Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ed Wade is "big on alternatives" - which makes him pretty much a perfect fit in Houston

Alden Gonzalez' article on the question of who will be the closer reveals a little bit about Ed Wade's thinking:

"I know there have been a lot of successful teams over the last dozen years or so who have used more than one closer to get to the finish line. And years before that, it certainly wasn't uncommon to have more than one guy. Sometimes it means not being automatic that this is Valverde time or this is Brad Lidge time or Billy Wagner time. Obviously, that worked in great success, but that doesn't mean that you can't do it a different way. I'm big on alternatives.

"Whether I'll be in the eighth inning or the ninth inning, it doesn't really matter. I just want to go out there and get the job done. If it means passing the ball over to somebody else, I'm willing to do that."

"The competition for me is not even in effect. I'm going out here, and I'm just trying to get ready for a season. That stuff will all play out by itself. I can't control any of that. All I can do is just go out there and work as hard as I can, be ready for a long season."

"I hope it's a real hard decision. I hope that is one of the hardest decisions I'm going to make all spring. Any time you have a good closer you have confidence in and the ballclub has confidence in, that helps shorten the game. That's the whole purpose of having a good closer is you want to shorten the game and hopefully win the games you're supposed to win. If we can get to that situation and pick one guy we feel is able to do that and he's able to kind of step up to the plate, so to speak, the better off they are."

So if you were to create a scorecard, you'd have to give the checkmark in experience to Brandon Lyon. If you wanted electric stuff, you'd give it to Lindstrom. I could see instances in which if the heart of the opposing team's lineup comes up in the 8th, Lyon gets the nod, and Lindstrom finishes it off. And vice versa. No, it's not LaTroy Hawkins to Jose Valverde. But in how many games did you go to the fridge when Valverde was in to pitch? Never. Because he would either strike out the side in nine pitches, or walk the bases loaded and throw a 40-pitch save.