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Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

MLB managers can no longer be former players!

Last night Yanks and Red Sox played 15 innings at Yankee Stadium. Starters Josh Beckett and A.J. Burnett, former teammates in Florida, were locked in a scoreless duel. In the Boston eighth Phil Hughes relieved Burnett with two out and runners on base. While he was retiring the one batter he faced I noticed that Yankee manager Joe Girardi had "closer" Mariano Rivera warming up. I thought: Girardi can't be considering removing Phil Hughes after only one batter, especially since it would violate the formula of using the closer, Rivera, only with a lead. Wasting Phil Hughes in this way would be stupid. Girardi did the stupid.

The irony is that the Yankees are wasting Phil Hughes in the bullpen. Phil Hughes should be starting. Compounding that waste of resource by using Hughes to retire one batter in a scoreless tie is incomprehensible. Obviously, the game could go into extra innings. Hughes is regarded as the Yankees second best relief pitcher. Why not have Hughes pitch the ninth? The tenth? Pitch as long as he can before removing him.

Girardi lucked out. Rivera pitched his usual one inning, the ninth. There followed the obligatory parade of nobody relief pitchers who amazingly held Boston scoreless. Yanks won 2-0 on a home run by Alex Rodriguez with two out in the bottom of the 15th.

As I have indicated previously, MLB must break with the tradition of hiring former players to be field managers. Even the young (45) well educated (Northwestern U. graduate) Joe Girardi does the same boring unimaginative stuff as his managerial forefathers.

This blog is not intended to be a next day rehash of recent game strategy and tactics. I rarely become overly concerned about in game moves. Baseball does not have X and O concepts. Thousands of 12 year old kids know enough to manage a MLB team, at least stuff like changing pitchers. But even common sense seems elusive.

And what of those Yankee fans who could not wait to replace the previous Yankee manager, four time WS champ Joe Torre (69), with someone younger who would make better decisions during the game? Many especially wanted Girardi. Is this what they wanted? Meanwhile, Torre has his new team, the Dodgers, in first place with a record comparable to that of the Yankees.
Joe Girardi and Joe Torre do about the same things. You can hardly tell them apart. I addressed this in one of my earliest posts. Girardi has wasted his opportunity even if he wins a WS. Girardi is not doing anything different.

The only way to break this cycle is to hire non-players to be field managers. Then there will be at least a chance that the manager will do things that compliment the newer theories being implemented by the new wave of non-player general managers.

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