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Nitpicking Jerry Crasnick

Erich (Manchester): Who's got the edge for the Devil Rays closer job? Juan Salas or Chad Orvella? I was thinking about picking one of them up in my fantasy league.

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (3:25 PM ET ) Erich,

I actually checked with a Devil Rays person today and was told it's probably going to be Dan Miceli to start the season. If you're looking to add a D-Rays closer, your fantasy team is in trouble.

That comes from Jerry Crasnick, whom is one of the better ESPN baseball writers, only behind Rob Neyer and Buster Olney, so that's why when he makes this sort of statement I cringe while wondering what the heck he's talking about.

Unless he meant it in another regard, Rays' closers aren't exactly horrible fantasy picks over the years, they usually amass pretty high save totals due to the close proximity of most Rays' wins, for proof here the stats (saves / loses charged to)

  1. Roberto Hernandez  26/6
  2. Roberto Hernandez  43/3
  3. Roberto Hernandez  32/7
  4. Esteban Yan        22/6
  5. Esteban Yan        19/8
  6. Lance Carter       26/5
  7. Danys Baez         30/4
  8. Danys Baez         41/4

Okay so until last year the Rays hadn't had a season when their closer had less than 20 saves since except for 2002. In fact during that span the team averaged 30 saves a season. Enter 2006, the Rays had multiple closers, Dan Miceli, Brian Meadows, Tyler Walker, Seth McClung, ect. here's their save breakdown

Tyler Walker              10/3
Brian Meadows              8/6
Seth McClung               6/2
Shawn Camp                 4/4
Dan Miceli                 4/2
Chad Harville              1/2

That totals 33 saves amongst six individuals, again that's quite decent if it's just one guy, but that of course was the problem.

I don't take offense to Crasnick if he had said "Then again if you're depending on Dan Miceli for saves, you're in trouble." But he made it as if all Rays' closers were awful, not so much the case.