FanPost

Joel Hanrahan: Fireman vs Closer?

Somebody needs to give Clint Hurdle a history lesson.  Back in the Olden' Days when baseball was emerging from the ancient mist's of time or before the 1970's (my kids perspective), the team's best reliever was "The Fireman".  The fireman came in when ever needed and pitched as long as needed to put out "the fire".  Sometime during the mid to late 1970's the concept of the best reliever as "Closer" for the final inning emerged as a strategy.  Sidenote:  I believe Goose Gossage became the first "Closer" either with the Pirates (1977) or the Yankees (1978-1982).

Last night, Hanrahan the Fireman was needed, but instead we got Hanrahan the useless Closer (i.e. no game to close).  If Hanrahan was thought of as a Fireman, I suspect he would have more than four appearances in the last sixteen games.  And the Pirates would not be in a seven game losing streak either.

Clint Hurdle needs to think of Hanrahan as a Fireman, instead of a Closer. Closers are only effective if a team can give them a lead.  Firemen can be effective anytime, any situation.  The BD readership seems to have figured this concept out, so I can hope that the "Professionals" on the Bucs will get it as well. 

Finally, if Evan Meek returns to form, then the argument for Hanrahan as fireman makes more sense.  Meek, recently considered as possible closer-material,  could come in after Hanrahan puts out the fire to "Close" the game.

Final note:  Thanks to the unknown poster of several years ago who wrote about the "Fireman" of the past and how this concept could and should have a place in today's MLB.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the managing editor (Charlie) or SB Nation. FanPosts are written by Bucs Dugout readers.

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