Mr. Perfect


I know we recently had a thread on Mr. Perfect, but perfection requires a multi-homage approach.

If Mo gets one more K before he issues his next walk, his 2008 K:BB ratio will reach 13:1.

Over 34.0 IP he has a 0.79 ERA, 38K, 15 H, and 3 BB resulting in a WHIP of 0.529.

Oh, and because I know it is supremely important to some: he doesn’t pump his fist.

Mo has never been so dominant – a significant statement given his perennial dominance.

48 comments… add one
  • WOW.

    Sam-YF June 19, 2008, 4:54 pm
  • What’s the split on save situations?

    Lar June 19, 2008, 4:55 pm
  • Without looking it up, I believe he’s a perfect 20/20 in save conversions/opportunities.

    Mark (YF) June 19, 2008, 5:10 pm
  • I’ll paste here what i wrote at the close of the game thread:
    What he’s doing now is simply crazy. The Trevor Hoffman line in the papers the other day was telling. Something like “I just want to go shake his hand. It’s an honor to hear my name in the same sentence.” And that guy is the ALL TIME MLB SAVES LEADER. Un. Real.

    YF June 19, 2008, 5:17 pm
  • He has got the lowest ERA of any pitcher who has thrown more than 8 innings.
    Opponents are batting .135; slugging .216; and have an OBP of .157 off of him.
    In the 20 save situations in which he has appeared, his ERA is 0.00 with 23 K, 6H, and 2 BB.

    IronHorse (yf) June 19, 2008, 5:18 pm
  • Just in case it got lost in the jumble of stats, in 20 save situations, facing a total of 70 batters, his ERA is 0.00.

    IronHorse (yf) June 19, 2008, 5:19 pm
  • Did I mention his ERA is 0.00 in save situations?
    That means he has given up as many runs as he has pumped fists.
    Ok, I’m done now…promise.

    IronHorse (yf) June 19, 2008, 5:20 pm
  • ;) It’s unreal, at his age too. Anyone really dominating in the AL right now? If the Yanks makes it to the post season, and Mo ends up with (slightly worse) numbers, would he be considered for Cy Young?

    Lar June 19, 2008, 5:26 pm
  • I also wonder what’s the longest shutout-during-save-situation streak is. I mean, ya, it’s arbitrary, but just curious.

    Lar June 19, 2008, 5:38 pm
  • he’s having a good year
    he has 2 loses right now, but no blown saves this year….yet.
    compare to last year when eh blew the most i THINK ever in his career

    TheTree1918 June 19, 2008, 5:42 pm
  • I’d love for Mo to get a Cy Young award.
    Saunders, Lee, and Moose (!!!!) are the only AL pitchers to 10 wins so far. I’d be surprised if there wasn’t some drop off there, but if Lee is really this good, he would arguably be the front-runner as of right now.
    CC Sabathia has actually started to come on very very strong but may be undone by his rough start. His 5-8 record and 4.53 ERA look terrible, but the latter is due largely to two early starts in a row in which he accumulated 9 ER each and the poor record is largely due to very poor run support. In his last 10 starts he is AVERAGING over 7.5 IP and has a 2.59 ERA, but nevertheless he is 4-5 in those starts thanks to Cleveland’s weak offense.
    And as much as I hate to say it, before he got hurt, Dice-K was disturbingly strong (8-0 in 11 games with a 2.53 ERA) and he seems ready to return.
    So some competition in the early Cy Young running but at least it is not inconceivable at this point that either Mo or Moose (or both!) could be in the mix!
    By the way, the opponents’ BA and OBP I cited above for Mo are even a bit higher than they should be because I didn’t adjust those for today’s game as I did with all his other stats.

    IronHorse (yf) June 19, 2008, 5:47 pm
  • Also, Rivera only has 13 more innings to go before he hits 1000, and officially bumps Pedro from first on the all-time ERA+ leaders (minimum 1000 IP).
    Pedro has a 160 career ERA+. Rivera has a 198. Yeah.
    Obviously, Pedro was a starter his entire career and has thrown 1700 more innings than Rivera, who has been a reliever every year but his sub-par first, but still. No one is ever going to come close to Rivera on that list.

