FANALYTICS: Bullpen Wasteland

Back in 1998, I wrote that the bullpen closer's role was determined by a combination of Talent, Opportunity and Guile, the Rule of TOG, if you will. Over time,'s bullpen analyst, Doug Dennis, showed that Guile was really a figment of our imagination. Once given the opportunity, a pitcher's ability to close out games always came down to their skill. There was no secret special third element that would give an edge to any one of two similarly skilled pitchers.

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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.