The Late Pedro Borbon and the Reds Closer by Committee

During the years he pitched for the Reds, Borbon was part of one of modern baseball’s longest and most successful experiments with the closer by committee approach to bullpen management. Sparky Anderson, who managed the Reds during those years, demonstrated that closer by committee never works, except of course when it does. In each of the seven years during which Borbon was a major part of the Red bullpen, the Reds had at least three players who finished at least ten games. In five of those years they had four players finish at least ten games. In 1973, they also had two players with more than ten saves and nobody with more than 14. Two years later they had a similar situation, but their save leader had 22. This was during a period when good firemen, as they were known then, regularly saved 30 or more games.