    AndrewYF June 19, 2008, 6:01 pm
  • Comparing Pedro and Mo is like comparing giant bushels of delicious apples with other giant bushels of delicious apples. I like dem apples.

    attackgerbil June 19, 2008, 6:44 pm
  • It won’t hold up, but his current ERA+ is 502. Is that a real number?

    Lar June 19, 2008, 7:29 pm
  • Also, Mo has 3 All-Star saves. Anyone close?

    Lar June 19, 2008, 7:34 pm
  • I’m having too much fun here, but:
    Mo has 3 walks.
    Of all pitchers with at least 1 saves, only Moylan, Mike Gonzales, and Anthony Reyes has 3 or less walks. And Mo.
    That’s out of 86 pitchers.
    And NO ONE, other than Mo, with at least 2 saves, has 3 or less walks.
    That’s kind of insane.

    Lar June 19, 2008, 7:44 pm
  • > Is that a real number?
    Nope. It’s abstracted, but by way of that abstraction, he can not be real either.
    > It won’t hold up
    He shouldn’t have it now. Nobody should. But he does.

    attackgerbil June 19, 2008, 7:48 pm
  • The only legitimate contemporary comparison to Mariano in my view is Tiger Woods. Different sport, yes, but he is the only other individual ahcieving feats that no one has or should every achieve by any rational estimation.

    IronHorse (yf) June 19, 2008, 8:41 pm
  • I’m not even sure comparing him to Tiger is apt. Rivera is like the Warren Buffett of Baseball.
    Since #42 is already retired across MLB, what can the Yankees do after Rivera decides to call it a day? What’s a stronger statement than retiring a number? Launch it into space?

    FenSheaParkway June 19, 2008, 8:56 pm
  • After watching this game, my first instinct was to put up a similar post about the greatness that is Mariano. IH beat me to it! But really, this season has been so remarkable for Mo, it’s almost surreal.

    Nick -YF June 19, 2008, 9:04 pm
  • OK, yes Mo is great, but Tiger Woods? Seriously, IH? You are comparing a specialist, maybe one of the best specialists of all time, to a guy who has basically redefined an entire sport? Tiger’s accomplishments are far different than Mariano’s, in many ways. Mariano is a true great, but he’s no Tiger Woods.
    This is another case, this comparison to Woods, of a Yankee fan taking something (greatness) and trying to make it their own special territory. “Tiger Woods, yeah, sure, he’s great, but he’s really just the Mariano Rivera of golf”. Please, enough already.

    SF June 19, 2008, 9:06 pm
  • Everyone is a specialist in baseball.. =P
    There is something about a closer though. You can hit 4 HR’s and your team might not win. You might pitch a perfect-ish game, and your team might not win.
    But when you get a save, your team won.
    I don’t remember where I got that from, and while I don’t really mean to make it more important, but just putting it in some perspective.

    Lar June 19, 2008, 9:13 pm
  • Isn’t that like saying if you hit a grand slam, then your team loaded the bases?

    Anonymous June 19, 2008, 9:23 pm
  • That was me.

    FenSheaParkway June 19, 2008, 9:23 pm
  • But Lar, that doesn’t mean much.
    What about “if the rest of your team doesn’t do their jobs, you can’t do yours”? Mariano is great, but his greatness has always been somewhat contingent on 88% of the game working out the way it needs to, without his involvement. That’s not a knock against Rivera, it’s a fact. Rivera is about my favorite Yankee ever (I also really loved Bernie Williams, for the record), and also, of course, great.
    But he’s no Tiger Woods. Just about nobody on Earth is. It’s a comparison made for self-congratulatory purposes, and it fits the Yankee fan stereotype. I hate stuff like this, since it just reinforces for me what, when I was like 12 and didn’t know better, I always hated and thought about Yankee fans: their need not just to be winners, but to be the only winners, all other accomplishments by other winners be damned (or, at least, made equivalent to their own). I am not saying that IH is like this, I am only saying that that comment reminds me of why I started hating Yankee fans way back when, and I don’t like the feeling, since this site (and life!) has basically proven those old feelings to be naive and misguided.

