Saturday, June 22, 2013

Day 83: Andrew Bailey Has Biiiiiig Problems

The more I think about this whole Andrew Bailey situation, the more incredibly pissed off I get. A closer in baseball has one specific job—to save games. It's not rocket science... your team gets a lead, you come in for three measly outs in one stupid inning and all you need to do is to get those three batters out. Job done. Notch another save in your belt or your diary or wherever the hell you keep track of your accomplishments. It's pretty simple.

Don't get me wrong... I know that closers can't save every game and sometimes they get all out of whack. But in five attempts, blowing three of those saves is not acceptable. And that's exactly what Bailey has done in this last five outings. Over that stretch, he has posted a whopping 15.75 ERA while allowing a .444 opponents' batting average. He's also given up four home runs in less than two weeks—including that walk-off to Jhonny Peralta the other night that nearly pushed me off the ledge. If a closer can't close, he needs to be put sit down. 

Frankly, Bailey has done nothing of real value in the season and a half he's been in Boston. In his first year with the Sox—the dreaded 2012 season—he was injured for a good portion and recorded just six saves in 19 games with an exorbitant 7.04 ERA. This is the same guy who was named Rookie of the Year in 2009 after posting a rookie record 26 saves with a 1.84 ERA. Is it the pressure of pitching for Boston? I just don't get it.

It was obvious that the Red Sox didn't see him as their closer of the future. They went out and signed Joel Hanrahan to fill the shoes that never seemed to fit Bailey. But then again, the shoes left vacant by Jonathan Papelbon were pretty big. With Hanrahan as the ninth-inning guy, Bailey was positioned as a middle reliever. And then, not long after the season started, Hanrahan went down with a season-ending injury and Bailey is catapulted back into the closer role with a chance to really prove his worth.

Yeah... that didn't happen.

And now John Farrell is saddled with the decision of who put in this place because obviously, Bailey has the yips. If he were a golfer, he'd be slicing three out of every five tee shots. So the choices now for closer are Andrew Miller, Koji Uehara or Junichi Tazawa. Or do they go out and get someone? Is there even anyone for them to get?

Just please tell me it's not going to be closer by committee! I can't handle that again.

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