Hypo - I think of good titles
Ok, I don't think of very good titles... but this post is to talk about the new "closer-by-committee" in Chicago. Chad Fox got the nod yesterday in the win over the Pirates and he picked up the save. The thing about closers is that you need a special mentality to be able to be successful in that role. This is the main problem with Hawkins, as he has great stuff and his talent is excessive. He has always been much more comfortable -- and effective -- as a setup guy with both the Twins and the Cubs. And his problem at closer isn't his talent; it has something to do with him being unable to bridge the gap from the setup mentality to the closer mentality.
At any rate, he is out now, and some other guys will start to get some opportunities, starting with Chad Fox. I don't know Fox that well, so forgive me if I am wrong to think this way, but I don't have the utmost confidence in him as a permanent guy for this role. I also know we are all eagerly awaiting the return of Joe Borowski as well. Now there is a guy who does have the right mentality for being a closer, but I wonder if his injuries the last two years will have affected him -- physically, mentally, or both -- to the point where he'll simply be another step that collapses as soon as the Cubs try to put any weight on it.
Again, I'm really not pessimistic, hopefully Chad Fox will turn out to be great as a closer and keep the job the whole year. Maybe with Hawkins being moved down in the bullpen, that frees up Glendon Rusch (who I have been extremely impressed with this year) for the closing role. Or maybe, just maybe, Jim Hendry will put together a decent trade whereby the Cubbies pick up a time-tested closer (Ugueth Urbina, anyone? I have to look to see what he's up to these days, but he was a solid closer, and last I checked he was hanging out in Detroit's bullpen on a daily basis. Let's go after him! Or someone else!).
Summary of my ramblings: For the immediate future, Chad Fox will be under our collective scrutiny, so let's get some feedback on this guy as the next week passes. Here's to a 6-save week for Fox!