May
04

Poll: Replacing Mariano Rivera

By

(Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

I can’t believe this post actually exists, at least at this point in time, but it does. The Yankees lost Mariano Rivera for the season last night, when he tore his ACL shagging fly balls for the umpteenth time in his career. It’s a brutal and devastating injury both on and off the field, but baseball is an unforgiving game. The other 29 teams aren’t going to feel bad for the Yankees and guess what? They still have to play tonight, tomorrow, and the next day. That’s baseball.

There is no replacing Rivera. No one can match his brutal effectiveness or that security blanket feeling, but the Yankees will have to run someone out there in the ninth inning. Fortunately, they have two ready-made replacement closers already on the roster and won’t have to go outside the organization for bullpen help (at least not yet). David Robertson has established himself as one of, if not the best setup reliever in the game over the last year while Rafael Soriano was brought aboard because of his All-Star season as the Rays’ closer in 2010.

Following last night’s game, Joe Girardi said he has yet to decide on a permanent replacement for Rivera but would have used Robertson in a save situation had one arose. While Roberson deserves the job on merit, there are valid reasons to let Soriano assume closing duties. For one, the toughest outs aren’t always recorded in the ninth inning. In fact, they often aren’t. There’s a case to be made that Robertson’s dominance would be best used squashing potential rallies in the seventh and eighth innings while Soriano gets the clean slate to start the ninth inning. There are arguments to made for each side of the coin.

Whoever takes over for Rivera is going to have the toughest job in baseball. The scrutiny will be intense and the standards will be impossible to meet given what we’ve enjoyed for the last 17 years. Someone has to do it however, and although the Yankees have been struggling of late, the team is certainly strong enough to have World Series aspirations. Having a strong closer to shut things down in the ninth is part of that championship formula.

Who should replace Mariano Rivera?
Total Votes: 2326 Started: May 4, 2012 Back to Vote Screen
Categories : Death by Bullpen, Polls
  • Across the pond

    I say give it to Soriano.

    Let him take the pressure of being the one to ‘replace Mo’. If he succeeds then he might well chance his arm at opting out to get more $$/years.

    • Peter North

      I agree. Plus, let him be the “rebound guy” who everyone hates cuz he’s not Mo. Then He can opt out and the job goes to D-Rob.

    • Typical MIT Nerd

      But this is so different than replacing Mo to start the season. To me, this is the perfect way to slide in Robertson. As soon as tonight, with little prior notice or fanfare, he could notch the save. Too bad it wasn’t last night…

      • titit

        Robertson should NOT be the closer as he should pitch, when available, always in the highest leverage innings.

        Decent relief pitchers have made fine closers throughout the last 10 years, some with ERAs in the 3′s and 4′s. It is hard to blow a three run lead in the ninth and the difference between an elite closer and average closer is maybe 2 more blown saves a season.

        The real difference will be felt in the playoffs no doubt, but let the Yankees get there first.

        • Thomas

          The problem is Robertson doesn’t pitch in the highest leverage innings or situations. He pitches the eighth inning when the game is close comming in with no one on base. If he closes, he will pitch the ninth inning when the game is close with no one on base (save situation or down one or two runs at home). He is no longer the fireman like he was early last year and the year before.

          Robertson will essentially have the same odds of being in a high leverage situation in the ninth as he does now in the eighth.

        • CP

          The 9th inning is generally the highest leverage inning, and whether you think it makes sense or not relievers generally feel more comfortable with set roles.

          • titit

            This is simply an incorrect statement of fact.

            • Billion$Bullpen

              “and whether you think it makes sense or not relievers generally feel more comfortable with set roles.”

              I have spoken with several relievers myself (some of them elite at one point in time) and they all say they would want or at least prefer roles that are set and that they know what they are going to be doing ahead of time. I think this is lazy, and selfish on their parts but I find at least that part of the guys post accurate.

              • titit

                I was referring to the 9th inning part. I understand that set roles for their mental state is nice, but the role is set. It’s not “you may come in whenever.” It’s, “you will come in in the 7th or 8th inning of games”, instead of just the 8th, etc.

                Having one reliever with a set inning the 9th, is one thing. Having rigid innings is insane. Cory Wade, Boone Logan and many others don’t miss a beat and usually have no idea when then will pitch.

                • Ted Nelson

                  Practically it’s very hard to work the “highest leverage” situation option. Guys have to warm up. The highest leverage situation of a game often comes out of no where mid-inning when two guys get on base in a row. If every time this situation may possibly arise within the next two batters you get your best reliever up… you’re going to dry hump the shit out of him and never actually get to use him in a game.

