Japanese Closer Rides Onto Field in Sports Car, Like a Boss (Video)

japanese closer rides onto field in sports car

The role of closer is perhaps the silliest thing in baseball today. Teams bestow the title on their best bullpen pitcher. Then, the vast majority of the time, they’ll only use that pitcher to start the ninth inning with nobody on and nobody out. When he completes his relatively simple job, they give him a fancy stat: the save. It’s ridiculous!

It would make way more sense to give a save to the reliever who comes in with runners on base and gets his team out of the inning without allowing a run. Those are the tough situations in which games are usually decided. But no. Teams act as though the last three outs are always the hardest to get, and they save their best bullpen weapon to get them.

The only good thing about The Closer is the pageantry and the mystique. His role may be completely arbitrary, but damned if theatrics don’t give you goose bumps anyway. Who didn’t love it when the gate would open at old Yankee Stadium, and “Enter Sandman” would blair on the PA system right before Mariano Rivera stepped onto the outfield grass.

Of course, in Japan they make Mariano’s entrance look like child play. Just take a look at the entrance of Yakult Swallows closer Yasuaki Yamazaki, who rides from the bullpen to the mound in a freaking sports car:

Make no mistake, I may be anti-closer insofar as the role involves getting three low-leverage outs. But I am pro-riding-into-the-game-in-a-sports-car. Baseball definitely needs more stuff like this.

Hat Tip – [Bro Bible]

Tags: baseball, closer, japanese league, MLB, nippon professional baseball league,