We all know that the 2012 version of the Cincinnati Reds bullpen was really good. Heck, Reds relievers led all other Major League League clubs with a tidy 2.65 ERA last year. Their dominance even struck up a debate around Cincinnati as to whether or not they were better than the 1990 Reds 'pen.
Well, at least one respected ESPN writer has chimed in on his opinion. As good as the '12 relief core was, they still didn't make his list of the Top 10 Bullpens of All-Time. But The Nasty Boys and the 1990 World Series champion bullpen did:
Really, we're talking about three guys here: Randy Myers, Rob Dibble and Norm Charlton. They were all relatively young -- Myers and Charlton were 27 years old, Dibble 26 -- and Lou Piniella went to them constantly to end games after the sixth inning. Charlton was moved into the Cincinnati rotation midway through the season, before switching back for the postseason, and that year, he threw 154 1/3 innings in 56 games, striking out 117. Dibble threw 98 innings in 68 appearances, striking out 136, and Myers had a 2.08 ERA in 66 appearances, accumulating 31 saves. But their reputation was fully made in the postseason, when the trio allowed one earned run in the National League Championship Series (against the Pirates), before shutting out Oakland for 8 2/3 innings in the postseason -- so all told, the Nasty Boys allowed one earned run in 24 innings in October.This ought to stir up the pot a little bit in Reds country. Some will probably continue to say that they believe the '12 group was superior to the '90 one, but Buster Olney certainly doesn't think so. Let the debate begin continue I guess.
After all, what else can we talk about this time of the year? Spring Training is still over three weeks away and the Super Bowl isn't for another two weeks, either.
For the record, the 1998 New York Yankees bullpen topped the list.