                  In a video game it’s great to bring your best reliever into high leverage situations. In a baseball game it’s a lot more difficult. Manager could do a better job of it than set roles probably, but not a great job of it.

                  In terms of actually starting the inning with high leverage–not runners suddenly getting on–the 9th is the highest leverage. That’s why closers pitch in the 9th.

  • oscar

    soriano

  • Andrew Brotherton

    I agree with Across the Pond, let Soriano take the role and hopefully he has a huge run and opts out of his contract. We have so many options for the next few years for the bullpen that we should never have to pay big money for a reliever.

    • Mike HC

      If he pitches well, I think there could be a chance we extend him, with a restructured deal. Maybe not though depending on how serious the Yanks are about their budget and other options.

      • Ro

        I’ve been a big supporter of him on here and it just goes to show why having that depth is good regardless of contract value. I never in a hundred years expected this to happen this way, nothing more than a temporary DL for Mo for a groin or foot issue, etc, but it just goes to show the critics of the Soriano signing are now wrong. Considering the prospects via trade or the open market, I’d take Soriano. As for an extension, I don’t know. Could he sign a new two year contract in 2014? Perhaps something like $20mm for 2 years, but who knows what will happen with his health in the coming year and a half. My guess is that Soriano will not be with the team in 2014 purely based on cost. I wouldn’t rule out Robertson or even Betances (yes the same Betances that walked 87 batters last week) being a future closure. Raphel De Paula perhaps too. He’s still pretty raw, but has hard stuff. I think he’s projected more as a starter, but you know, anything is possible. If Campos and Banuelos can keep their shit together and make the rotation come 2014, De Paula is a very real option.

        • Ted Nelson

          I don’t think this proves anyone wrong. I have been a relative supporter of Soriano compared to just about all fans, but the issue is what else could you do with that money? You might be able to sign 2 (or 3 or 4) relievers that aren’t appreciably worse than Soriano for that money… then you’d have even more depth. Or you might be able to upgrade another position. Even the Yankees operate under somewhat of a budget. There’s an opportunity cost to signing a guy, and with Soriano one can definitely argue that exceeds his value. (Again, I was ok with the signing… but I don’t think that there’s a clear answer either way.)

  • Mike HC

    I would go with Soriano. I like our best reliever being the set up man, fireman type guy anyway, and let Soriano, who has stated that he likes a defined inning, be the closer.

    • jjyank

      I agree with the concept, but the reality is that both of those guys will have defined innings. Regardless of what happens, there will be no fireman. There will be an 8th inning guy and a 9th inning guy.

      I would love for Robertson to be a fireman. But unfortunately D-Rob and Soriano are both going to have defined innings.

    • Nick

      Its not like Robertson is the “fireman” right now though. He pitches the 8th inning. He rarely ever pitches based on leverage of the situation. Its almost always at the start of the 8th.

      • Mike HC

        True. I think the set up man has a little more flexibility in his use though.

  • Ro

    An incredibly difficult question to answer and frankly, I don’t know who should get the job. I think many have been of the mindset, myself included, that Robertson was making a strong case to be Mo’s heir at the right time, however there is a larger concern in my eyes present day and that is having Soriano assume the 8th inning duties, which in my opinion, may not be the right answer. Again so many angles with this, but at this very moment, I’m leaning Robertson keeping the 8th inning duties, which as we’ve seen, can really be the game in itself. As of now, Robertson in the 8th and Soriano closing, which he has previously done. The only other way this could possibly work is if they move Hughes back to the pen in the coming weeks if he can’t maintain his spot in the rotation. If Hughes goes back to the pen, a place were he has been consistently successful, that give the Yanks another power right for the 8th. Then I could Robertson taking over the closing duties. I’m just afraid by not having Robertson available for the 7th or 8th is equally as catastrophic as losing Mo in the 9th. But again the case could be made that Robertson was heading for the closing job anyway and while he has been just downright dominant and in his prime, maybe now is the time to move him to that spot. I don’t know (I’m literally talking to myself as I write this) I am not sold on Soriano, Wade, Mitchell, Logan being the ultimate late inning stop gap.

  • Dan

    If it’s Soriano, I might just quit baseball. Robertson would be a great fireman, but I’m not ready to transition to that type of bullpen yet. That’s just not the model the Yankees have worked with since 1996. I want my best reliever in the 9th.

