Closer approach needs overhaul

A manager should use his closer in the toughest late-game situation, regardless of inning and save stats.

Originally Published: June 1, 2005
By Joe Morgan | ESPN Insider

I'd like to see a change in the way closers are used. Baseball has babied closers for so long that they feel it's their right to wait until the ninth inning to get three outs and the save.

I don't blame the closers, though. I blame the managers, because they've allowed such a mind-set to develop by how they've handled end-of-the-game bullpen situations.

Closers are almost always used in the ninth inning, with the lead. But the most critical situation in a game might be in the eighth, when the opponent's best hitters are up. At that point, you want your best reliever on the mound – and that's your closer. Or what about a tie game in the ninth with runners in scoring position?


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