I’m watching tonight’s Yankees-White Sox game, and Joba Chamberlain comes in to pitch. Naturally, the debate about whether or not to keep him in the bullpen emerges. White Sox play-by-play man and all-around idiot Hawk Harrelson opines that he should be in the bullpen, because if you don’t have a good bullpen, you can’t win games. I’m not going to get into an argument about this particular point right now, but what I am going to debate is the Harrelson’s proceeding statement:
“I can tell you one thing for sure. I can tell you that – the winner of the West? Best bullpen. Winner of the Central? Best bullpen. WInner of the East? Best bullpen. It’s as simple as that.”
Rest assured, I will be holding Harrelson to this statement and looking at the division winners and their bullpens at the end of the season. Until then:
- The 2007 Rangers missed the playoffs with the best bullpen in the AL Central.
- The 2007 Phillies won the NL East with 13th best bullpen in the division.
- The 2007 Padres missed the playoffs with the best bullpen in the NL West.
Of course, there is correlation between quality of bullpen and team success. But it is not nearly as important as Harrelson (and, in my opinion, many people) seem to think.