    • Mike HC

      In 1996 our best reliever was Mo, the set up guy.

      • oscar

        yes, i’ll take that model

        • Cris Pengiucci

          +1. Let Robertson be the set up guy this year (and perhaps next) or until Soriano shows he can’t do it.

          I’m reasonable confident Robertson can do the job as well or perhaps better than Soriano, I just prefer him as the set up guy.

      • Dan

        Yes, I know. That model hasn’t been in place since I was in first grade. It’s tough for me to feel comfortable switching the entire late-inning strategy to compound the loss of continuity with Mo being gone.

        • Mike HC

          I wouldn’t care either way. For me, your top two relievers are basically equally important regardless of their role.

  • Mike HC

    I think Randy Levine might be the biggest winner here.

    • Need Pitching

      not unless Soriano starts pitching a lot better

      • Typical MIT Nerd

        You mean because they have a better option at 1/20th the cost?

        • Typical MIT Nerd

          Sorry, meant that for Mike HC.

        • Mike HC

          Huh? Just saying having Soriano now is a lot more important than it was before Mo got hurt.

    • Ro

      Sadly, you are correct. None of us want a decision that was heavily criticized to be for this reason, but as I stated above just a minute and have said countless times on this forum, that I was a supporter of the signing then and now and I’ve defended Soriano on here as well. Unfortunately, a lot of fans are looking at $$ spent only, which they shouldn’t have. Yeah he’s overpaid. So are a lot of people I know and they don’t play for the Yankees.

  • Typical MIT Nerd

    I can’t believe folks are choosing Soriano because of the perspective of some silly psychological nonsense of replacing someone. Robertson is so clearly better it would be stupid to deny him because of the way he got the job. This is not replacing Mo at the beginning of the year and having to deal with all the Spring Training stories when the hacks have nothing else to write about. It’s about having the best man for the job. That’s clearly Robertson.

    • Need Pitching

      even as a mid-season replacement, there will be ENORMOUS scrutiny on anybody who replaces Mo

      I still think it should be DRob though.

    • Ro

      You make a compelling point, but you forgot one MAJOR thing, what if they have no one to get them to Roberston? That’s the issue I think many are debating here. A closer is only effective when in the lead or the person’s before the closer are able to consistently “hold” the game. I have little faith that any other option currently in the bull pen (other than Hughes, believe it or not) would be able to do that. That is of course, if the Yanks planning on outscoring their opponents by 4 runs or more for every game for the remainder of the season. At this very moment, today, Soriano probably gets the closing job not based on merit, but based on experience and the overall bullpen dynamic.

  • blooper

    Since no one can ever replace Mo, shouldn’t the Yankees just forfeit if they have a lead in a save situation for the rest of the year?

    • Dan

      Not even funny.

  • Bonnie Parker

    New 6th and 7th inning fireman – Phil Hughes
    8th inning guy – Soriano
    Closer – Robertson

    Andy replaces Phil in the rotation. We saw in the 1st inning last start that Phil can still get it up to 95 mph. He might be able to recreate his 09 magic if he only has to throw 1 or 2 innings. If he still struggles we’ve got Joba returning mid season.

    • Erica

      You REALLY think Joba is returning mid-season?

      Really?

      • CountryClub

        I definitely expect him to return. Not sure when, but I’d be shocked if he’s not on the post season roster (assuming they get there).

      • jjyank

        Joba won’t be there, but his point still stands if you replace Joba with Aardsma. He should be back before Joba.

  • Jobamania

    I’m gonna have to say Soriano in hopes of Soriano being able to recapture some of his dominating form by getting that “adrenaline”

  • CountryClub

    I know it won’t happen, but how about Hughes? He showed the other day he can still throw 94/95 and I bet that would tick up even more if he knew he was only throwing 1 inning at a time.

    I voted for Robertson because he’ll be better than Soriano as a closer. But I’d prefer to not have Robertson in the 9th. Let Girardi use him with a little more flexibility.

    • Mike HC

      If they transition Hughes back to the pen they would probably do it slowly with low pressure situations first, rather than just throw him into the fire as the closer.

      • CountryClub

        You’re absolutley right. But maybe throwing him right in would give him a confidence boost.

  • Leg-End

    I hope they go with Soriano, as much as I would love to see Robertson closing games out this season its simply logical to not just chuck him into that role when we have a guy like Soriano who has served the role very successfully before albeit elsewhere.

    D-Rob long term can be our closer but to bridge that gap Soriano is ready made for it.