    SF June 19, 2008, 9:29 pm
  • Ya, I don’t know about the Tiger Woods comment.. I just assumed it was in good fun (as with most of the thread so far). But I think, if he keeps this up (the career, not the season), there’ll almost be no doubt that he’ll be the best (relief) pitcher in baseball ever, without much possibility for debate. I don’t think I’m stretching here either – relievers will be compared to Mo, both for dominance, and longevity.
    It’s not my knock on other pitchers, and I’m amazed that Mo can still do it, at the level he still can. In my book, the burden is on other relievers to come to prove themselves, and to grade themselves on this level.
    Which is why I always held back for say, Paps. It’s not because he’s a Sox, but just that Gagne was “the man” a few years ago, Putz was “clearly the best” last year and coming into this year.
    In that sense, he’s like Tiger Woods. Maybe not of baseball, since, well, baseball has so many “specialities”, but certainly of a subset of pitching. And almost there’s not even a debate.. (or shouldn’t)..

    Lar June 19, 2008, 9:39 pm
  • But Woods does things that guys in his sport can not do. He does things that nobody has seen before, hits shots that most people deem impossible or implausible. All while doing everything else nearly perfectly. Rivera is simply the greatest at an established position, consistently performing at amazing levels, but not doing things we’ve never seen, other than doing things we’ve seen before for longer periods of time, and doing those already-seen things better. He’s not innovating. Woods is an unprecedented athlete in the sport he plays, for several reasons. He’s not just improving on the performances of past players, which is, to his absolute credit, what Mariano has done, in amazing fashion. But there’s just a major difference in the two athletes.

    SF June 19, 2008, 9:45 pm
  • I guess at some point, we’ll just have to agree to disagree at some point. For me, what’s amazing about Tigers is actually his consistency – being able to win and dominate at almost every tournament he plays in. Age hasn’t been a factor for him (yet?).
    Of course, no one is going to “Mo-proof” baseball, but I guess that’s part of your point. For me, hitting a shot harder/farther/more precise is exactly “doing those already-seen things” better. At some point, golf is just percentages, and with baseball, it’s the same.
    I guess the only thing Mo can do now is actually throw this gyroball to win SF’s approval! =P
    And to reiterate, Tiger is effing amazing. I don’t read minds, but for me, the analogy is just that he’s the best at what he does, exactly the same as Mo. In baseball it’s impossible for anyone to say they “dominate” the entire sport, so position it is for me.

    Lar June 19, 2008, 10:06 pm
  • Glad to see the discussion is rolling. I did make the comment in part-jest, but am happy to defend it becasue it is more legitimate in my view than SF in particular gives it credit for. So…
    1) Re: Tiger hits shots no one else can. Mariano throws a pitch no one else can. No other pitcher has ever been dominant with one pitch that every hitter knows is coming and still can’t hit. Mo has diversified with the pitch in to righties in the last couple years, but his cutter has never been done before and as a pitch that he can tell a hitter he is about to throw and still dominate them with, there is no precedent.
    2) When the all-time leader in saves says that he is honored just to be mentioned in the same sentence as Rivera and players – retired and active – talk about him with a revererence that is unparalleled (he’s inhuman, he’s otherwordly, etc), it sounds a lot like pro-golfers talking about Woods.
    3) Re: Yankee fans trying to make themselves out as “the only winners”. That’s a strange accusation in light of a discussion that is about comparing a Yankee to a non-Yankee to honor both athletes.
    4) Consistent superb performance over time – already noted by others.

