The football season is upon us. Do you know what time it is? Yup, that’s right, it’s Madden time. I purchased a copy of Madden 25 on the first day it was available, just like every year. I am not a huge video game guyer but I do play Madden and The Show. I was highly anticipating this year’s version of Madden because the game gets progressively better every year. I have only played two games so far but this game is SOUR!! And when I say sour, I mean in a good way. No, I am not describing a bag of weed. Here is Urban Dictionary's definition of "sour:"
- When used to describe something crazy or out of the ordinary.
- When used to describe another person’s actions.
So in the future if I use the term sour it will most likely be in a good way unless I am describing Tori Spelling’s face. Alright, I will keep this introduction short, let’s take a look to see if I can give you some SOUR closer recommendations.
Bob Yeoman’s Balks
LaTroy Hawkins: There are talks that the Mets are thinking about using Gonzalez Germen as the closer over the final month of the season. Since the switch has not yet been made, we still want to keep Germen on our radar in case LaTroy Hawkins blows another save or two. Actually, I would add German just on principle... wait, I already picked him up yesterday!
Mariano Rivera: It’s too bad this is his last season; he could probably close for the Yankees for another couple of years, but at least he is not pulling a Brett Favre. “Once more into the breach, dear friends, once more, or close the wall up with our English dead!”
Steve Cishek: After a rough April, Steve Cishek was on a verge of losing his closing gig, but he was able to pull it all together and is having a fine season. Cishek has converted 28 saves in 30 chances even while playing for a terrible team. Look for Cishek to keep the ball in the ninth inning next year unless they decide to go a different route.
Craig Kimbrel: His slider is just sour, nuff said!
Aroldis Chapman: Yes, he is human, but he brings mad heat to the table and will be an elite closer for years to come... well, as long as his arm doesn’t fall off.
Kevin Gregg: Kevin Gregg is looking more like, well, Kevin Gregg, but he is still closing and it looks like he is not getting traded. If he keeps pitching like the Kevin Gregg we all know, then hold on to Pedro Strop. I highly doubt that Gregg will be closing for the Cubs next year but Blake Parker or Strop might.
Rex Brothers: Rafael Betancourt has elected to undergo Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire 2014 season. Rex Brothers was already going to finish out this year as the Rockies' closer but looks like it will be his job to lose from now on.
Jim Henderson: Henderson has been extremely solid ever since he regained the closer’s role and will most likely be the Brew Crew’s closer in 2014.
Jonathan Papelbon: Here is a player that I have not talked about much except when there were trade rumors circulating about him. I am not a huge fan of Papelbon's, and I never was. I’d rather watch paint dry than watch him pitch; actually it’s about the same thing really. The mound routine that he goes through is horrible and the umpires should make him speed it up. He is making way too much money for the type of production he puts out. And with the diminished velocity and strikeout rate, I don’t see him closing for much longer. I’ll predict that he's only in the ninth-inning conversation for one more season.
Huston Street: All that I will say about him is that he has lasted longer as a closer than I thought. He might start off the 2014 season as the Padres’ closer, but I doubt it finishes that way.
Sergio Romo: Romo established himself as a good closer in 2013-- not elite, but good.
Edward Mujica: The Cardinals acquired John Axford, but this should not change anything in regards to Mujica or Trevor Rosenthal’s pitching sequence. Mujica must have gotten the knot worked out of his shoulder because he has converted two saves since the news. Look for Rosenthal to be the Redbirds' closer in 2014.
Rafael Soriano: There has been speculation that Soriano might get a break from closing duties, but the Nationals continue to run him out there. If you are in a speculative mood (like I usually am), then grab either Drew Storen or Tyler Clippard. I would lean towards Storen if I were going to make a move.
Jim Johnson: Buck Showalter continues to run Johnson out there for the ninth inning and on Thursday night he tallied his 41st save. Johnson might get a break here and there, so if you are desperate for saves then Tommy Hunter is the guy.
Koji Uehara: Uehara has been lights-out ever since being anointed the closer, even at the ripe age of 38. He has an elite strikeout rate with 80 K in 59 innings pitched. Very solid stuff, and there's not much else going on in the Boston 'pen.
Addison Reed: Reed has been pretty darn good in Chi-Town, and should be for years to come!
Chris Perez: Average at best.
Joaquin Benoit: Despite my early criticism of Benoit, he has been great as the closer in Motown.
Houston’s Hog Pen: Jordan Lyles picked up his first career save on Monday but then started last night so your guess is as good as mine at this point. I suppose that Chia-Jen Lo and Josh Fields are still acting as co-closers, I’d still choose Lo but who knows, luck to ya.
Greg Holland: Holland has been lights-out ever since a rough April. He has the elite strikeout rate that we like to see and should be closing for the Royals next year.
Grant “Rage” Balfour: Balfour had an epic meltdown on Thursday night but it was only his second blown save so he aight!
Danny Farquhar: Don’t Hate da Player, Hate da Game! Farquhar has an impressive 10 saves in August and that is just sick. If he can even get close to that in September than maybe he will close for them next year.
Ernesto Frieri: Frieri secured the save opportunity on August 23rd and in turn Dane De La Rosa nailed down the save on August 27th. Frieri then tallied his 28th save of the season Thursday night. All of this is really confusing but at the end of the day or season that is, Frieri will be the “Last Man Standing.”
Glen Perkins: Perkins has turned in a solid season for the Twins “Basil” Twins! He should be their game finisher next year as well.
Casey Janssen: Janssen earned his 25th save of the year on Friday night. Yet another average closer getting the job done with less-than-stellar stuff.
This might be my last week writing about closers as it looks as though I will be moving onto football. Hopefully, my readers will continue to read my articles. If you have any closer questions during the final month of the season, feel free to hit me up on twitter @rotobix. You either love me or hate me but either way, I’m going to keep on keeping on! One!
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