“I know we will have some arguments in the future about his (Bobby Madritsch’s) role,” Mariners G.M. Bill Bavasi says. “Whitey (Herzog) always said to build a staff from the back — start with a closer so you can play your 27 outs vs. their 24. Bobby seems to have the mental makeup to close.”
There are three basic things we can say about this quote:
1. It lacks context. We have no idea what the question was, why it was brought up, or if Bavasi was intending this as a simple complement on Madritsch’s demeanor on the mound. Really, those two sentences alone tell us nothing about what Bavasi feels Madritsch’s future role should be.
2. The fact that Bill Bavasi is quoting Whitey Herzog is not a good thing. This quote, especially, is easily refutable and obviously incorrect.
3. Bavasi is right. So far, Madritsch has displayed all the traits that most people usually look for in a “closers mentality”. I personally believe it’s a ridiculously overplayed cliche, that most good relievers can close with few problems, and that mental makeup specific to closing out games is mostly a creation of the media looking for a story. However, if you were to identify the kinds of things that would usually be associated with a “closer mentality”, Madritsch would get check marks on just about every one.
So, what he essentially said was true, but why he said it we don’t know. It’s nothing to get worked up over. The biggest complaint I have about most more-than-casual fans is their obsesion with analyzing quotes in the media. Ignore it. It’s almost all crap. It gives little to no insight into what people actually believe, and trying to break down a manager or GM based off of answers giving in question and answer forums is doomed to failure.