Originally Posted by DeezNutz
The value you were associating with elite relievers certainly wasn't wrong, but the Royals were just too damn far away from contention to make it a pertinent point for this particular franchise.
In '09, when I was crying for the team to move Soria at the All-Star break, the idea of playoffs was so remote as to be indiscernible for the KC Walmarts.
Still, it's going to be a shame if Soria never pitches again for the Royals or never pitches to the level that we've been accustomed to seeing in the past.
Thanks for the good thoughts.
With all Dayton's talk about the 2013-15 plan, I really figured Soria would be in his peak years still at that time.
The idea that closers are overrated is to some degree dispelled every October. The Cardinals don't even make the playoffs without Jason Motte and they damn sure don't make the Series without him. Installing Motte as the closer really triggered the run that put the team into contention and eventually won them the title.
Closers aren't as difficult to find as an elite defensive SS or plus CFer, but they're every bit as necessary to have. That's where I often get into these arguments with folks. They want to say that having a hammer for the 9th just doesn't matter because by God, Bill James said so. But ultimately, all that simply ignores the substitution patterns of the 9th inning, the razors edge that a team walks for those last 3 outs and the ultimate psychological damage inflicted on a team slogging through a 162 game grind when they lose in the 9th inning of a game they had marked as but one
of 90+ wins they'll need to make the playoffs.
You absolutely, positively, cannot be a top-tier team without a legitimate hammer in the 9th. That's the argument I kept trying to make with Soria - the kid was young enough to still be that hammer in 2012-2015 and if the Royals were really going to take that next step, they'd need him.
It appears I was wrong about his longevity/durability.
Well here's hoping Greg Holland kicks some ass for you fellas this year - I just drafted him in my fantasy league
(Though don't get too attached; guys with that frame that put that much tilt on a slider aren't long for this earth, especially not when they rely on it like Holland does. If you get 3 healthy years out of him, consider yourselves blessed...)