Post Show Blog For 9/2/08: What is a vulture win???

This came up twice this weekend so I want to throw it out there to everyone. Is a vulture win when a releiver comes in and blows it and gets the win or is it when he comes in for a tie game or a close deficit and the team scores and he gets the decision? I say without hesititation it’s the latter since what JJ Putz did to Washburn on Saturday in Cleveland was more akin to stealing then vulturing but when you look at Sean Green who pitched 3 scoreless yesterday in relief of Silva and got the W well that’s more like it.

Let us know your thoughts and then hit us with your e-mails………Siano






A Vulture Win is whenever a reliever gets a win.
Although I have read many other arguments saying other things, you can not disagree with the above statement. All during the season the 411 and others talk about picking up good relievers for K’s, era and whip stability along with the possibility of Vulture Wins (a Vulture Win=a Win therefore any win by a relief pitcher is a Vulture Win).

Vulture wins do not care about how the reliever came about earning you a +1 in the W cat. Relievers are not kept or released because of their records (both real and fantasy). If a reliever gets an opportunity for win, it’s because the starter and/or other relievers couldn’t get it done and the other’s team pitchers could. A reliever gets a win when either the other team’s pitchers decide they aren’t going to get it done anymore or the winning team’s offense decides to hit the ball.

Vultures, like relief pitchers, are scavengers; they feast on the success of others. The mighty lion or valiant tiger may work many days to find, hunt, kill, and eat their meals, but the vulture just floats around and reaps the rewards of the leftover meat. Much like the relief pitcher watches and waits to reap the spoils of a great starting pitcher (SV), late-inning offensive surges, or Jamie Burke’s misfortune (the vulture win).

If “vulturing” is about feasting on the success of others, wouldn’t a reliever who gets a W by pitching 2-4 innings of scoreless relief therefore NOT be getting a vulture win? Particularly if the starter was ineffective? I don’t think you can say all relief wins are vulture wins with any certainty. Though most probably would be.

I can’t think of a situation where I wouldn’t call a win by a reliever a vulture win. If his team is behind when he comes in, and they come back, vulture win. If they’re ahead but the starter can’t go 4-2/3, vulture win. If he blows it and gets it back, vulture win. If it’s tied and he gets the win, vulture win.
Let’s not forget that a win is a win to the reliever himself and his team. The fantasy owner is the one getting the “vulture win”. None of us draft relievers for wins, so ANYTHING we get there is extra we don’t work for – like the vulture picking up what some other animal worked for.

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