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September 22, 2009

"Do you want to hear something sick?"

The summer before I went away to college I went on a date to the local mall.

Romantic, right?

Thing is, I didn't go there because of the old stereotype "girls like to shop"...I went there solely because I needed to replace my worn out cassette (yes, cassette) of Pearl Jam's "Ten" with a new one.

Suffice it to say, my love affair with the Seattle-based rockers has lasted much longer than the result of that afternoon explaining the overlap of Green River, Mother Love Bone and Pearl Jam to a girl I shared space with in Spanish class.

And with their latest release "Backspacer", one can only be reminded of the consistency they've maintained since "Alive" first hit the airwaves in 1991. It is that same sort of consistency that has made Yankees closer Mariano Rivera an obvious shoe-in when his name comes up in Hall of Fame discussions.

Yes, I did just segue from Pearl Jam to Mariano Rivera.

Saturday night, I received the following tweet from Yankees jack of all trades Nick Swisher: "Congrats to Mo. 1000th career strikeout. Wow."

1000 career Ks...I had no clue. Immediately that led me to scrambling. I know Rivera is a stud, but how does he stack up to active counterpart Trevor Hoffman?

How about against Hall of Famers Dennis Eckersley, Goose Gossage, Bruce Sutter or friend of The Hall Rollie Fingers?

Of the six, only Hoffman and Sutter never started a game...Eckersley started 361. "Mo" started ten in his rookie campaign, and both Gossage and Fingers took the mound as the game's starter 37 times.

And, no, "Clerks" fans...not in a row.

I won't compare the save totals between the six since we're talking two VERY different periods of closers, but we can look compare their ERAs out of the bullpen.

Fingers (2.73), Hoffman (2.74), Gossage (2.77), Sutter (2.82) and Eckersley (2.85) are all pretty much cut from the same cloth when it comes to their ERA as a reliever. Rivera blows them all away with a career 2.09 ERA out of the bullpen. Matter of fact, dude even has the lowest career ERA (2.26) among relievers that have pitched at least 1000 innings.

In his saves (all American League leading 522 of them), Rivera's ERA continues to drops even a staggering 0.64. The only member of the Hall of Fame with a better ERA in his saves is Gossage at 0.54.

"Do you want to hear something sick" Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder warbles as "Gonna See My Friend" kicks off their latest offering, so I am inclined to ask the you?

Rivera has managed to save 85% of the games he's come in to close. By comparison...current reliever wunderkind Francisco Rodriguez is only at 77% so far in his young career. Odds are he won't touch Mo's consistency.

And since we're talking consistency (and earlier, strikeouts), the Majors did crown a new strikeout king...its old one.

That's right, Diamondbacks slugger Mark Reynolds struck out three times in a Tuesday night victory against the Giants.

Going into the night, Reynolds had 203 whiffs, one shy of his old record 204. With ten games to go in the'll be interesting to see match his listed playing weight (220 pounds) with Ks.

BallHype: hype it up!


Rusty Shackleford said...

Pearl Jam hasn't released a great album since 'Vs.' You have to go back to "Given To Fly" to find a great single from them. PJ has been mediocre for a very long time, yet garners adoration that should be reserved for the Foo Fighters, U2 or even Nine Inch Nails. These are bands that never stopped being innovative while also handing us a single or two.

Can you honestly say Pearl Jam has delivered on the same level as Foo? Ok, now tell me the truth.

E said...

"Can you honestly say Pearl Jam has delivered on the same level as Foo? Ok, now tell me the truth."

Yes, because the Foo Fighters haven't had a good record since the band was just Dave Grohl.

So there.