http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/page/caple-120615/a-plan-save-save-make-relief-pitchers-meaningful-again

Every baseball fan needs to read this great article.  Personally, I think the author is right on point with the problem of the save stat and the mis-allocation of money on closers - - a role defined by a stat instead of being defined by the best way to help their team win.  Thoughts?

Here are a couple of key quotes ... but you should really read the full article:

"Not only has the save been cheapened, it has become a stat -- the only stat -- that affects managerial strategy ... Most managers vigorously deny this, but they're either lying or kidding themselves. They all use their closers depending strictly on whether it is or is not a save situation.

While Jonathan Papelbon's career save rate of 88.3 percent sounds impressive, Smith points out that teams historically have won 85.7 percent of games they led by one run after eight innings, 93.7 percent of games they led by two runs and 97.5 percent of games they led by three. Thus, it is clearly inefficient to pay Papelbon or any top closer $12 million a year and only use him for situations in which the team likely will win anyway."

[The stats above are based on an analysis of late inning leads over the past 70 years.]