Closing by committee bad news for managers

I've seen enough of closing by committee to be convinced that it doesn't work.

Updated: July 12, 2004, 2:14 PM ET
By Rick Sutcliffe | Special to ESPN Insider
I've seen enough of closing by committee to be convinced that it doesn't work.

Last year, the Boston Red Sox started the season with a closer-by-committee approach. Just ask former Boston manager Grady Little how it worked -- he soon abandoned it. This year, the Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals are trying the closer-by-committee. But it's simply a no-win situation for the manager.

If a manager makes the right move and the closer he calls upon saves the game, he's only done what he's supposed to do. But if it doesn't work, fans and the media will point the finger at him and question his decision. In other words, when a team has multiple closers, the manager is open to second-guessing if the closer he chooses blows a save.


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Rick Sutcliffe serves as an ESPN Major League Baseball analyst, appearing on Wednesday night telecasts, select ESPN Radio broadcasts, as well as Baseball Tonight.