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Closers on shaky ground

Updated: May 3, 2012, 12:46 PM ET
By Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN.com

The "better reliever" does not always get to close.

There are many examples of this throughout baseball history, the one that immediately comes to most people's minds being Mariano Rivera, who set up John Wetteland for the 1996 New York Yankees. Rivera, in that season, managed 5.4 wins above replacement (WAR), the eighth-best single-season number by a reliever since the save became an official statistic in 1969, while Wetteland finished with 2.9 WAR, substantially less than ...

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