  • Dan

    With the bases loaded, Robertson last year held hitters to 1-for-19 with 14 strikeouts. What’s this about him not being ready for pressure situations?

  • LiterallyFigurative

    Let Soriano be the 9th inning guy, and let D-Rob be the “8th inning/2 outs in the 7th and we are in a jam” guy.

    Logan/Hughes/Wade in the 6th and 7th.

    Garcia and Mitchell in the long role.

    CC
    Kuroda
    Nova
    Pettitte
    Phelps

    No more short bench crap.

    • Need Pitching

      except the only jam DRob has been used to get out of this year was a bases loaded 2 out situation inherited from Soriano, who he could still bail out if they push both back 1 inning.
      If they were actually using DRob as a get out of jams fireman on a regular basis, like they did early last season, I’d be all for leaving him in that role. But for the most part, since becoming the eighth inning guy, he comes into the game to start the inning with nobody on, just like he would most of the time as the closer.

      • jjyank

        This.

        Whether we like it or not, whatever happens, there will be an 8th inning guy and a 9th inning guy. I would love dor D-Rob to be the fireman too, but what’s the difference with Robertson coming in for the 8th inning and a three run lead and nobody on or the save situation in the 9th with a three run lead and nobody on? Because that’s pretty much what’s been happening anyway. Seems easy enough to just slide Soriano and Robertson back an inning, plus it keeps the order in which they come out of the pen intact, it’s worked so far.

  • chmch

    Soriano is built for the closer role. Robertson said last night he wasn’t ready for it. The best advice I can give Girardi is change as little as possible. D-rob is working in the 8th. Give Soriano a shot. He has the stuff and the attitude and it could save our season. What a horrible thread to have to write in this morning. I have tickets for next week and the thought I don’t have a shot at seeing Mariano takes the sparkle out of the game.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Robertson didn’t say that. He said he didn’t know if he was ready because he’d never done it – a perfectly reasonable statement.

      • jjyank

        Right. I just saw the interview on the MLBN. Robertson said he can’t know for sure how he’ll do because he’s never done it before but that he would try as hard as he can if needed. Sounds reasonable.

        • MattG

          I think its not an unexpected statement, but kind of a dumb one. He’s relieved in major league games before. Should he be thinking that doing it in the ninth inning is a big deal?

          No, no he shouldn’t. Maybe Soriano is the better choice.

          • jjyank

            I actually thought it was tactful. Maybe he does think that. But in the wake of losing Rivera, it would be stupid to say “Ya no doubt, I can replace him”.

            D-Rob was just being diplomatic. The difference between the 8th and 9th inning is so overstated, of course he can handle it.

  • jjyank

    I’m going to D-Rob.

    I totally see both sides though. Replacing Mo is not possible, and whoever is the first person to be tasked with the job is going to face a lot of scrutiny after the first blown save. We thought the bi-annual additions of “Whats Wrong With Mo Week” were bad? Wait until non-Mo closers start blowing saves. So I get the idea of letting Soriano be the fall guy of sorts, with D-Rob in mind as the long-term closer.

    However, I find myself leaning the other way. D-Rob has been so dominate for over a year now, I think he deserves it. I don’t think he’s going to suddenly fall apart by sliding up one inning. As far as fan scrutiny goes, I think it’ll be lesser with Robertson. The Soriano signing was widely criticized, and his early season struggles and subsequent injury in 2011 has not helped endear him to the fans. Robertson, on the other hand, seems to be very well-liked in Yankeeland. I don’t think the reaction would be too harsh on D-Rob.

    Finally, the situation is perfect for Robertson. I think the pro-Soriano argument made more sense regarding 2013 before Mo’s injury. This seems to be the perfect opportunity for him to slide in as the closer. Instead of “replacing Mo”, Robertson would be stepping up in the wake of a devastating injury. Not that it matters in reality, but the narrative is different now for many fans.

    Robertson has been so good for us, I think he deserves the promotion. Let Soriano take the 8th inning. Let Hughes go back to the bullpen when Pettitte is ready. And hope that Aardsma can provide some reinforcements in the second half. That is my vote.

  • titit

    Robertson may be marginally better then Soriano in the 9th, however he would be much better as the fireman and getting out of jams. (Which is a much more difficult and valuable job)

    • Need Pitching

      That’s definitely a more difficult and valuable job …
      and a job he really hasn’t been used in much at all since becoming the eighth inning guy

      • titit

        That is Girardi’s fault, so hopefully the Yankees don’t compound the issue and make it worse, by only pitching him in 3 run leads.

