Posnanski: Glen Perkins and the Art of the Save
This is an excellent must-read by Joe Posnanski on Glen Perkins and his closer role.
Here's a sampling:
Heís sabermetrically inclined -- he loves breaking down the game to its numbers --and heís also someone who thinks a lot about how players react emotionally. I asked him how he likes being a closer, and he gave a great answer. He said that, on the one hand, he believes that the best relievers should be used in highest-leverage situations, whatever inning that happens to be. If the bases are loaded in the sixth, that might be the most important batter of the game, and the best reliever should be out there.
On the other hand, he has come to find that thereís something about the closer that teammates respond to.
ďIíve come to see what itís like to be in that role,Ē he says. ďYou really give everybody confidence-- the coaching staff, the players, the guys in the bullpen - if they know that if you can get a lead in the ninth inning, you will win the game. It does a lot for the guys. Last year, I was in the seventh inning, eighth inning, getting out of jams, and that was really exciting and thatís obviously really important. But the, if you arenít in the game, if you arenít on the team, you donít see what closers mean to teammates. You do need to get outs in the seventh and eighth. But you need to get them in the ninth too.Ē
Good stuff. Read the whole damn thing.