The secret handshake of the ninth inning (USAT)
While everyone remembers Gordon Gekko's speeches and Bud Fox's rise and fall from the seminal film Wall Street, Lou Mannheim is the hidden soul of the picture (in Rounders terms, he's the Knish). Here's one of Lou's watershed tidbits:
The main thing about money, Bud, is that it makes you do things you don’t want to do.
Mannheim was talking about, well, money. But for our purposes, let's assume he was referring to saves. Framed another way: how badly do you want (or need) Kyle Farnsworth today?
Jose Valverde has been a hot mess over his last three appearances (eight runs, four homers), forcing the Mets to make a change. You're grounded, Papa Grande. Terry Collins made it official on Easter morning: Farnsworth is the closer for now.
Farnsworth is the ultimate journeyman, a 38-year-old veteran who's been with eight teams over the years. He's occasionally had success as a closer, most notably a 25-save season with the Rays back in 2011. But the same Tampa Bay organization kicked Farnsworth to the curb last summer, frustrated by a 5.76 ERA and 1.48 WHIP. Farnsworth redeemed himself with a brief run of success in Pittsburgh, then became a free agent. Bidding was tempered, but the Mets offered a contract in late March.
Tiny samples from April don't tell us a lot, but Farnsworth has been successful with the Mets thus far: 7.1 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K. His once-lethal fastball (mid-90s back in the day) now clocks at 91.5 mph, lowest of his career. If ever there were a closer you didn't want to watch live, this is it.
Maybe Gonzalez Germen will be considered for the Mets closing gig down the road, though the 26-year-old is just 37 games into his pro career. And maybe New York grasps the downside of anointing a young closer – you're potentially setting up contract liability. For better or for worse, saves move the needle – closers get paid. Vic Black is another name you'll hear with the Mets, though he's currently in Triple-A and walking a batter for every strikeout. We'll revisit him at a later time.
How badly did you say you needed saves, gamer? Kyle Farnsworth turns his bespectacled eyes to you. I'd be surprised if he had a long and successful run in the big chair, albeit I added him in one save-desperate spot of mine. I didn't go for Farnsworth in the Yahoo Friends & Family pool Saturday night, though (he's since been snapped up).
Your witness. Farnsworth is free to grab in 85 percent of Yahoo leagues. Antacids sold separately.
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