        • jjyank

          Not really, that’s baseball’s conventional wisdom’s fault. You can’t blame a manager in a big market like New York for not going against the established formula.

          • titit

            It is his fault then by blindly going by convention wisdom. I am not playing the blame game and that is not the point of my post. The point is to show that it is silly to waste Robertson’s best talent (strikeout ability) in usually lower leverage situations, such as starting a clean inning in the 9th.

            More often then not, the game will be lost before then with a vastly inferior pitcher.

        • Need Pitching

          closers sometimes pitch in tie games and with 1 and 2 run leads as well…
          Moving him to the ninth wouldn’t really change which situations he pitched in (at least not much), just change the inning number he was pitching in

  • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

    For this year-Soriano. He’s done it before with a fair amount of pressure and Maddon riding him alot harder than Joe G does.

    If he is a bust, then DRob next year.

    Let’s get a few leads by the 9th inning first, everyone.

  • eric

    You cant replace Mariano Rivera

    • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

      Nope, but someone has to pitch the 9th.

  • Manny’s BanWagon

    I’d let Soriano do it. Sometimes to me, he appears to be a bit disinterested when he comes in the 6th or 7th innings.

    Robertson is a rock in the 8th and maybe by moving Soriano to closer with the extra adrenaline and excitement, he’ll elevate his game back to where it was when he closed with the Rays.

  • http://riveraveblues sandy g

    with soriano making 14million and robertson making 500 thou there is no question that soriano must get the call because of the money robertson last night said he is not ready to be a closer.this is not girardi call but cashmans call as to who will close.the bullpen is not their problem its the hitting.

    • jjyank

      First, money should not make the decision. Second, Robertson didn’t say that. I just saw the interview, that is not accurate. He said that he didn’t know how he would do as a closer because he’s never done it before, but he would try as hard as he can if called upon.

      • bkight13

        Money is an issue, especially with a young player with arb. years left. Saves get guys the big money. They are already paying Soriano to be the closer, let him close.

        • jjyank

          Well, no, they were paying Soriano to be the set up guy actually. And money is not an issue. The Yankees need to take the best player and give him the closer role, not the one who is making the most money. That’s a poor way to run a sports team. By that logic, if AJ Burnett was still on the team, you would let him start game 2 of the playoffs.

          • Ted Nelson

            I think you are right that spent costs shouldn’t come into it. However, bkight13′s point is also valid that future money should come into the decision. Robertson racking up saves might cost the Yankees millions of dollars against their 2014 plan without giving them millions of dollars worth of benefit. Not the only factor to consider by far, but one factor to consider.

            • jjyank

              I get that logic, but I don’t want the Yankees to forgo the optimal bullpen to save a coupe million in arbitration. Field the best team you can. If you want to pass on a high profile free agent to save money, that’s fine. But if D-Rob is your best option at closer, I would hope his subsequent arbitration raise doesn’t stop them.

              • bkight13

                But we don’t know DRob is the best option. He has never done it. Soriano has. Either way, leads can be lost in both the 8th and 9th. I would rather keep DRob in his comfort zone.

    • Manny’s BanWagon

      It was that kind of reasoning that allowed AJ Burnett to stay in the rotation when he was getting his brains beat in start after start. Money is irrelevant.

  • Joe

    I know the RAB writers have entertained the idea, but I don’t recall most commenters advocating Mariano Rivera should be moved to the fireman role because he’s our best reliever (even before D-Rob solidified that role). Soriano’s been the “7th inning guy” and Robertson the “8th inning guy”. You’d be leapfrogging DRob even though he’s our best reliever right now and I don’t think all the explanations about how Soriano’s done it before, we don’t want you under scrutiny, or we’re hoping Soriano will opt out after this, are going to make DRob feel less disrespected. And if Mariano comes back next year to try to end on a better note and DRob never gets to close? I’m sure DRob knows how much his salary would stand to gain from closing and I think keeping him out of the role would make him feel slighted.

    Call it a sentimental argument but I think “because he’s our best and he’s earned it” is a good enough reason to put him in.

  • http://riveraveblues sandy g

    i believe cashman has worn out his welcome in ny.his personal life is probable interfering with his yankee job.i believe they need a new gm that is not afraid to play some top prospects.the new gm should clean house starting with teixeira,kuroda,garcia,hughes,rapada,wade,soriano,martin,arod,nunez,jones,ibanez,cervelli,gardner and yes betances and banuelos.

