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A Tradition as Old as Time – Second Guessing the Manager

One of the reasons I love baseball so much is because, as a fan, it is easy to second guess the manager. Unlike in football where, lets be honest, none of us really know if the defense is in cover 2, showing blitz, or playing a nickel man zebra ocean fly-by-night popcorn defense, baseball is a sport made to be second guessed. Either the batter got a hit or didn’t. Either the pitcher got the guy out or didn’t. Sure, its easy to say Pete Carroll should have run the ball from the 1 (more on that later), but I’m also not positive Belichick didn’t Miyagi him into throwing the ball. The point is I am confident in my ability to identify when Joe Girardi royally screws up a game, and last night was a prime example of that.

Girardi has made a number of head-scratching moves this year. We all joke that he relies on his binder too much, which I’m beginning to think is just full of baseball-reference print outs. Coming off the highs of Monday, a game won by a rookie, Joe did his best to squash any momentum the Yankees had. Slade Heathcott would have been an easy start on Tuesday night in place of Jacoby Ellsbury, who is 5 for his last 44 (.114). But Girardi stuck with his struggling veteran and KEPT him batting lead-off. If you’re going to continue to play Ells, at least stick him at the bottom of the order where he can do less harm to the team. ARod and McCann are swinging the bat well lately but have no RBI’s to show for it because Ellsbury has not gotten on base since Mark Teixeira’s leg was in one piece. Chris wrote a letter to Joe Girardi begging him to play the kids like Heathcott and Refsnyder over failing vets like Ellsbury, Drew, and Brendan Ryan. But Girardi has refused to play them, saying “Refsnyder does not know the pitching at the major league level.” I would laugh at that statement if he wasn’t being honest as to the reason why he isn’t playing Ref.

And then we get into the actual game last night. Warren started but could only go 4 innings because he was making his first start since June. I understand he had no choice but to run guys like Pazos and Rumbelow out there in the 5th inning of a game they were winning, but did he have to stick with Rumbelow that long? We all knew what would eventually happen if he was left out there to pitch, and it did.

Joe left Rumbelow in a batter too long and he gave up the go-ahead HR. Later in the game, still only down by a run, he brought in Branden Pinder, Bryan Michell, and Chris Martin, who collectively gave up 2 runs and effectively put the game out of reach. I’ve said this a hundred times over the past few weeks but I don’t understand why Joe refuses to use Betances or Miller in close games they’re losing to keep them in the game but has no problem going to them with 5 run leads because he is scared the pen will blow it. You can’t have it both ways, Joe. You either trust Pinder, Mitchell, Martin, Cotham, etc. or you don’t. Right now you are talking out of both sides of your mouth.

As it stands now the Yankees are in trouble. Their rotation is not going deep enough into games and their pen is fried from overuse early in the season. Every time the middle relief comes into a game they blow it, which is not a surprise, because they are not that good. Unless starters take them right to Betances and Miller they are in trouble, and will continue to lose games.

The only good thing to come out of last night was #GirardiWould. Rich (@RAKcity27) and I were fed up and just started tweeting things Girardi would probably do. Here are some of the best ones from Twitter.

And my personal favorite from 1,078 days ago…