    IronHorse (yf) June 19, 2008, 10:55 pm
  • Jason Sobel (ESPN golf writer) says it better than I can, just today:
    “Adoration for Woods has transcended admiration for the game itself, and it remains to be seen whether renewed competitive balance will be enough to hold fans’ interest throughout the remainder of the season.”
    Mariano can’t touch Woods, not even close. Just because Mariano is great at what he does doesn’t make him the same kind of great as someone like Tiger. It’s not just the accomplishment, it’s about everything else the person does for the game they play. I am sorry, but elevating Mariano to Woods’ level is not much more than Yankee egocentrism.

    SF June 19, 2008, 11:01 pm
  • Mariano is Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, and Tiger Woods all wrapped up into one specialist baseball player, he says, all the while looking at himself in his interlocking NY mirror.

    IronHorse (yf) June 19, 2008, 11:03 pm
  • Seriously, if Rivera is the Woods of baseball, then Woods should be able to be legitimately described as the Rivera of golf. It doesn’t hold, not even close. Woods more favorably compares (absurdly, granted, to other sports figures in other games) to Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux or Pele, even better. People who have legitimately changed the game they play, on multiple levels.

    SF June 19, 2008, 11:09 pm
  • And who is Rivera more favorably comparable to given that – you know – that was the starting point here.

    IronHorse (yf) June 19, 2008, 11:16 pm
  • Not sure I understand – your line is that “the only legitimate contemporary comparison to Mariano” is Woods. And that, to me, is absurd.
    Look, you’ve poked a beehive. I HATE cross-sport comparisons (I am not even sure why I bothered trying to do it myself, other than the fact that I think the comparison, a conceptual kerfluffle in the first place, is, beyond that kerfluffle, deeply flawed) and I hate cross-era comparisons even within the same sport. So part of this is me responding to a pet peeve, and the other is me responding to (what I believe to be) a horribly mistaken comparison. That’s a reflection on how much admiration I have for Woods and what he can do and what he has done for his sport, nothing about Mariano.

    SF June 19, 2008, 11:24 pm
  • Fair enough. And as long as we’re doing True Confessions, my reaction had at least as much to do with what I felt like was an unnecessarily belligerent over-reaction on your part than anything else. After all, this thread was primarily about YFs enjoying an afternoon rolling around in the slop of Mariano’s otherwordly 2008 stats. No digs were taken at any one else or any other team. The force of your reaction – and letting me know that what I said reminded you of why you hate people who are YFs as am I – was more annoying to me than any poking of holes in the Mo-Woods comparison.
    For the record, of course it’s glib and inaccurate to compare across sports. At the same time, I don’t think it demeans anyone – including Tiger Woods – for someone who is a rabid slobbering fan of a particular player, as I admittedly am when it comes to Mo, to then compare that player to him.

    IronHorse (yf) June 19, 2008, 11:35 pm
  • IH:
    The comparison conjured up memories of when I was young and didn’t know any better about the reality that we fans, YF and SF alike, are, in some ways, the same. It didn’t remind me of “why I hate YFs” (since I don’t – some of my best friends are YFs!), it reminded me of my youthful stupidity, which perceived all Yankee rooters as needing to continually assert that their own were the barometers of greatness, everyone else (however great) be damned (or at least brought down to the level of the Yankee, in order to elevate the Yankee). This happened throughout my summer camp years, 1978 thru 1987, at a place where the Yankee fans refused to accept that there might be players better than those that wore the pinstripes.
    Deep psychic wounds, these! I am mostly over them.

    SF June 19, 2008, 11:53 pm
  • Can we say Rivera is the Tiger Woods of closers, in that he’s mastered the art to such a degree that no closer, past or present, can compare to him, and he is the one man all future closers will be measured against? Neh?

    AndrewYF June 20, 2008, 2:00 am
  • And also, conjuring Woods’ name when mentioning Rivera is not denigrating Woods, it’s honoring Rivera. No one will ever, ever say Woods is the Rivera of golf. That’s just dumb. To me, Woods is to golf what the Babe is to baseball, a mythical creature no one can really comprehend, a man who transcends the sport, or at least embodies it.
    Of course, that’s just another case of elevating a Yankee, isn’t it? ;)

    AndrewYF June 20, 2008, 2:04 am
  • Can we say Rivera is the Tiger Woods of closers
    Well, that works a little better. Who is the Rocco of closers?

