Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Buyer beware of K-Rod

The Angels are a big spending team and they'll want to retain their All Star closer Francisco Rodriguez.

The Mets are a free spending club with a Shea Stadium sized hole in the bullpen and they'll probably go after him as well.
It's an agent's dream!

An All Star coming off of a record breaking season being coveted by two of the big spenders in the game.

And I am telling you right here and now the winner will be the one who DOESN'T sign him.

"But Sully!" you say, "How could you not want one of the elite closers in the game? The guy who broke the single season save record!"

Since when has the single season saves record been the bench mark of one of the elite closers?
He broke Bobby Thigpen's save record... who in turn broke Dave Righetti's.

Neither Thigpen nor Righetti were considered to be the best reliever of that season...

Save compiling isn't a bench mark of quality.
Armando Benitez piled up saves... you want him?
You want him in his PRIME?
Didn't think so.

And look at the two biggest save compilers of all time... Lee Smith and Trevor Hoffman.
Both have failed miserably in their post season career... both let their teams down in the biggest moment.

But that's not the point.
The point is that Rodriguez has the reputation of a big time closer and dominator based on his compiled saves and the aura he has from his post season record.

And that aura is a total fraud.
It came about when Aaron Sele was injured and the Angels put K-Rod on their 2002 playoff roster with only 5 2/3 innings of big league experience.

He pitched a couple of games against Oakland, a couple of games against Seattle and one against Texas... all mop up appearances in losses.

So the Yankees had never seen him before when he struck out 8 hitters in 5 2/3 innings going 2-0 in the Division Series.
The Twins hadn't seen him either when he went 2-0 in the ALCS, striking out 7 in 4 1/3 innings.
And the Giants were also newbies when he won game 2 of the World Series.

But lo and behold they caught up with him and beat him in game 4. And Bonds clocked a massive homer off of him in game 6.

His next foray into the post season, he went 0-2 in a 3 game sweep by Boston.
Read that sentence again.

He lost 2 games and they only played 3!
His great highlight of 2007 was serving up Manny Ramirez's shot in the ALDS which hasn't landed yet.
His big highlight of 2008 was serving up a game winning homer to a hobbled J. D. Drew in game 2.

He was one pitch away from losing game 3 of the 2008 Division Series... which would have been two 0-2 records in a three game sweep in 4 years.

His post season failures are becoming positively Trevor Hoffman-esque.

It's bad enough he does it in Anaheim... sorry... Los Angeles of Anaheim.

Can you imagine him pulling those post season performances in Queens?
They'd burn him in effigy!

The Angels are better off handing the reigns to Scot Shields or Jose Arredondo and picking up the two draft picks and spending that money elsewhere.

Either way... beware of big regular season closers who get hit when the teams scout them!
How many of his 62 saves do Angels think of now?



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