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Some wording issues - 2004
- "this is an historically common path to relief pitching"
- "since Fingers' time, this has become a more common path to relief pitching"
to help illustrate how Fingers' success influenced this type of action.
Also, Regarding the piece
- "In an era allowing for greater opportunities for closers than had previously been available"
I had previously written
- "In an era with fewer opportunities for closers" He is my uncle and he is awesome!
My intention with the old version was to show how Fingers' actually entered the position of closer at a time where very few teams carried regular closers. It was his success that actually spawned the "greater opportunities for closers" now referred to. I propose changing that part to
- "Fingers' began his career as a closer in an era where most teams did not carry regular closers. He earned 341 career saves, thus paving the way for greater opportunties for closers."
- The problem I had with the previous wording was that:
- 1) It suggested that Fingers move from starting to the bullpen was somehow unusual for the time; in fact, until after Fingers' success, virtually all relief pitchers were former starters whose success in that area had decreased. The idea of someone spending their entire career as a reliever, or of someone specifically aiming for that role, was largely a product of the 1970s. The moves of Smoltz, Gagne, etc to the bullpen aren't so much a result of Fingers' influence as they are similar to the careers of pitchers from the early 20th century, when virtually all relievers were former starters (or starters working occasionally in relief). It's simply the role of the closer itself that has evolved, not the typical path to relief pitching. Until the 1970s, virtually all relievers were trying to work their way back to a starting role; the pitchers of the '70s (Fingers, Lyle, Gossage) were responsible for changing that, and for establishing the expectation that most good teams should have a closer - and that a pitcher could keep their self-respect while staying in the bullpen.
- 2) To state "In an era with fewer opportunities for closers" is to suggest that opportunities had decreased for relievers of the 1970s, which is the opposite of the truth; you're primarily trying to compare Fingers with relievers of today, when it's more appropriate in an article like this to compare his opportunities with those of the past, not the future. "Closers" - that is, relievers who expected to come into a game with a lead - didn't really exist yet. In Fingers' time, no one had any notion of how many opportunities were a lot - to him, he was getting a huge number of opportunities, as starting pitchers had rarely come out of games with a lead through most of the game's history. The idea of a reliever routinely coming into 30 or more games a year with a lead was unthinkable, as teams typically left in whoever was pitching well.
- The section needs to be changed to something which describes how his accomplishments changed/created the notion of closers; right now, it suggests he was being limited somehow. MisfitToys 22:51, Jul 21, 2004 (UTC)
Fingers is regarded as a pioneer... - 2006
Is the paragraph starting with "Fingers is regarded as a pioneer..." really appropriate here? Except for a few Fingers factoids it seems much more suited to a more general article on relief pitchers. That last sentence about Bruce Sutter has almost no direct relevance.
I won't change it since re-working something that large (and well thought out - just out of place here) is sure to ruffle some feathers, so I'll leave it up to the pros. - 188.8.131.52 (talk · contribs) -- 18:45, 17 June 2006.