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The X-Factor
Tim Crothers
March 23, 1998
Seattle got Heathcliff Slocumb in a trading deadline deal last year, hoping he'd stabilize a closer-by-committee bullpen that blew 27 saves in '97 While Slocumb did convert 10 of II save chances, his 4.13 ERA for Seattle made manager Lou Piniella reluctant to dub him the main man. Abandoning the committee approach this year, Piniella has decided that Slocumb is his closer, so the challenge for '98 is obvious: Slocumb must convert 85% of his save opportunities. The Mariners have decent starting pitching. They have the game's top player. They have World Series talent. But they need relief. They need Slocumb.
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March 23, 1998

The X-factor

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Seattle got Heathcliff Slocumb in a trading deadline deal last year, hoping he'd stabilize a closer-by-committee bullpen that blew 27 saves in '97 While Slocumb did convert 10 of II save chances, his 4.13 ERA for Seattle made manager Lou Piniella reluctant to dub him the main man. Abandoning the committee approach this year, Piniella has decided that Slocumb is his closer, so the challenge for '98 is obvious: Slocumb must convert 85% of his save opportunities. The Mariners have decent starting pitching. They have the game's top player. They have World Series talent. But they need relief. They need Slocumb.

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