Some really ridiculous sports talk host in my local town said the most asinine thing. (I won't even mention it's a guy/town in Cardinals country. Oh, wait, oops.) It is his emphatic belief that a team's best pitcher should be the closer. He even went so far to say that the second best pitcher should probably be the setup man, and then you could consider the third best pitcher as your #1 starter.
His examples were: Rivera and the Yankees. Brian Wilson and the Giants (Um, what about Cain/Bumgarner/Lincecum?). Wainwright as closer during the earlier Cards' WS run, and Motte during the last WS win (um, Carpenter?). Papelbon on 2007 Boston WS team (Beckett's 6.0 WAR versus Pap's 2.2?). Axford on the Brewers this year. Oh, and he says that you want that best pitcher--AKA closer--to give up less than a hit per inning. Wouldn't we all like our pitchers to do that.
I might as well go get a job as a sports talk host, because a monkey knows more than this guy. This is ridiculous. It might just happen that the closer is the best pitcher on your team, but it's not by design. Apparently Verlander, Kershaw, Halladay, and Felix should all be relocated to the bullpen, by this guy's logic. I guess he ignores how the Rays continue to rotate through random guys for their closers, and they do just fine.
Is there ANY way that anyone can justify the claim about the best pitcher being a closer?