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Joe Maddon redefines ‘closer by committee’

The truly great managers set trends.

The traditional definition of “closer by committee,” at least the way I’ve always understood it, is this: A team doesn’t have a traditional ninth-inning guy, or doesn’t have a single pitcher the manager trusts with closing every ninth-inning lead.

So in such cases — like now, when the Cubs have lost two closers, Brandon Morrow and Pedro Strop — the manager would pick and choose from a series of relievers, picking one to throw the entire ninth inning in different situations, choosing a different one from day to day.

The way Maddon handled the ninth inning Saturday with a one-run lead over the Reds might redefine the term, and it just might work.

When Jesse Chavez entered to throw the ninth — complete with intro video — I figured, “Okay, Joe’s picking him to be the closer for today, and finish the game.”

But that’s not what happened. Chavez recorded an out and allowed a single. Up came lefthanded-hitting Joey Votto, so in came lefthanded Randy Rosario. Rosario gave up a long, loud fly ball out to center field, and next was Eugenio Suarez.

Well, no way is Joe going to allow Rosario …Read the Rest

Source:: Bleed Cubbie Blue

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