    • Luisergi

      Just, you know, Wow…

    • Betty Lizard

      Period.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

      Stop watching baseball. You’re too stupid for the game.

      • Ro

        Considering the Red Sox have about 25,000 of these types of fans “the sky is falling pink hats,” I guess we should be fortunate to have to deal with just one.

    • jjyank

      LOL. You want to clean house be getting rid of prospects? Isn’t that counter productive?

      Trooooollin’

      • Ted Nelson

        Play top prospects by getting rid of them…

    • Erica

      It’s as though the shift key doesn’t exist for poor sandy g.

      • jjyank

        And possibly the brain too.

        • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

          Damn. Nicely done.

          • jjyank

            It was harsh, but we were all thinking it.

            • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

              I appreciated, and agreed with, it.

        • Erica

          Oh, well… that’s a given.

    • Ro

      “Mommy I want to go on the circus rides”

      “But sweetie, the circus isn’t in town”

      “but mommy look at the clown”

    • Erica

      I keep re-reading this post because each time, I laugh a little more.

      And sometimes we need that during a busy workday, especially on a Friday.

  • Luisergi

    Give it to Soriano.

    Somebody is gonna take serious heat after the first blown save op. let him be the one, don’t risk Robertson’s self respect and confidence. And start fresh in 2013 with D-Rob if Mo doesn’t make it back.

    Plus Soriano may be actually good in that role

  • Bo Knows

    Give it to the most deserving man, D-Rob. People talk about replacing a legend, every man who gets on that mound for the next 5 years (at least) will have to live up to Mo’s shadow. D-Rob has earned his spot as Mo’s heir, he has also built up over the past 3 years a huge support base with most fans. All that capital isn’t going anywhere after one or two blown saves.

    • J

      Agree completely. People who are saying Soriano should take the burden of replacing Mo don’t realize that Robertson will have a much longer leash from the fans. A hired gun like Soriano is always under more scrutiny than a low salary home grown product. Look at how many chances Hughes is getting and just now people are starting to get on him. Plus it would put us in the envious position of not having to go out and spend/trade for a new closer.

  • MattG

    Any chance Girardi just uses his best reliever available whenever he’s needed most, if the game is close and late?

    No? Okay, thanks for listening.

  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    Alfredo Aceves.

    • Need Pitching

      Mark Melancon

      • Robinson Tilapia

        TJ Beam

        • MattG

          Cory Lidle

          oooo…too soon?

  • noseeum

    I would go with Soriano simply to keep Robertson’s arbitration costs low for the next couple of years. We’re already paying Soriano closer’s wages. No need to pay them to Robertson too.

    • titit

      Valid point, as well.

  • http://RAB Tom

    Let Teixiera close! He can’t hit anyway, might as well try him in the bullpen.

  • Branching Head

    The highest leverage innings seem to be the second in a Garcia or Hughes start.

  • J

    If we are being serious, Mo is likely close to done and Soriano won’t be here much longer. Let Robertson assume the role he is ready for. Part of being a closer is experiencing and controlling the emotions of being a closer. Sooner or later Robertson is going to have to weather that storm. Might as well be now.

  • Jesse

    I chose Soriano. He has experience as a closer, for whatever that’s worth, and I like D-Rob in the fireman-like/set-up role.

    • jjyank

      The problem with this, is that Robertson is not the fireman, and will not be one if Soriano is the closer. Most of the time Robertson just enters the 8th inning with nobody on. And even when he does come in during the 7th to bail someone out, some times he’s bailing out Soriano, which would remain unchanged by sliding them down an inning.

      I love the concept of the fireman, but that’s not what D-Rob’s role is now, and it’s not what his role will be. So I find that reasoning lacking a bit.

  • Darren

    There are no practical or strategic reasons to favor one guy over the other; the answer is purely emotional.So, pick D Rob because he is a homegrown Yankee and there will be no sense that a class act like Mo is being replaced with a brooder like Soriano.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

    Joba Chamberlain.

  • J

    I know it’s not going to happen but the ideal situation would be to not label a closer and then let Robertson take the tougher part of the game.

    For example: If in the 8th inning up by one the hitters due up are Prince Fielder, Miggy and Avila, you’d put in Robertson and let Soriano pitch to the bottom of the lineup next inning to finish the job. The script would flip if the bottom of the order is due up in the 8th.

    Unfortunately I’m not sure even Joe Madden is ready to do this…

  • Kruk That Noise

    Time for the rest of the country to find out what we already know about Robertson: he’s a beast.

