldn't put him in a marathon.

Believe me, I can express this all better and I'll take the time to do it.


    The difference? Rivera was still better in non-save situations than Hoffman was in save situations. (2.34 vs 2.71) And Hoffman's average inning length in a save situation was 1.003 (698.1 innings, 696 games). Rivera's was 1.103 (784.1 innings, 711 games). Rivera regularly had more asked of him than Hoffman and was as or more successful at it.


Hoffman's really bad games came in non-save appearances during long stretches of Padres losses. Bochy would put Hoffman in the game in order to get him some work, and it would be in places you wouldn't want to see him put in... and he'd get blown up.

Rivera had more asked of him because he was on a better team, with more opportunity. Hoffman closed for some teams that were pretty bad.


    There's certainly enough evidence on those splits to support what Guru is saying about Hoffman being worse in non-closer situations. (Hoffman's worst inning as a reliever by ERA was the 8th inning.) But Rivera excelled as both closer and non-closer situations (his best ERA inning was the 8th inning). Flexibility and reliability in all circumstances counts.


We aren't judging best Relief Pitcher, we are judging best closer. I'm not even saying it's Hoffman. I'm just saying he's in the discussion, and you look at stats and discuss both players, and then you pick Rivera or whatever. I just hate the dismissive stuff that they aren't in the same league, or Hoff is a Distant Second, etc.

If Rivera never existed, then Hoffman is the greatest closer of all time. The second best is 130 saves away. The distance between 2 and 3 is a "distant second" distance in my opinion. Rivera probably gets the nod but it is not as far apart as people are saying.

I realize you are helping me here and I'm not trying to tear you apart. I'm too much of a fan of Hoffman to be objective here and I know it. I need to write one of those sappy fan fiction stories about watching baseball. I will do so.




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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.95
    Originally posted by Guru Zim


    I need to write one of those sappy fan fiction stories about watching baseball. I will do so.


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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.63
Mariano is one of those guys that everybody seems to respect. This injury won't be the end of his career. He's already announced he won't retire due to this injury

And, as the Yankees fan who doesn't like all the new fangled statistics, even I can say Hoffman is right there with Mo. Mo will get the glory for the five rings, but in a 9th inning situation, they're neck and neck.



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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.41
Wow, I guess it wasn't as universal as I thought. Personally, I don't have a horse in this race, and I'm not emotionally invested. If this was a discussion of who the greatest starter of all time was (Gregory Alan Maddux, of course), that's when I would spend quality time getting worked up over things.

Anyway, Click Here (sportsillustrated.cnn.com) to see an interesting comparison between Rivera and other closers.

Essentially, there's three closers (Hoffman included) who had stellar nine year peaks. Rivera had sixteen years of greatness, in which you could take any nine year stretch from 1996 and 2010 and his numbers (using ERA+, bWAR, WARP and WXRL) trump that of others. Factor in Rivera also was at times leveraged in more than just one inning, and I'd say he holds the undisputed Closers Championship Belt.

Hoffman was excellent, don't get me wrong. By no means am I saying Trevor Hoffman was a scrub, he's the second best closer of all time, which is nothing to sneeze at. I don't think anyone means to belittle Hoffman, but he is "seen" as the closest comp for Rivera, which isn't fair to Hoffman, because objectively speaking Rivera has a peak which lasted longer.
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Then there's this Gregg Doyel article that takes a poop all over the whole thing. Doyel's usually a downer, but I mean *really.* (I do enjoy his appearances on Czaban though) Personally, I'm happy about the move.
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