It would appear, as a relatively new member of this community, that I have unknowingly stepped into the middle of an ongoing debate with regard to the legitimacy of Blown Saves. Personally, I am very interested in any and all reasonable arguments on either side of the spectrum, but currently I stand with the belief that blown saves are significant. (By the way, some sites do track the stat, including YahooSports.)
For my part, this whole conversation got started with this years ROY award going to Andrew Bailey. Almost immediately, parallels were drawn between Bailey and former Oakland Athletic Huston Street. I happen to feel that comparison is unfair to both players. Its unfair to Street, because he has proven longevity at the closer position in the bigs, and thats no small feat. It's unfair to Bailey, because he technically had a better rookie year than Street, and doesn't have a penchant for Blown Saves (and crucial ones at that). And there in lies the controversy, at least for my part, that got this conversation going.
Some in this community believe "that blown saves are irrelevant", some in this community believe Huston Street was a good closer as an Athletic, and some in this community believe both of those things. I, with no disrespect to anyone here, do not, on either account. I don't even think he was average, and for me his penchant for Blown Saves bears that out.
Lets look at the facts, shall we? During his time in Oakland, Huston Street had 27 blown saves in 121 regular season opportunities. That means Huston only saved 77.69% of his opportunities; It also means he blew almost one fourth of his chances, depending on how you look at it. IMO that is outrageous, and well, well below even average for the league. Hence, my feelings on Street.
***UPDATE*** [Because Micdog wanted more stats] ***UPDATE***
Here are some other players to compare. Players listed are those whose careers began after SVO becam a tracked stat. Older players like Mariano don't have career SVO totals, but these are closers your all familiar with from across the spectrum.
Eric Gane: 187 SV, 204 SVO, 91.66%
Joe Nathan: 247 SV, 276 SVO, 89.49%
Francisco Rodriguez 243 SV, 283 SVO, 85.86%
Brad Lidge: 195 SV, 233 SVO, 83.69%
Francisco Cordero 250 SV, 306 SVO, 81.69%
Huston Street 129 SV 158 SVO, 81.65% [In Oakland: 94 SV, 121 SVO, 77.69%]
***END OF UPDATE***
By the way, while Street did have one of his best years in the bigs with the Rockies last season, saving 35 and only blowing 2 regular season games, it seems he still cant hold/save the biggest games......
Sounds all to familiar doesn't it. At least it wasn't another 'no doubter' into the stratosphere, right? (Ahem 2006!) That ball is still in the air somewhere over Eastern Europe I think.
As for the legitimacy of Blown Saves, I really am interested in arguments to the contrary. IMO the legitimacy of a certain statistic should not be called into question simply because there are a few instances in which the accumulation of said stat may seem harsh or unfair. Sure there are ridiculous ways that an individual pitcher can pick up a blown save, but IMO the vast majority of blown saves are just regular, run-of-the-mill, Brad Lidge type blown saves. A closer comes in in the 9th inning with a three run or less lead, and just blows it. Maybe he catches a bad bounce or two (these things happen), or maybe he gets shelled, either way the save is blown and its significant cause there is rarely recovery possible; The game is usually over, and in the end thats what its all about (yes bbgirl), Ws and Ls, with blown saves most often leading directly to the latter.
Sure, Blown Saves may not be the "be-all-to-end-all" statistic for closers, but it certainly seems significant to me. I really am interested in all opinions here, so open my eyes to your truth on this matter, and maybe we can all kick the ball forward in this debate.