    He’s the only other pitcher in the bullpen where once he’s in there’s no need to warm anyone else up. Soriano doesn’t inspire that sort of comfort level.

  • LiterallyFigurative

    There really is no right answer. Either configuration works for me. I chose Soriano, but its a 51/49 kind of situation.

    For whatever reason, being a great closer is a mental/emotional thing, more so than a stuff thing. I think it would help Soriano to get that job from the mental/emotional standpoint more than it would help Robertson (no way I can prove it, just a theory).

    I’ve moved on from the grief process and am ready to roll. Just my nature.

    I’m excited to see how this works out.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Haven’t been around since last night. What a difference half a day makes. Last night, jjyank and I were making fun of our more negative-minded folk for immediately thinking ACL. Look where we are now.

    For the purposes of this poll, I go with Robertson as the clear choice. He is as dominant a set-up man as I’ve seen since a young Mariano Rivera. There should be zero argument, as far as I’m concerned.

    As for the larger issue, I think Mike Greenberg said it best this morning when he said that there is a generation of fans who can legally vote for the first time this year who cannot remember a world without Mariano Rivera on the mound for the Yankees. Expand to that the same generation only remembering the Yankees making the playoffs for every year, expect one, and it explains some of the reactions we tend to see around here well. For many, many fans, including myself, this is, by far, the toughest moment we have ever experienced as fans. The only thing that could even touch this, to me, is something I won’t even mention simply due to simple differences that make is inappropriate to compare the two.

    In many ways, a forum like this doesn’t seem like the best way to process the loss of Mariano, whether it’s for just this season, or for good. Find your best real-life Yankee buddy and buy him/her a beer tonight.

    Get well, Mariano. I’m sure life will guide you to what is the right decision, but this fan would love to hear “Enter Sandman” again for one more season in 2013.

    Mr. Robertson, I believe the throne is yours. Take good care of it.

    • jjyank

      My thoughts exactly. And I believe you were dubbed “my crony” and the two of us “were responsible for all the animosity in the thread”. Because I preached patience.

      Looks dumb now, but I was simply trying to be optimistic.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Never looks dumb to be the optimist. It’s exactly what I’d think if I had to do it over again.

        • jjyank

          I would too. Just funny that patience and optimism translates into animosity and being condescending for others.

    • Erica

      Beautifully stated.

      I raise my evening beer to you!

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Likewise. Nothing in this world better than a lady Yankee fan.

        • Erica

          Sweet! I’ve successfully converted my boyfriend into a Yankees fan as well. He was a part-time Red Sox fan**. I mean – the horror! The. Horror.

          (**Back in the days when my boyfriend was a bartender, he found Yankees fans to be so annoying when they watched games where he worked that he felt he had no choice but to cheer on the Red Sox. Sigh.)

          • jjyank

            Somewhat similar, but I and my girlfriend were both born and raised in New Jersey (both Yankee fans), but her younger brother is a die hard Red Sox fan…also born and raised in New Jersey. I guess he’s had too much contact with the bad part of the fanbase, but I’m not really sure how that happens. It is now my goal in life to save him from eternal damnation.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              I flirted with becoming a Marlins fans when I lived down in Florida, and actually spent the entirety of the dynasty years down there, which just wasn’t the same except for truly being able to celebrate every championship from ’96-’00 without that one bump. Even in 2003, when I was back up here, there was still that tinge of ambivalence. 2009 was actually the first championship I was able to experience, as a fully formed adult, living in NYC.

              This also should explain to everyone why I hate the Knicks. You don’t spend the late 90′s in South Florida and not develop a Sox-like hatred for them.

              • jjyank

                I’ll forgive you for the basketball thing, since I don’t care about the sport in the slightest. I get the feeling about other teams though.

                I’ve spend a lot of time over the years in Washington D.C., for internships, vacations, etc. In fact my girlfriend is now down in D.C. attending Georgetown Law. I’m moving down there myself next month, and I fully plan on making the Nationals my second team. I like what they’re doing and since they’re not in the same league, it doesn’t feel like I’m betraying the Yanks too much.

                The dynasty years have that mystic nostalgia for me. I was 8 years old when the Yankees won in 1996, so that is like the stuff of legends for me. I went to undergrad at the University of Vermont (solid Red Sox territory) so 2009 was also very special for me as I celebrated in the face of Sox fans around me. Though I did have to endure 2007 in the same environment. Also got to experience the 2007 Superbowl with the Giants beating the Patriots. That was fun.

