As Strib veteran Howard Sinker noted, the reaction to Joe Nathan's Wednesday afternoon core dump was rather untethered. Some choice internet commentary from the piece:
- "...one of the easiest hit closers in the game, and also he's way overpaid."
- "There need to be stats...for near blown saves."
- "That is he (sic) one and only job. And he sucks at it!"
It goes on like that for awhile, including an all caps "TRADE HIM OR CUT HIS SAD...LOOSE" screed that is worthy of a YouTube comment section. The only thing missing was a misspelled demand for Nathan to produce an authentic birth certificate.
Now, it was a horrible, gut-wrenching loss. Nathan has been flirting with disaster for weeks now, and it finally caught up with him and his team at the worst possible time.
However, and I'm going to repeat this because it's so perfectly delusional, "TRADE HIM OR CUT HIS SAD...LOOSE?" Why, no, sir. Do you want to know why? I'll tell you why. Get real close to the screen so you don't miss any of this. I'll type it out so you can easily understand what I'm saying:
DID YOU GROW UP WITH RON DAVIS AS YOUR FAVORITE TEAM'S CLOSER? NO, YOU OBVIOUSLY DIDN'T, BECAUSE YOU WOULDN'T SAY SOMETHING SO GALACTICALLY [REDACTED] STUPID OTHERWISE. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY SAVES HE BLEW IN 1984? PRETTY MUCH ALL OF THEM. YOU THINK I'M KIDDING? HE MATCHED THE [REDACTED] MAJOR LEAGUE RECORD FOR BLOWN [REDACTED] SAVES THAT YEAR. JOE NATHAN WOULD HAVE TO LET THE OPPOSING TEAM HIT OFF A TEE THE REST OF THE SEASON TO GET WITHIN SPITTING DISTANCE OF 14. AND DO NOT GET ME STARTED ON MIKE TROMBLEY.
OH, AND WHILE YOU'RE AT IT, CAPS LOCK BILL JAMES, WHO IS GOING TO REPLACE HIM? RIDDLE ME THAT! JOSE MIJARES? MATT GUERRIER? ANTHONY SLAMA? COME ON, TELL ME, JUST SO I CAN STOP TYPING TO POINT AT YOU AND LAUGH.
(BY THE WAY, I SEE WHY YOU WENT WITH THE ALL CAPS. THERE'S SOMETHING REALLY CATHARTIC ABOUT THIS. THANK YOU, CRAZY-TALKING DIMWIT!)
Anyway, yes, Joe Nathan is scuffling. He just cost his team a huge game in the thick of a pennant race and needs to turn it around in a hurry. He also notches 35-45 saves every year with an ERA that's usually under 2.00. By any metric except for the all-important "What have you done for me lately?" one, he's an elite closer. You and I are remarkably lucky to have him around.
Have I made myself clear? Good. Carry on with your day.