    SF June 20, 2008, 7:19 am
  • It won’t hold up, but his current ERA+ is 502.
    Jonathan Papelbon, 2006, ERA+: 515.
    Also, if any pitcher should be considered the Tiger Woods of baseball, it’s Pedro Effing Martinez. He was as dominant as Rivera, and actually had to do it for more than one (or two) innings at a time.
    Not to take anything away from Rivera, who is clearly the best ever at what he does, but Pedro was also the best ever at what he does — and there were a lot more years of “ever” for Pedro to top.

    Paul SF June 20, 2008, 10:05 am
  • To clarify, I put Papelbon’s stats from 2006 to show that Rivera actually could continue that unworldly 502 ERA+.

    Paul SF June 20, 2008, 10:07 am
  • “it’s Pedro Effing Martinez”
    Ummm, except he did it for what six seasons? Pedro’s more like the Sandy Koufax of this generation. Since 2003 (age 31) he’s been pedestrian. Pedro was a bright supernova that burned too quickly.
    As for best ever, Walter Johnson takes that cake – easily. He was as dominant but for much longer. Compare almost *6000* career innings pitched at 147 ERA+ for Johnson versus 2700 IP at 160 ERA+ for Mr. Daddy.

    A YF June 20, 2008, 10:25 am
  • A 13-point gap in ERA+ does not equal “as dominant.” And Martinez blows Koufax away.
    Not disagreeing about the length of the dominance though. It was too short for my tastes, as well. Still, if Woods’ knee doesn’t cooperate, that might be an even more apt comparison to Martinez. Except that comparing individual sports to team sports is generally not a good idea anyway…

    Paul SF June 20, 2008, 10:31 am
  • Koufax is the closest comp, I think. Unless there’s one better? Pedro is certainly not the “best ever at what he does” though.
    And Tiger’s been doing it for 12 years. That comp doesn’t hold either.

    A YF June 20, 2008, 10:36 am
  • comparing players across sports is silly, as I noted above. Comparing players across eras is difficult (and should be heavily qualified if done) but defensible, though to me leads to deathspirals of convoluted logic typically. Comparing a starter to a reliever, or any ballplayers of differing positions requires major qualification and is also of nominal use. Martinez and Rivera are/were pitchers with different skills and roles (MAJORLY different roles) and comparing the two makes minimal sense to me.

    SF June 20, 2008, 10:41 am
  • To be clear – Pedro:Koufax in that both careers essentially ended at their peaks. Johnson continued to pitch, at well-above average, for another 8 years. Thus the almost *6000* innings at 147 ERA+. If you ended his career at age 31, you were probably looking an 180 ERA+ over *4000* innings. There were years he was throwing *350* innings and putting up 250 ERA+. Sorry, but Big Wally is all by himself.

    A YF June 20, 2008, 10:41 am
  • “should be heavily qualified”
    ERA+ helps greatly here. It equalizes in a way that nothing else can. Same too for OPS+ (but which defensive value is left out).

    A YF June 20, 2008, 10:43 am
  • Again, the only guy who should be considered the “Tiger Woods” of baseball is Babe Ruth. He absolutely changed, and embodies the game, and played for a very long time.
    Pedro did not, and does not embody the game in the slightest. His peak is pretty much unmatched, he’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer, yeah, okay. But he didn’t do it for nearly long enough. I put Randy Johnson and Greg Maddux over him in terms of great pitchers. They didn’t have Pedro’s peak, no one did, but they lasted much, much longer, which is just as impressive, IMO.
    Pedro didn’t change the game one bit. Now that, I can say, is a great example of a Red Sox fan elevating a Red Sox. Heck, Ted Williams is a much better choice than Pedro for the “Tiger Woods of baseball”.

    AndrewYF June 20, 2008, 1:16 pm

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