                • Erica

                  Any time the Giants pwn the Pats… it’s heavenly.

                  • jjyank

                    Profitable too. I was bracing myself for the worst, so I got wasted before the game. In my stupor I bet a Pats fan friend $200 that the Giants would win, and all my Giants friends fans were like “dude…we’re rooting for the Giants too, but you’re an idiot.” Worked out though. We all marched around downtown yelling “BRADY SUCKS” at everyone we saw.

              • Erica

                That must have been so strange to experience the dynasty years away from the New York area! So to experience 2009 must have surely been rewarding for all those years of living in Marlins territory! Eek.

                Oh, and screw the Knicks. Save for Lin-sanity, basketball has become so irritating, especially with the shortened season and Amar’e punching through glass and and and.

            • Erica

              Oh gosh! Save him, save him before it’s too late. It’s baffling to me that people can actually like the Red Sox that much.

              • jjyank

                Heh it’s funny, when I stay at her parents house, I have to stay in another bedroom. A couple of times the guest room was already occupied, and the only open room was her brother’s, since he’s away at college still. Place is covered in Red Sox posters, I felt like I needed to sleep with garlic around my neck. I took a shower as soon as I woke up.

                • Erica

                  Haha! Did his room smell like fried chicken and beer?!

    • flamingo

      This comment is A+.

      I really don’t remember a time without Mariano. I’d hoped to keep it that way for a long time.

  • jjyank

    Well I’ve stated my more rational opinion a few times already in this thread, so here’s my greedy/selfish/irrational reason: Robertson is on my fantasy team. Picked him up with my last pick in the draft to help boost my K numbers. So if the Yankees make him the closer, I also get a boost in the save categories. Get it done Yankees! Sooner rather than later too, I’m losing by 1 save in that category this week haha.

  • Ted Nelson

    I voted Robertson because I think he’s the better pitcher, but then again… if Soriano’s really “bored” not being the closer or whatever his excuse is, maybe it’s best for the team to have him close and Robertson set-up.

  • Got Heeeeeeem

    Soriano. He’s done it plenty of times before (albeit not with New York). Also, think of it like this, who would you rather have pitch in the 8th with two guys on and no outs? Robertson right? I would rather have Soriano pitch in the 9th, and start out the inning with no guys on and just have to get three outs. If Soriano gives up a hit with no guys on in the 9th, and one out, it doesn’t hurt as much as a hit in the 8th with two guys on. Obviously, the same hit-given-up-in-a-bad-situation could happen with Robertson, but there isn’t as much of a chance of that happening to Roberston as there is Soriano. People seem to forget that your best bullpen pitcher should really come out in a situation where one bad move could affect the game, not when there is three outs to go and nobody on base (Rivera just happened to be pretty damn good at getting three quick outs).

    • jjyank

      The problem with this is that Robertson mostly starts a clean inning too, it just has a different number. It’s relatively rare for a starter to pitch into the 8th anyway, so Robertson being the 8th inning guy isn’t really any different than being the 9th inning guy.

      When Robertson was first called up, he was the fireman. But that’s not his role now, why do so many assume that he’d be used that way after the Mo injury?

      Despite voting for Robertson, I get the rationale for Soriano, but this is not the part of the reasoning that I get. As far as I’m concerned, the order of Soriano – Robertson out of the bullpen has worked well so far. Why take our chances by reversing it now? Just slide them down and inning.

  • Strat

    Not that this should be any factor in the ultimate decision, but does anybody else wonder whether Soriano might get “prickly” if he doesn’t get the closer role now? He’s here being paid closer money, and I believe that his contract came with the implication that he’d be the next guy. I’m not saying that he will react badly, or that he has any right to… just kind of occurred to me that he might.

    It happened to a lesser degree this spring with Freddy after Andy was signed. While Freddy was never promised a starting role, it was certainly implied that that’s how he’d be used at the time he was signed. I think a similar implication existed when Soriano signed.

  • OldYanksFan

    DRob is obviously a much better pitcher, however:
    “Robertson should NOT be the closer as he should pitch, when available, always in the highest leverage innings.”

    If DRob is the Closer, then Sori will just blow it in the 7th or 8th.
    It’s a tough choice.

  • YankShift

    Until I read this post I was thinking hands down Robertson. But making the case to let Robertson get the tougher outs has a lot of merit.
    The good news is we are having a debate about which of the 2 guys would be better for the job and based on some other team’s roster, we are lucky we can do this.