MLB's 2012 Closer Volatility

Mariano Rivera (Yankees)
Text: Joe Lemire, SI.com
Photo: Ed Zurga/Getty Images; AP

Mariano Rivera (Yankees)

Torn right ACL

Baseball's new epidemic selects its victims carefully. It targets inhabitants of the same community, each of whom can be found residing on the pitcher's mound in the ninth inning of close games.

The 2012 season has seen an inexplicable volatility among closers. Since the start of spring training 14 of the 30 starting closers have lost their job, nine to injury and five more to demotion, turning the bullpen door into a revolving one at the end of games. Even a handful of replacements have followed suit with their ailments. The result is that a closer's job security has never been more tenuous.

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