What does it take to be a Closer.?
One of thee most challenging spots on a rotation is the Closer’s role.
This guy has to come into the game and slam the door shut – no-if’s-an’s-or’buts. He has to start his work with little or no room for adjustments, little or no room for fitting-in, and little or no room for errors in judgment – period.
So, here’s where your thinking cap goes on. If it takes you two innings to get your stuff together , or if your not ON at least 90% with your best no matter what, if a certain spot or range in a battering order gives you a problem – then a Closer’s role is not for you.
Now everything that I itemized should be expected of everyone in the bullpen, and to the casual observer this is reasonable. But, usually with a Closer, he’s expected to nail the coffin shut with only one or two innings worth of work … sometimes more, but in most instances the range or window of opportunity is very narrow for these guys.
A Closer’s role must have a solid first two innings experience right out of the starting blocks and a solid track record with just about the entire batting order logic. He must be unshakable, a real meat-eater, no prisoner
mentality, and a steel trap attitude. He has to know exactly at what point in the game he’s entering, who he’s facing, what the game situation is, and a ton of other stuff that he has been picked to address.
I can tell you from experience, sitting next to one of these guys on a long bus trip is like sitting next to Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde. I’d dose off for a while, but not with at least one eye open. Closers do have an interesting personality.
So, if you’re looking for a pressure cooker of a job with no mercy shown to you if and when you “blow it’, well then a Closer’s role is for you.