The Norman Transcript

Sports

March 25, 2014

Ramped up relievers: From the depths of obscurity to supremacy and back

NORMAN — Some relievers thrive when they move into the huge ninth-inning spotlight and some fizzle. And others turn into one-year wonders.

They can be a Jimmy Fallon, earning raves, a Conan O’Brien deflecting razzes, or one of those single-season phenoms that’s increasingly common, a bullpen Halley’s Comet that gets all the attention one summer and disappears the next.

After a half-decade as Mariano Rivera’s understudy in the New York Yankees’ bullpen, David Robertson feels ready for his move to the big time.

“I’m hoping it’s more fun,” Robertson says. “You get to high-five with everybody at the end of the game instead of just running in the dugout and going, ‘OK, Mo’s coming in. I’m going to go get undressed and get ready to high-five him when he comes in the clubhouse.”’

Top closers are baseball’s rock stars — tied to their entrance music and their oversized persona, whether of chaos or cool. It’s hard to think of Rivera without Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” or Trevor Hoffman divested of AC/DC’s “Hells Bells.”

But for every success there are multiple failures, especially these days when the managers and front-office executives feel intense pressure for their teams to produce right from the season’s start and every single night.

Hence, the reliever who goes from obscurity to supremacy and back.

“In the case of relievers, if you check the history it’s kind of a natural wave of things,” Baltimore Orioles pitching coach Dave Wallace says. “A lot of guys have a real good year, or maybe two good years, and then the maybe hit a bump in the road for a year or two. That’s what makes Trevor Hoffman, Mariano, those type of guys special because they’ve done it over a long period of time.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Cardinals Red Sox Trade Cardinals land Lackey, shore up rotation

    BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox traded right-hander John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-hander Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig before Thursday’s deadline....

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joe Castiglione lends hardwood expertise to new football playoff committee

    Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione serves on the NCAA basketball tournament selection committee and will be the committee chair for the 2015-16 season....

    August 1, 2014

  • Norman football a hotbed for quarterbacks

    While Norman High searches for a new quarterback to take the reins, Norman North is entering the preseason with one of the most talented quarterbacks in the state in Oklahoma State commit John Kolar....

    August 1, 2014

  • Tiger in the hunt after day one at Bridgestone

    AKRON, Ohio — Tiger Woods showed signs of a positive recovery Thursday at the Bridgestone Invitational. Not just from back surgery, but from making bogeys....

    August 1, 2014

  • Coaches rank Sooners No. 3

    The preseason USA Today coaches’ poll was released on Thursday. Oklahoma came in at No. 3....

    August 1, 2014

  • Defensive indefernce in Big-D as injury suffles front seven

    OXNARD, Calif. — Rookie pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence’s broken foot didn’t send the Dallas Cowboys scrambling because they’re already in rebuilding mode with their defensive line....

    August 1, 2014

  • Rams’ go with youth in secondary

    ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Rams secondary doesn’t have veteran leaders, high-dollar talent or big names. Those handling spots on the last line of defense are confident they won’t be a liability....

    August 1, 2014

  • Tigers go all in on Price

    DETROIT — When David Price was finally traded, it was to an unexpected bidder. The Detroit Tigers added another Cy Young Award winner to their star-studded rotation, acquiring Price from Tampa Bay in a blockbuster deal Thursday....

    August 1, 2014

  • Oakland lands Lester, Gomes in exchange for Cespedes

    OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics won the Jon Lester sweepstakes, acquiring the left-hander and outfielder Jonny Gomes from the Boston Red Sox for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes before Thursday’s trade deadline....

    August 1, 2014

  • Indians trade Justin Masterson to Cardinals

    CLEVELAND — The Indians had little choice but to give up Justin Masterson. The trade doesn’t mean they’re going to surrender the season....

    July 31, 2014

Facebook